Find out how to get that dang thing to fit.
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Postby smt22 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:56 am

Hi Heather,

Can you please give me your expert opinion on my mockup of the 1860s Ball Gown Bodice? I've made it before for someone else and it fit great, but on me it doesn't seem to fit quite right yet.

My measurements were:
Bust 40.5
Waist 33
Hip 43
Back width 14

I cut a size E Back and size G Front. I stitched up the centre back and left the front open to make it easier to try on, so I've pinned it with a 1/2 inch seam allowance at the front. It think the back seems right, but the front seems a little big on the top half, and a little small on the bottom half.

It's pretty roomy in the bust, but from the waist down it's a bit too tight. Considering I am trying it on over only my hoops and petticoat, I think the addition of a skirt will make it definitely too small. I've let the darts out about half way already, and am wondering if I should curve out the side seems to give me more room? Or is there something else I should try?

Also at the top, there are some strange bulges/puckers just in front of the armholes. They go away if I lift the shoulders up higher, but then the neckline doesn't look right. How can I fix those?

I'm wondering if the whole bodice is maybe a bit long? But then, the back and sides seem right so I'm not sure. I haven't had these problems with TV bodices before, so would appreciate your help.





Susan T
"Dear me, let us be elegant or die!" - Little Women
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Re: TV442

Postby Heather » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:59 am

The first thing I am seeing is that the front is just too long over the hip at the sides. I would fold up, or trim away the sides of the front piece to be waist length, plus seam allowance, to about even with the front of the armhole, and then dive down into a nice point. Part of the needing to let the darts out is that right now, it is needing to go over your hips, too.

Next, you have a fairly high bust line, so you need to raise the tip of the darts to be just below the top of your corset. This should help smooth out the area just under the bust. And once you have removed the exess length, you might need to reshape the darts a bit anyway.

The front of the armhole issue is one often seen with a high, prominent bust. Basically, the strap is coming off at the wrong angle for you. There are two ways to fix this. One is to just angle the strap lower, the amount that is extra. But since you might run into this on a day bodice, where you can't change this angle, there is another way to fix this. I have details on how to do this in another post, so let me go find it. Ah, here we go, towards the bottom of this post, there is my line drawing of how to fix this.

Basically, the idea is to move the extra "dart" at the armhole into the side front dart, and have it disappear. Let me know if you need more details.

I think the rest looks pretty good.

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