We're still a week away from cutting and beginning to fit the muslin, but now is the time to start thinking about adjustments you'll need to make to the pattern prior to fitting the muslin. Rarely do I just cut out a test garment straight from the pattern; usually I do some measurements and adjusting before my scissors ever touch the muslin. Why? Because this eliminates some (not all!) of the fitting problems I might encounter and allows me to focus on the larger issues that may need to be fine tuned.
But first, I would highly recommend taking a set of measurements for yourself. This can be a bit tricky if you're alone, but is very helpful to have. Threads Magazine published a great guide on what measurements to take and jot down. (If you have Cal Patch's Design It Yourself Clothes, so has a good section on measurements and how to take them.) Of particular note for this project will be: bust, waist, hip, waist to desired skirt length, and shoulder to waist.
Once you have your measurements in hand, it's time to pick out a size. I recommend tracing this pattern since it's printed on heavy paper--or if you're using the at-home printing option because of taped together the paper pieces (which just get awkward to work with). This will allow you to create a custom-fit garment pattern without ruining the original pattern. For tracing I use medical table paper, but as I mentioned in the supplies post, banner paper, large sheets of tracing paper or even non-fusible interfacing will work.
Once you have traced all your pattern pieces, you will want to start making some preliminary adjustments to the pattern. I plan on doing a post on Monday about adjusting the bodice and sleeve lengths, but some others that may need to be taken into consideration:
- Sleeve Cap Ease As I mentioned in my most recent version of this pattern, like most 40s inspired styles, there is a lot of ease in the sleeve cap, which makes it tricky to sew the cap in smoothly. I did an entire post on how to adjust this here. I highly recommend doing this prior to cutting the muslin!
- FBA or SBA Large or small busted, you may need to make a Full Bust or Small Bust Adjustment to this pattern. I think this pattern will work well for ladies with a C or small D cup size, but outside of that you'll need to do some tweaking (I need to do an SBA on mine). Despite how intimidating it sounds, it's a very simple adjustment to make. Gertie posted a roundup of tutorials on bust adjustments awhile back that are super helpful.
- Skirt Length I have short legs, so I almost always have to adjust the length of a skirt. While you could just chop off the couple extra inches at the hem, this will also affect the sweep or hem circumference of the final skirt as well. Plus if you've got the opposite problem (taller than the pattern allows for), you'll need to lengthen it. I've documented how to make this easy adjustment below
Begin by cutting the skirt piece at the "lengthen or shorten" line.Jan