Monday, December 5, 2011

If at first you don't succeed...

Remember this?  It's 7501, which I bought by accident, thinking I was getting Scruffy Badger Time's 7051!?  Well, tucked inside (you'll see it mentioned on the front of the packet, too) is a Bonus Basic Pattern (in women's sizes).  I'm not sure what that means, because I think it sounds like there's another pattern inside.

But what it does mean is that there is this groovy chart about how to get a pattern to fit.  It has these cool drawings of 6 women (with wonderful haircuts--I want the right hand model's please), and you pick what usually happens to you when you put on a dress made from a pattern: Does it pull across the shoulders because yours are broad? Do you have round shoulders or a small bust?

Then pick a drawing, and follow the pattern adjustment instructions to correct the dress so it's right for you.

Now, if you've been reading about my struggles w/ 7501 (which is too big for me) and trying to turn it into 7051, you are probably wondering why I didn't go straight to the Bonus Basic Pattern right from the start.  Well, I did read thru it, but then defaulted to my (rather lazy) typical response--things usually fit me pretty well and I've never had to make many adjustments except for hems & sleeve lengths (I have short arms).  Also, the Bonus Basic Pattern is really about adjusting or enlarging a pattern, and I needed instructions for downsizing.  So I read thru it & neatly folded it back up & put it into the packet.

Weeks went by and I went thru 3 sets of toiles, trying to get the bodice right.  (Read all about it here, here, herehere & here.) I finally gave up and decided to modify this pattern, Simplicity 9602, which is from my mom (I remember when she made it for an Xmas party) to give it a collar like 7051.  And that  ended up too small.  So I added where I thought I should to make it bigger.  And it turned out way too big!  Honestly, I almost feel as if I've never sewed before.  I have to keep looking at things I have made, that do look good to remind myself I'm not a beginner!

So now I finally decide to read the instructions!  So here they are (this is the obverse of the page above):
See the top right where it says "very full bust?" That's me. So that's what I did, lots of slashing (I worked up my nerve by reading Tilly's Sleeve Slasher post a few times) and taping.  I couldn't find any pattern tracing paper nearby (haven't been to G Street yet, though) so just made do with used printer paper.  I drew 1" lines on the paper so that I knew things would match up, and started slashing.  I reassured myself that if I totally screwed up, 9602 comes with a 2nd bodice pattern, which is a bit different at the neck, but is the same for the sleeves & darts.  

To the right you'll see my masterpiece, with all the bits measured & taped together.

I found some weird polyester pale green stuff in a box downstairs...a real "Where the heck did that come from?" moment.  But it should be fine for my 4th (yes, fourth) muslin.  I've cut out the bodice & put all the markings on it; we'll see if I get to it this weekend.


  1. Isn't that often the case- you have everything you need but don't always realise? Looks like really useful explanations. I hope they are the magic fairy dust!! Good luck.

  2. Thanks, Scruffy! I must be growing up--my patience is astounding me, my husband & my mom!

    I think I might be on the right track (again!), but am now afraid to cut out the fabric for another try. I'll have to work up my nerve. Also, I want a big chunk of time, an evening after work isn't enough to start (over) again.


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