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Making Home Sewing Pay: First Fix on the Coat Muslin

When you have multiple issues to deal with in terms of fixing a pattern, the question always comes down to, “Which one do I do first?” Although my first thought was to tackle the armscye issue first and then the side front, given then I know I will have to add fabric under the arm area to raise that armhole, I figured I would take out the extra fabric in the front first.

Now, the first leap might be to just make the seam between the center front piece and the side front piece bigger. But looking at the picture at the top, you can see that the seam is falling nice and straight down across the point of the bust. So, our problem is only with the side front piece. If I were to to just make the seam larger, then I would be taking fabric out of the center front piece as well as the side front piece; I would end up with a smaller center front piece and my experience has shown me that when I do THAT, I end up with something that I can never get buttoned across the front. So, I decided to concentrate on the side front piece and here is my fix.
I figured it would be easier to see if I pinned what I cut out of the piece onto the original that I used (I traced the pattern pieces using waxed paper – this way I save the original pattern with all of its sizes in it). As you can see, I started by taking out 1.5 inches at the bottom, grading to 1.0 inches where the pattern piece curved in and then curving out to almost nothing where the widest part of the bust is. My original thought was to take out 2″ because that is how much ‘flop’ I had there (I pinned that and measured it; the extra was 1″ on both sides). But again, my experience tells me this: when I take everything out the first time, I always end up with not enough – I’m not sure why that is, but it is consistent. Better to take out a little bit less – I can always make the seam larger or trim more away, but if I take out too much, then I have to add strips of muslin which is not fun at all.

So, I trimmed out those pieces, re-pinned the seam, sewed it up and tried it on again.
Voila. Go back up to the top and compare this photo with the top photo. The flop is gone.

Next stop: The armpit.

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One Comment

  1. fuzzarelly says:

    I really appreciate that you take the time to post these things. I used to draft patterns for costumes, and I always liked the fitting aspect of the process. It was like solving puzzles, which is still one of my favorite pastimes.

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