McCall’s muslin monstrosity

I love a bit of alliteration, don’t you? This post is going to be pictureless and a bit spazzy, because it was written over the course of a few days and I’m not sure how to go about fixing it too much while still saying everything I want to. A gifted writer I am not, but you already knew that. 😛

So I have been working on my muslin, sort of. I had plenty of holdbacks of the usual sort, ran out of muslin, guests, unexpected charity work, that sort of thing. Anyway, so I sewed up the bodice muslin last night, and it truly is a monstrosity…or maybe it’s my body that is a deformed monstrosity–nothing like making (or buying) clothing to make you feel like a complete and total mutant, wouldn’t you agree?

As per usual, I added an FBA to this baby, but after a recent growth spurt (seriously, boobs, please quit growing!!) I realized that I was going to need to amp up the adjustment, so I added a 2″ FBA. The funny thing is that the exact amount that I added to the bust area needs taken out just above the bust, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to go about it doing it. The shoulders are also really wide, so they’ll have to be fixed too–sleeves aren’t supposed to start 3″ down your arm.

So as you can imagine, after trying on my muslin, I went and searched through my books to see if there was a reference to an alteration that looked like it might fix my problem. I have two good sources, one is a 3 ring binder “Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book” from 1972, and the other is the Nancy Zieman “Pattern Fitting with Confidence” from a couple of years ago.

Edit: I used the Zieman method, but unfortunately for muslin 1.5, it made the shoulders slope too much, and narrowed the shoulders about 1/2″ too much. Actually, this is mostly my fault, it’s an alteration for narrow sloping shoulders, and I’ve only got the narrow part, sloping is apparently not an issue that I have (I’m embarrassed to admit that I was previously a bit unsure). However, between doing that and widening the sleeve, my range of motion is pretty awesome. I think once I un-slope the shoulders and give just a titch more of width to the sleeves, I should be pretty close to being able to cut into my wool. I still need to test out the skirted portion though, because I’ve never worn a circle skirt, so have no idea how they look on my body. Hopefully the muslin will give me an idea even if it isn’t exactly the right drape for the cut.

I also have muslin 2.0 which is only half a bodice (note: I don’t recommend doing this–it’s really hard to determine fit this way, IMO) for which I fixed the shoulder slope, added more width to the sleeves, as well as doing this kind of neat adjustment to them where you scoop out the front curve of the sleeve and flatten the curve on the back–my sleeves are still too small, and also too small for the current armscye, however, I’m almost there. And I’ve got incredible mobility even though the sleeves are still too tight for bulky sweaters. Like I’ve literally never had such freedom of movement. I’m seriously considering drafting my own bodice block with these changes so that they are prepped and ready for future garments, I’m so excited about my ability to move my arms without pulling/straining/riding up. It’s like a fitting epiphany. I think I hear angels singing…..anyway, I think you get the point. 😉

So anyway, if any of you out there are more of a column shape (aka barrel-chested) vs. being an oval shape, stay tuned, because I have tons of pictures to help you as soon as I relocate the cord for my camera and get them uploaded. I’ll probably make that as a separate post(s), to make the process easier to understand.


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