Fitting aggravation

I finally sewed up my muslin of Burda 132-04-2011. And the result is a resounding meh. The line art is below.

The original pattern is designed for leather, and maybe this is the problem. My muslin, obviously, is in a woven: a fairly coarse, loose weave fabric that feels like linen or a linen blend. There’s no single glaringly obvious problem with the fit, but everything – and I mean everything – is a little bit off. So much so that I don’t know where to start to improve it. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures right now so I’ll just have to try to describe it. The shoulder seams are quite a bit too far back. Ok, that’s fairly normal for me. The waist is too low. That’s not normal at all. I’m really tall and most of my extra height is in my torso. Waists are never too low. The bust darts are too high. This is starting to sound like I went seriously wrong when lengthening the pattern, which I could believe. But even after that there’s something really odd going on with the underarms. There’s clearly too much fabric there when my arms are by my sides, but if I pinch it out I can’t reach forward! And yet the amount of ease around the bust and across my back seems about right.

The one thing I do know how to fix is the gapping back neckline. So that leaves me with about four other problems that I don’t really know what to do about. I vaguely recall reading somewhere that you should fix fit problems working from the top down, as one fix affects another. That makes sense as I have the impression that fixing the shoulders is likely to make the low waist and the underarms worse.

Apart from the fit problems I also managed to cut the skirt front as two pieces, instead of on the fold as I intended, but I seem to have also added seam allowances in the right places so that isn’t the end of the world. It just looks odd. I’ll just have to remember not to do that with the real fabric, assuming I ever get to the point of cutting the real fabric. Right now that’s looking unlikely! Hopefully it’ll look better tomorrow. I’m giving up for tonight.

3 thoughts on “Fitting aggravation

  1. I have a theory. I remember reading about something that could help.
    If the pattern was designed for leather and your fabric is much thinner this could make a significant difference. Beacause of the thickness of the leather the pattern will have to have a certain amount of “turn of cloth allowance” built into the pattern which could account for possibly an extra 2-3mm on every single seam.
    Read here for an explanation:

    I should think this will add up to a significant amount in every direction when you add it up across the whole garment. My best guess, would be to unpick eveything (sorry!) and sew it all again with an extra 2-3mm added to all your seam allowances and see where that gets you. Or course I could be talking total crap, but it seems reasonablethat this would account for at least some of the issues.
    Good luck!

  2. I thought the same thing as Portia. But I understand if you just need to take a break from this. Sometimes it’s just not worth the agony. 😉

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