August 4, 2011

Update on My First Dress

So.....this dress...I completed the construction of the entire top of the dress and although it looked put together pretty well, it was HUGE!  I kept thinking, surely when I put the elastic and gathers in, it will pull it together somehow.  Well folks, no such luck.  Answer:  Deconstruct the entire bodice, cut down each piece to the correct size and reconstruct. 

This being the first garment I've ever made, my class instructor helped me out with choosing the right size.  We did all the basic body measurements; upper bust, full bust, waist, hip, back, etc. and then she told me to choose the pattern size that most closely matched my largest measurement and alter from there.  Here is where I lost my way.  What I did not know, until just recently, is that all patterns are made for a B cup.  Now, being a DD, my full bust measurement was the largest. 

Imagine my surprise when the bodice was finished...the shoulders were hanging to my elbows and the bodice didn't cover the bottom of my bust.  In fact, it cut me in half yet was wide enough to fit me and half another person.  "How do you alter that?  I screamed".

After a few frustrating comments (not to be repeated here) and a walk away from the sewing table, I began to research this issue.  Low and behold there were tons of articles out here on how to properly size a pattern.  I find out that for dresses, blouses and jackets, I should use my upper bust measurement for pattern size and then do a "Full Bust Alteration", FBA for short, to accommodate the difference from a B to a DD.  Luckily I purchased over the amount of material needed so I had just enough to recut the bodice and include the FBA.  Meanwhile, my pattern size dropped 4 sizes, with plenty of wiggle room!!!  Now that I can live with much better :)

The dress is coming along nicely with the new bodice.  Tonight I will gather the bottom of the bodice, finish the sleeve and skirt attachment and perhaps install the zipper.  Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the before but will try to take them more often with each step for this and upcoming blogs.

Here's the progress as of today.  The finished bodice will be gathered at the bottom before attaching to the skirt.  I've yet to invest in a body double or try my hand at creating a "Duct Tape Form" so for now a hanger is my fitting partner.  The picture quality is not great either...need to invest is a real camera and not my phone.


  1. I think you are doing a GREAT job, albeit I don't see you in the evening because you are busy "constructing" away! Perhaps you'll have it finished in time for the beach this weekend? Wouldn't it be nice to have that blowing in the breeze whilst walking hand-in-hand strolling amid the sand and surf with a cocktail in tow?!

  2. Why yes, My Dear, yes it would be nice. You just gave me several more reasons to get this dress completed!