Hi! I’m Rachel and I have a recently-rediscovered passion for sewing.
Cast your mind back to my recent completed make the Anna dress. As you may remember, my Anna was quite a test and I had a few hiccups with the bodice, squishing my assets in the process!
I managed to rescue my Anna after some frantic rework and was very pleased with the result, but now having completed my make I’m ready to work out how to avoid this in future. As such my next project Simplicity 8523 E is all about establishing fit and understanding my body shape.
Simplicity 8523 E is designed to be slightly loose fitting so why pick E you may ask?
I’ve chosen E as I believe looser fitting clothing can often be more difficult to get right than a fitted piece. As someone with a fairly curvy figure, a baggy fit can can often result in an unflattering outfit which hits all the largest parts of my body and only makes them seem bigger. My aim with E is to make a loose fitting top which still accentuates my figure and feels very feminine.
To first establish fit I measured my bust, waist, neck and back and found the following:
Bust = 34″ or UK Size 12 or European Size 38
Waist = 30″ or UK Size 16 or European Size 42
Hip = 38″ or UK Size 14 or European Size 40
Back (neck to waist) = 18″, no corresponding size as 0.5″ longer than the longest option!
Having purchased a pattern in UK sizes 8, 10 and 12 I was getting a little worried here but having looked at the finished garment measurements I chose to cut to a UK Size 12 which resulted in garment measurement of 38.5″.
As suspected in my Anna post, I do have a longer back length than average and so having established that the final garment length would be 23.75″ I decided to add an additional 1″ to length to ensure fit.
Slightly off topic here, but apologies for the can of custard in this image, I haven’t gotten around to purchasing proper pattern weights!
My main concern with cutting to a size 12 all over was the potential for a gaping neckline. My back does curve in towards the neck and I don’t have particularly broad shoulders. I have regularly had difficulties in finding clothing which fits in this area.
I heeded my own advice from my previous post and made a muslin of the front and back pieces of the top checking for both length and neckline fit. As suspected I found the top gaped ever so slightly at the neckline. Using a set of pins I marked the size of the gape and went back to my muslin, inserting two long, thin darts at the neckline. These darts made a huge difference to fit in this area, the muslin fabric curving to meet my neck.
Alterations complete, I set out to to cut my fabric. Come back soon to see the finished article!