Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Lonsdale Muslin Doesn't Fit.

I am not very experienced in sewing for myself. I like to sew for my kids so fit isn't so particular. So one of my goals for this year is to do more sewing for me and tackle some fitting and pattern adjustment challenges that I usually avoid. So here is a big one!

I was pretty excited about making a Lonsdale Dress from Sewaholic, especially after following the sew-along last month. I even bought this fabric, and some pale pink lining, and was hoping to wear my finished dress to an early-fall wedding that is coming up in a few weeks.

I decided to make a muslin since my measurements don't fit the sizes very well. And I decided to make the whole dress, so that I could get some practice before I cut into my Anna Maria voile, which is not a cheap fabric.

It's a good thing I did because the bodice fits terribly! I made the size 8 and here it is with no adjustments...

Basically, it fits well around the waistband, but it's baggy below the bust, tight around the bust, and there is sag on either side of the bust near my arms. This tutorial should help a lot, but I am not sure I'll be able to figure it out for my own body without a dress form. And I don't want to use shirring on the back with the voile, although that would definitely help the issues back there. (There a gap at the top of the zipper because I used a 14" instead of a 16" for the muslin since I had one lying around.)

Elastic and a little tuck  like Sunni did should fix the gaping at the top edge I suppose, and a FBA would hopefully fix the squished side view, but I'm not sure about the area below the bust and the bunchy back. Will her sway back adjustment fix it?

Any suggestions? Encouragement? Will this pattern ever fit me?


  1. It looks like you need to do a full bust adjustment. The back looks pretty good, and the side seams are nice and straight, so that's good! The bodice is also a little long for you.

    I believe Tasia has a tutorial on the FBA (or will have one). It looks like you could cut at least a size down for the front bodice, then increase for your bust. That should eliminate the gapping I see toward your arm on the right of the picture as well as the space under your bust.

    Good luck! The shape of the dress looks wonderful on you.

  2. Hi Allie, I'm not the most experienced person in the world but I did have to make several adjustments to the Lonsdale. Definitely look at Sunni's blog - I followed that. I think you should do an FBA for sure - I should have done one too but I am not used to thinking of myself as FB. I got a lot of gaping at the tops-sides, I think you have said you have too.

    You also seem to be short-waisted - try taking a horizontal tuck from the front and back - pin it and see how it looks. I don't think it is a sway back problem but the fix it similar just you do the same all the way around rather than tapering the tuck.

    Sunni took a 'scoop' out from under the bust and I did that too to get a closer fit.

    Hopefully some others will comment. I used voile for mine as well and underlined it in batiste. It worked very well. I don't have any pics yet because I have to put the zipper in!

    Good Luck!

  3. Everything that Jane Elise is saying is what I would say too! Tasia (the pattern drafter) has a great FBA on this dress, so definitely have a peek. I think you could also use some of the adjustments I did. Take a slice out of the front below the bust. And do a horizontal tuck like Jane Elise is saying around the waist.

    Just so you know, my dress form is not my exact proportions and so I don't actually do a ton of a fitting with it. Whenever I'm trying to fit a garment, I first do a muslin, like you've done here, try it on inside out and pin out the excesses starting with seam allowances. After that, then I start messing with pinning out the excess outside of the seam allowance lines. Hopefully that makes sense. It's a little awkward, but you'll get the hang of it.

    Your muslin is looking great though! Don't worry, we all have fitting problems. I've never had a pattern fit me straight out of the envelope. Never. This is such a great pattern to start out with too! You'll make a wonderful dress, I just know it!

    xoxo, Sunni

  4. Thank you all! Yes, I have read Tasia's FBA tutorial. I wasn't sure if I should start from a smaller size to do the FBA, or just take this one in other places at the same time. Thanks for the tip about starting inside out and working from the seam allowances. I am definitely more encouraged to make this work.


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