Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Fitting the Nicola dress

I've been steadily making progress with my Nicola dress from Victory Patterns. I say steadily as I have to make three toiles of the bodice to make sure it fit. Wrap dresses are notorious for not fitting well due to the cross over of fabric and I anticipated making some changes but not three test runs!

After reading up on the pattern I definitely knew that I would have to make some changes. The cross over of the wrap and the height of the armhols seem to be common issues. I also anticipated making changes to the front of the pattern where I generally need a little extra fabric. I started by cutting a 10 at the bust, graded up to a 12 at the waist and then back down to a 10 at the hips, which gave me this:

Nicola fitting v1 front

Nicola fitting v1 back

The good parts: 

  • The bodice and skirt length are perfect and the sleeves didn't need any alterations.
  • The armholes are a tad higher than normal but it isn't annoying and therefore I didn't bother to make any alterations here. 
Changes needed: 

  • The dress didn't fit around my waist properly. It closed about 2-2.5cm away from where it should. The dress should close where the final pleat is and it clearly isn't in the top photo - only just reaching the second.
  • The cross over is indecently low - totally revealing low! I also had drag lines on the back of the bodice meaning a full bust adjustment (FBA) was needed. I later found out that Victory draft for a B cup and I'm quite a few cups bigger. 

Second fitting

Nicola v2 front 

Nicola v2 side

Changes made:

  • A 2.5cm FBA. It took a while to figure out how to do this on a bodice that contains three pleats at the bottom and no side dart. In the end I followed the normal process for a FBA, creating the side dart. I then rotated the side dart to the bottom ensuring that it was evenly divided between the three pleats. Does that make sense? I'm happy to share how I did it if that would be helpful. 

Result:

  • Perfect fit around the waist -  the dress closed at the third pleat. 
  • The neckline isn't so revealing although still a little low.
  • Large amount of gaping in the neckline as the unintended but not expected consequence of the FBA. 

Third fitting

Apologies for the state of my hair in this photo - this is how it looks when I let it fall naturally!

Nicola bodice v3

Changes made:

  • Neckline raised by 1cm in the middle, tapering to nothing at the shoulders and waist, as I only needed the extra cover across my bust. 
  • Pinched out about 2.5-3cm from the neckline, tapering to nothing inside the bodice, to solve the gaping. It isn't perfect but adding some twill tape to stabilise the neckline should help it lay flat in my finished version. 
Now I just hope it all translates properly to my fabric which has been waiting patiently to be transformed...




14 comments:

  1. Wow, thank you for this detailed post! I am amazed at how patient you've been (I couldn't have...), but the end result will definitely be worth it. It looks fab after the third toile. Fitting is incredibly daunting for lazy people like me, so it is fascinating to see how it is done by others. The most difficult part, I think, is to determine WHY you have a fitting problem to be able to solve it, but I guess that comes with practice.
    I'll have more time to sew after next week (fingers crossed), so please please please, let's have a fitting party one day!

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  2. Oh, I forgot to ask. Any comments about Victory Patterns? I own a pattern by them but I haven't found much info about it online. Do they come true to size?

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    1. I think you're right - understanding fitting is the most difficult part. Learning to read the toile to work out what changes you need to make takes time but I think it is worth it. Reading fitting posts and investing in Fit for Real People has helped me a lot. It becomes less daunting when you know what you need to do. I'm up for a fitting party once you're able to come up for air and I'll cover your question in my finished item post.

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  3. The three goes have really made an amazing difference! I can't wait to see how the finished article comes out - hats off for having the patience to persevere like that!!

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    1. Thanks! Hopefully the dress will be finished soon.

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  4. I admire your patience to make three toiles! It's worth it though for the perfect fit. Good luck with the real thing!

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    1. Thanks, Lynne. Fingers crossed it translates well.

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  5. Wow Claire you put me to shame. I haven't muslin fitted anything in the last couple of months. It's amazing how you transformed the dress and that you are still smiling when molding muslin no 3 :) I'm looking forward to see your dress soon. Any chance you are going to wear it for the sewbrum2014? Than I can see it in live, hehe. I'm interested in how you did the adjustment. I'm sure I could translate this into a

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    1. Sba as well. *stupid ipad* didn't let me finish the sentence!

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    2. It was actually your NS post on muslins that made me take the time with getting the fit right! I'll share how I did the FBA soon. The dress should be ready for Sewbrum so you might be in luck!

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  6. Wow, I'm so impressed with your perseverance. The final dress will be so much more special as a result! I really need to get better at fitting, very inspiring!

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    1. Thanks, Katy. Your items always look like a good fit though.

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  7. Good going with sticking with it. I look forward to seeing the finished dress! Is it bad that I didn't think it looked too low cut in the first pic ;) evidently you have a bit more decency than I do!

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    1. Haha! Without the cami and a pin to keep it closed you could see an awful lot in the first fitting! Wearing it without something underneath just wasn't an option.

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