I must have tried this muslin on 5 times to evaluate how the blouse really fit. It was cut at a size 4 all around, but it was still gaping at the back of the neck and a little more snug than I’d like for a blouse in the body, so I did some googling regarding the Jasmine pattern and ‘fit’ and found that a lot of people who normally would have to make adjustments to the back of their patterns, simply didn’t need to with this pattern, because of the way the center-back was shaped.
I figured that the ‘shaping’ at the top of the center back was the culprit for my gaping back neckline, so I cut off the center back part that curved out, and made it so it traveled in a straight line from where the pattern curved in at the waistline to the top of the neck. It worked! I guess that all those years of my mom nagging me about good posture also worked…
Above is a crude drawing of the altered pattern piece (black is the original shape-ish, green is the new shape).
I realized after making this adjustment that I really needed to make a more ‘proper’ muslin – at least one that is cut on the proper grain line and with at least one sleeve.
A few blocks from my house is a fabric store that has big ‘going out of business’ signs in front, so I popped in there to see if I could find some suitably cheap muslin fabric. I spoke to the woman behind the counter and told her that I was looking for fabric to test a garment that would be created from a fabric slightly heavier than a cotton voile. She pointed me to the ‘turban cotton’ for $1.50 per yard. I bought 10 yards. And you know I’ll be back for more. This stuff is the perfect muslin fabric.
Yesterday afternoon, I set to work re-tracing the pattern onto parchment paper (again!). I traced the size 4 in the shoulders, size 6 in the bust/waist/hips, and a size 10 in the length. For the sleeve, since I’ve opted to do Version 1 (with the puff sleeve – or ‘princess sleeve’ as it’s known in my house), I cut the size 4 sleeve, with a size 12 arm band. I’ve always had trouble with getting the arms of blouses to fit. Even when I weighed 120 lbs I couldn’t get my arms to fit into a blouse that fit me everywhere else. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m a freak. Okay, in reality I haven’t accepted it at all and it still makes me sad.
I’ve discovered that I like this pattern grading thing. So easy! I was pleased with the results too. I only sewed one sleeve on and only seamed one side seam, but I was able to tell that the bodice fit was excellent. Thank GOD!! I swear, I’m going to make 100 of these to make the fitting process worthwhile.
I’m also thinking I should make a copy of my parchment paper and keep it in a safe deposit box or something.
The only adjustment I need to make is with that darn arm band! I’m estimating that I need another half and inch, which puts it up to a size 14 arm band, but at least the sleeve itself fits well. Since there is a little bit of gathering at the cuff/arm band join, I’m thinking of grading the bottom of the sleeve out a little to keep a bit more of that gathering.
My plan for today is to re-cut the arm band and sew it onto the sleeve, just to be totally certain it’s the right fit before cutting into the ‘good fabric’.