Well, my wee audience, I've had a half a post going for ages now, waiting for me to upload photos, but I'm going to jump ahead and come back to that post. Because I've started another sewing class!
This time it's the advanced beginner, where you do your choice of project from a set list of patterns. I knew I wanted to do something more complicated - definitely not another skirt! My lastest obsession is proper fitting, so I decided to do either a pair of trousers (because how amazing would it be to be able to sew pants that actually fit?) or a dress (fitting the bodice; lining). In the end I decided to do the dress, even though it's going to be far too cold to wear it, because I really want to figure out how to deal with my top and bottom being different sizes.
Did you know that you should always start with a pattern that's the right size for the top, and then adjust from there? And that most patterns are built for a B cup? Two very important things that I've learned in my readings, particularly of the fantastic book, Fit for Real People. According to that book, you measure your high bust (under the arms, above the bust) instead of your actual bust, and start with that pattern size so that the shoulders and back fit properly. And then you make a Full Bust Adjustment if needed (or a Small Bust Adjustment, but that's not happening here).
So I did that, but I made the rookie mistake in not really believing my measurements. I ended up cutting one size smaller on top than bottom, because that fit with my regular bust size. I did a tissue fitting the first class (pinning the pattern on myself along the seam allowances), mostly to check the bust and the back length. And it seemed okay. But clearly I wasn't looking closely enough, because when I tried on my bodice once it was sewn (in the second class), it was really obvious that I should have cut one size smaller - it was quite big in the back and around the armholes. Plus it was a bit short in the front (because I didn't give myself the extra room with the FBA) and long in the back (because I am short-waisted). Basically all the problems I have with ready-to-wear dressses.
Next time, I tell you.
Anyway, the teacher pinned me up and I'm going to resew the seams, plus attempt to sew the lining with the new seams. It's mostly rescued, but it was an excellent lesson in what I'll need to do next time: cut 2 sizes smaller on top, do an FBA, shorted the back length and the shoulders, and do a good tissue fitting.
More to come!