Here's what's happening for March:
16. Confusing, I tell you.
The bust part of this is gathered, not fitted, and the bottom is loose, so I thought I might be able to get away with a straight 18 and no FBA . But something like this definitely calls for a toile.
So, the obvious - not nearly enough room in the bust. Which I knew was going to happen. I'd originally planned to raise the upper bust line by a couple of inches when I cut out the muslin, but I forgot. And it's gaping around the armpit (although there's a bit of a seam allowance which won't be there. and I think I'm planning on doing one of the sleeves). Plus the bottom is too tight, and stops at exactly the widest part of my hips.
So new plan: cut the top in a 16 (which I think will also take care of how it's pulling so far to the back when I tie it, creating those lines around the waist), grading to a 20 in the bottom. Add 2 1/2" to the bottom of the front piece, curving down from the regular height on the sides (which fits fine - I just need the extra in the front). And cut the longer length; then I can hem it wherever it looks okay. I'm also rethinking the sleeve - I was originally going to do the little puffed sleeves in the main picture, but they'd probably not be super flattering on me. So maybe one of the fluttery sleeves? I'll have to check how much drape my fabric has.
In any case, all of this means I have to start again - retrace the pattern pieces (but now I've learned the benefit of tracing! If I'd cut the tissue pieces to the 18, I would have had to recreate the size 20 for the bottom this time around), cut them out, cut my fabric, sew it up. But it's all good. If I'd sewn this without a muslin, it would have been a waste of fabric - a complete wadder. And maybe it'll be faster this time around because I've sewn it once?
I'll be back soon with my completed February project! And probably with a vote - the skirt is super cute, but I can't decide if it's cute on me. STAY TUNED.