2009-05-134: Fit02

I’m pleased to share the Second Fitting of Burda Style 133 July 1996.

Although I said yesterday I didn’t think I would change the back, that is where I made the first changes (plural intended).  I kept looking at the pics and thinking had I been in the Dress Barn I would have ask the associate to go find me the next smaller size.   Happily, all the seams are basted together with Water Soluble Thread and they therefore separated in a flash, and were pressed in less than 5 minutes.  I could perhaps have not undone all the seams. I’ve done that in the past. Opened up only the seam that I knew needed to adjust.  Many times that works well. Many times that’s when I make mistakes. Folds occur and are stitched down. Snips, snip through to other layers. That sort of thing. So I prefer to baste the seams and then open them all up. Right, on to the back:



I felt like the neck was too wide. Treena who has similar shoulder-fit issues often fills in the neckline at the shoulder when working with Burda patterns. I considered adding princess seams but decided that adding a 1/4″ center back seam would fix both issues at the same time.  The neckline is 1/2″ smaller. The back is now “my size” instead of the 48 I traced and cut. Despite my complaints, I do like Burda patterns and styles.  Their basic block doesn’t change. Although ease is altered according to trends.  What that boils down to is that once I know the steps needed to get Burda patterns to fit, I can use the same steps with every Burda pattern. Interestingly, it can be a lot of steps but I won’t think anything about it because it becomes habit and I whip through the changes.  So far, I think I need to trace a size 46 bodice; make my NSA and BWL and the check the back neckline for position and width. 

For the ‘skirt’ or lower bodice I increased the size of the princess seams 1/4″ in effect making this a size 48 instead of the size 50 traced. I starting addressing the proportions of the blouse by offsetting the empire line. The bodice portion is 1-1/4″ higher. The skirt portion is the same length. I see the planes of my buttocks catching light.  I’m unsure if the issue is created by raising the empire line or increasing the princess seams.  Since I prefer in this style to skim over my back curves, I will offset those 1″ side seams and add a little circumference. For future reference, I will trace a size 48 across the hip and make 1″ seam allowances so circumference across the hip can be adapted as desired.

Basically the back is exactly what I want. I need to make those changes permanent.

Let’s check out the sides

I’m hoping they  display side by side when you view them.  I’m ignoring most of the drag lines on my left side.  I’ve pulled my arm up and forward to point out that my back and front empire line is misaligned.  I’m rather annoyed because I calculated; marked; and then compared the marks. The should line up perfectly but they are 1/2″ off at the empire line and hem.  Drat! I’ll have to fix this before putting the empire line in permanently. I’m encouraged because at this point the hem still looks level instead of my usual high-waters front.  Which tells me that I may have been right. I transferred my shoulder line by aligning my sloper at the shoulder points instead of the neck.  Using this alignment, the shoulder point and armscye are unaltered. The slope and the neckline do change which at a minimum could affect neck facings, collars, anything along the neckline.  I’m also pleased that I don’t see the deep drag lines from bust to side seam. Yes there are some lines coming out at the underarm. I already plan to release the side seams a little to add circumference over the hip.  I’ll just extended that up to the underarm and give my bust a little more room.  The lines from bust to empire I’m pretty sure are because of the style line.  All the darts which create fit around the breast (shoulder, armscye waist) were rotated to the waist dart and then released.  A dart is not sewn but the area is gathered.  In Fit 01, I gather exactly as indicated on the pattern which created deep crinkles under the bust.  I remember this look from my grandmother who eschewed  bras as being “too restricting”.  Possibly a result of her ‘wild’ youth (which she would deny). She came of age and was bearing her children during the Roaring Twenties.  I did’t know her until her 50’s and 60’s at which time her breast tissue at dropped to about waist height. The girls sag if they are not supported. That’s just the way the female human body develops with age.   I remember and recoil from the vision of breast fullness suggested just above waist belt. I therefore in the 2nd fitting, extended the gathering/ease line from the front mark out to the side seam.  My method to adjust the ease/gathers of the bust fullness is causing those lines between apex and empire line.  I don’t think the sides are as wonderful as the back, right now, but I won’t throw this in the trash either.  I still have time and ideas.

As with the back, I really wanted to add princess seams to the upper bodice. Alas, I have no confidence that I could make this change and make it symmetrical.  Instead I added a 1cm seam where Burda had indicated to fold the facing.  The attached folded facing is a very nice detail.  It reduces the number of seams to be sewn and reduces bulk in this seam. But I thought it would be the easiest and my most elegant method of removing excess circumference across the front. It did raise the neckline. The V now ends at the top of my cleavage.  I’ll still be wearing a lace camisole but at lease when I breathe deeply the bodice doesn’t fly open revealing all of me to the world.  In conjunction with the new center back seam, the neck now sits about right.  I do see an issue.  The neck seems to stand-off from the body a little. Keep in mind that while the front is faced interfaced and secured in final position the back neck is only serge finished to keep it from raveling. The garment is missing 2 layers of fabric. How will it be effected when I add those layers and stitching? Also the hollows above my bust are clear because the blouse fabric folds into them. I’m thinking the front shoulders may still be a bit wide.  I noticed that when I drew my shoulder slope that I extended it another half-inch into the neck. At the time I didn’t give it any real thought. I supposed that the garment would hug my body. It obviously does not.  For now, I will baste in the back facing then  pinch out and reshape the shoulder slope just a bit.

As with the back, I also offset the front empire line raising it 1″.  I like this proportion both front and back and will keep the proportion.  For fitting, I added 1″ seam allowances along the front bodice and skirt empire lines so that I could adjust if the hem was unlevel.  At this point, I’m thinking that’s really not needed.  Reducing the seam allowances will allow more accuracy when it comes to aligning the front and back empire line.


OK so next fitting should keep the proportions of the empire and have reduced seam allowances along the empire line both front and back. Permanent stitching for the center back and center front seams. Back facing attached and side seams a smidge narrower.  Hmm anything else?


2 thoughts on “2009-05-134: Fit02

  1. Ooh-la-la, that back is flattering! Nice work. Just out of curiosity, what size does your neck circumference correspond to in the Burda sizing? I ask only because the 1/4″ tuck seems like it might be a bit more than just one size (ie from 48 to 46) and the neck circumference might be a good double check. RCarr said that this measurement in Burda reflected the bone structure & sizing for the upper body whereas the others measured both bone & flesh.

    For some reason, the front of the sleeves look considerably fuller than the back of the sleeve. Could it be that the sleeve might need to be rotated a bit in the armsyce?

    Looking forward to seeing your final dress.

    • Thank you. I’ve never really thought of the neck circumference beyond not too tight and final appearance. I’m not really familiar with R Carr’s work.


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