) and a fair bit of cup-size flexibility), I’m afraid that people will pick up the pattern and be disappointed when it doesn’t fit them perfectly right off the bat.
So I want to talk a little bit about the things I’ve learned in the process of making clothes for myself over the years in hopes that some of these pointers will help some of you find ways to get a good fit when you make clothes for yourselves!
This means that to try out sizes, I trace them using swedish tracing paper first.
I know that “takes it up a notch” for some of you home sewists, but it is seriously one of the BEST supplies in my sewing room and I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
I started sewing clothing for myself right around junior high, and though I don’t remember much about that anymore, I’m pretty sure the first thing I ever sewed for myself garment-wise was a yellow cotton skirt.
I DO remember much of the clothing I made back then was pretty baggy and big, so fit wasn’t always much of an issue. Most people my age who started sewing when they were young share the same experience as I did: If you wanted to sew a piece of clothing for yourself, you would go to the fabric store, flip through the Mc Calls (or Simplicity or Butterick, Vogue was “too hard”) catalog, pick out a pattern you liked, find the fabric you liked, and then read the back of the pattern envelope to get your size and yardage.
For another, my body is far more curvy and dynamic than it used to be when I was 15 (Having two babies did not help.
I gained about 45 pounds when I was pregnant with Clementine and never lost all of it).
For one thing, it made me really excited to see how excited so many of you are for this pattern. (UPDATED: the Washi Dress is now available as a print-at-home pattern in my shop) But the other thing: I worry that some people might think that because I have spent so much time on the pattern, getting the bust darts just the way I want them, for example, that the bust darts will automatically be perfect for you as well.
It turns out that sliding a bust dart down (or up) is actually pretty easy as well! OK just realized that in the course of just one week I have used the words “boob” and “nipple” on this blog. Last week I finally came to terms with the fact that, being small-chested, I might have to occasionally do a small bust adjustment.
If a bust dart doesn’t point to your bust apex*, it will look weird. For women who are more largely-endowed, I have learned that knowing how to do a Full Bust Adjustment (or FBA) on any pattern is a) pretty easy once you learn and b) TOTALLY WORTH IT because oh my goodness things finally fit properly!!
I’ve found the swedish tracing paper pieces last longer than paper anyway (they can be pressed, sewed together, and are really hard to tear…they are actually similar to dryer sheets when it comes to tensile strength).
I talked about tracing patterns at the end of this post last year (pictured above).