As promised, I’m back today with some photos and thoughts about the muslin for my B6385. After having a look at the finished bust, waist and hip measurements I decided to start with a size 10 up top and grade out to a 12 at the hip. This pattern also very helpfully includes cup sizing, and the difference between my bust & high bust put me in the C range. (For reference my measurements are 35 1/2 bust, 34 high bust, 28 waist, 39 1/2 hip) I realize I took a bit of a risk here going with a smaller amount of ease but I really don’t want this tailored coat to come up big.
My test fabric is a stiff mid-heavy weight cotton-like fabric that was passed on to me. It’s not something I’d use as a main fabric so I was happy to have it on hand for this project. I don’t know if it’s just me but I feel like I’m dressed for a stage production of Oliver Twist. I’m finding that a bit distracting, so I hope the black & white filter will help us focus! It also disguises the sweaty fluster of wearing a coat in 90 degree weather.
Off the bat, I think the front looks pretty good. I’m not hugely critical of a coat’s fit so I may be oversimplifying here, but I think this is fine. I think the cup sizing gives some nice shaping without being too fitted. It’s a bit longer than I expected, and I’m pretty average at 5’5”. I may shorten it a bit, I’ll just lop it off the end - no pattern adjustment necessary. The bigger problems start when I turn around.
Clearly there is an unacceptable amount of pooling at the lower back. I presume this is a result of extra room around the waist up against a snug fit around the bum (more on that later). On the positive, the upper back looks pretty good to me.
The side view is okay with me as well. The sleeves are not hemmed, just tucked under, but the length seems good.
Here’s the part I’m a bit stumped at. Mobility. I am very squirmy/twitchy and I don’t like to feel restricted. So, how much mobility should I expect to have in a coat like this? I think I have plenty of room around the upper circumference of the chest/back so the issue must be in the arms. The armscye seems to be fitted right and the sleeves don’t feel tight when they’re at my sides, but when I move around they do.
It feels tightest right about here. Would this be considered a full bicep adjustment or do I have broad shoulders? The affected area seems to be in between the two regions. Or should I not expect to have this much range of motion? This fabric is pretty stiff and I know my wool will give a lot more… Plus I think the sleeves look pretty good, I don’t want them to look disproportionately bigger… What should I do???
First thing I did was let the two back side seams out, grading down to a scant 1/4” starting at the high hip. I knew it wouldn’t hurt to have some extra room around the bum and I think that resolved most of the pooling at the lower back. After that I fiddled around with taking in those same seams at the waist and above, but it really didn’t help smooth it out and I don’t want a tight overfitted coat. At that point I put the whole thing aside. I had settled on hoping that the combination of my wool plus flannel underling would disguise the current rippling well enough. But a couple hours later I had an epiphany!
I am very short waisted! Maybe the extra fabric is a lengthwise issue, not a widthwise one. Since there is no waist seem it didn’t hit me at first but, duh! - there’s no reason I can’t shorten it there anyway. I had already moved on to making dinner by this point, so I quickly pinned in about 1/2” at the center back horizontally and tapered it out to the side seams to snap a quick photo. I think that just may be the ticket!
At this point, I’m planning to keep the size 10 at the top but now grade out to a 14 at the hip. I’m also going to shorten the length about 1/2” at the waistline across all pattern pieces. In the meantime, if anyone has thoughts about my arm mobility issue, I’d love to hear your feedback. I should probably read about both fit adjustments to educate myself but honestly I’d rather get the abridged version from you all.
Thanks for following along! It may be a while until the next installment of the series is ready. I’m about to embark on the treacherous adventure of lace wedding dress sewing, so we’ll see how much selfish sewing I squeeze in the next couple of months!