Fitting dread and endless muslins
Folks, I muslined the Grainline Archer shirt yesterday. I can tell it’s a great pattern already; it’s drafted really well, and I just love View B with the gathered back section. But I gotta say that each time I muslin a new pattern, I feel this sense of dread and foreboding. I think that’s why I procrastinated so long making this pattern and pretty much just about any new pattern I want to sew.
I think about how I will have to make an FBA in every pattern and how that’s not a guarantee that it will fit. I think about how many muslins it will take to get the fit right. I think about how long it will take to get the fit right. And once you think you get it right, there’s always the wearing it for a day test. My Burda linen shirts (here) failed that test ultimately; I hardly ever wear them now. The FBA’s were successful on those shirts, but the back and arms were impossibly tight if my arms weren’t kept down at my sides at all times. I obviously didn’t raise my arms at all when I was fitting that shirt last year. Ugh. So my beautiful purple linen shirt just taunts me every time I walk into the closet.
But back to the muslin of the Archer shirt. Yes, I did manage to make one. I traced and cut out a size 8 based on my upper bust measurement. I thought that size, combined with a 1/2 inch FBA (total of 1 inch increase) and the largish ease of the shirt, I was sure to have a winner right off the bat. Surely my muslin with FBA included would fit perfectly and I could cut out my beloved purple buffalo plaid shirting immediately after.
Having learned my hard-earned lesson of raising your arms when checking fit, I learned that the size 8 was too small, even with my FBA. *sigh*
NOTES: I made up the muslin without the gathered back bottom or collar and cuffs. I didn’t think they were necessary to check fit. Oh one more thing, I sewed up both of my sleeves for this muslin for a reason. I know some people only sew up one sleeve on muslins, but having had issues with sleeve and back tightness before, I wanted to be sure that I could raise my arms, both of them, in the muslin. One sleeve wouldn’t have ensured that.
I sent these pictures to a couple of sewing friends and they confirmed what I suspected. I should probably go up a size and maybe increase the FBA, but keep the shoulders the same.
So guess what I’m doing today? Yep, making another muslin. I can feel the dread creeping in already. In fact, I’m procrastinating right now by writing this post instead of tracing out the new pattern. Hah!
Now I want to reiterate that my fitting woes have nothing to do with the pattern. I would have these problems with any pattern when you take my middle aged body (lack of defined waist) and D cup boobage into consideration. That’s what gets me down. I know fitting is a huge learning curve, but I’m just a little tired of it all at this stage. I just want to be able to sew something without endless muslins. I realize that eventually I will have a few TNT patterns, but the process of getting there is just so painful and slow.
I don’t mean to be a debbie downer here. I am just a little frustrated with all this fitting angst. Ok, enough procrastination, I’m off to sew up another muslin.
Wish me luck!