|Three of my four bodice test-garments.|
I measure in between the US size 8 and 10, so for my first test I cut a 10. I used what I assume is a quilt cotton that I got from my mom's stash, that has a small amount of 2-way stretch, similar to my sateen. Once I got it on... it was like 4 inches too big! So I cut an 8 and still too big by 2-3 inches. This seemed odd, as the finished bust measurement given for size 8 on the envelope was smaller than my actual bust measurement!
Knowing that I needed to shave off a number on inches, I cut a size 4 next. The 4 would in no way be wide enough to cover my C-cup bust (WAY too much cleavage!), so I did a a 1/2" FBA as shown in the sewalong to try to add a little more height. The sizing worked both around and in bust height... except the shape of the cup was way off! So frustrated! How could I get the bodice to be snug enough around, yet high enough to cover my bust, and still have the shape of the cup lay smoothly?!?! So I went to bed.
Today, with fresh eyes, I tried again. I made a straight size four. (That's a finished bust measurement supposedly 2.5" less than my actual bust measurement..... makes no sense!) The cups laid nicely and the bodice was just right around. To add a little more height to the neckline, I've decided to sew the neckline with a 1/4" seam allowance instead of 5/8". I hope this will give me the coverage I'm looking for without sacrificing the fit. Now I'll have to be careful when grading out my size 4 bodice to the 8/10 waist and hips, and will probably do a test for that as well.
I signed up for this project to try to learn how to better fit for my body. To be honest, I don't feel like I've actually learned anything useful for fitting other garments in the future, except to keep trying different things until you get it right, even if what ends up right doesn't make any sense!
On a side note, don't you love that test fabric? Folded up on my fabric shelves, I would never have picked it for a garment! But once cut and sewn into a delicate fitted bodice like this, the floral really kinda shines! So I've decided to use my final test-garment for the lining of the dress, and have plenty more for something blue and floral on the outside in the future.