Thursday, February 20, 2014

a little more georgia...

First of all, some exciting blog news: I REACHED 10,000 PAGE VIEWS TODAY! I still think it is so incredibly cool that people all over the world are interested in my sewing adventure. The sewing blogger community is just amazing, and I feel honored to be a part of it!

But moving on...

In response to a comment on my last post, I thought today I'd go a little bit more into how I went about troubleshooting my Georgia Dress bodice fitting troubles.

Here is my first attempt in a size 10:

I have a 36" bust, so I fall right in between the the US size 8 and 10. While the cups fit ok in shape and volume, the princess seams do not fall over the bust apex as they should, the side seam on the left is way too far back, and as you can see there is at least 4 extra inches of fabric on the right side seam. The size 8 really didn't look too much different, this time with more like 3 extra inches, even though according to the envelope the finished garment measurement is 35.5", that's 1/2" less than my actual bust measurement. Knowing that I needed to loose 2-3 inches, I decided to go right to the size 4 with a bust measurement of 33.5", 2" less than the size 8. I should mention that with these test garments, I have not taken in 5/8" seam allowance on the top and bottom, so the bodice when finished will actually be 1 1/4" smaller vertically. The size 4 pattern pieces looked very narrow, so to try to add a little more height to the neckline, and because my difference between high bust and full bust measurements is 2-3" (c-cup range), I did a 1/2" Full Bust Adjustment as recommended on the By Hand London Georgia Dress Sewalong.
On a side note: I was really surprised by how much I like this blue floral fabric as a bodice! Maybe a blue floral bra-top or bikini in my future?

As you can see the fit is much better, and the neckline while still low is not too low after considering the 5/8" seam allowance.  BUT I was seeing some sagging around the bust apex that I could not press out, a little easier to see in the second picture:

Of course I did my fitting without a t-shirt and cami underneath, and the sagging was even more prevalent without that tiny bid of added width from the extra shirts. Looking back to the By Hand London blog post on bodice fitting, it looked like the image demonstrating the need for a Small Bust Adjustment:

georgia dress sewalong - fba & sba - by hand london
Image from

There was too much volume in that area of the bodice. So that's why I decided to try the size 4 without the FBA, obtaining a higher neckline by only using a 1/4" seam allowance on the top instead of the 5/8". It seemed to work! 

My black sateen from sewed up beautifully, and pressed nicely to lay smooth over the shape of my bust.

I used my final muslin as the lining, and after all that leg work it came together perfectly!

The instructions call for sewing the straps on both the front and back of the bodice by sandwiching them between the lining and main fabric. I opted to only attach the front at this point, knowing from experience that I will have to shorten the straps quite a bit once I'm able to try on the near-finished dress. At that point, I'll sew in the back of the strap by hand. 

I hope to sew up a test garment for the skirt this afternoon, so expect an update soon!


  1. It's looking great! All the fitting work you're putting in is really paying off :)

  2. Good stuff!! It's been great following your progress :)

    1. Thanks! And your maxi-georgia came out awesome!

  3. YEY! Well done on the 10,000 views and the great fitting - looks like the home straight now. Glad it's not just me who could literally sew this bodice up with my eyes shut I've practiced so many times. Lovely fabric and I cannot wait to see the finale! Are you going short or long?!

    1. I thought I was on the home straight, too... but tonight I was fighting with Georgia! I'm trying to get the correct strap length... easy, right?!?! Not when you have to fit on yourself by yourself! I've sewn them on, then unpicked off the straps three times this evening. And I'm having similar issues attempting the skirt fitting on myself, by myself. Sigh.... Maybe this weekend I can take it up to my mom's and ask her to help with the fitting.

    2. And then I'll decided on the final skirt length once I see the final fit of the skirt. :)