Tuesday, February 18, 2014

georgia woes

I've got my pattern, got my fabric....  but no Georgia dress yet.  Per the sewalong instructions, I made a muslin of the dress bodice, and while I'm glad I did... it's been quite the ordeal! I've made FOUR versions thus far!

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.


  1. I was surprised at how little adjusting I had to do with my Georgia.
    My bust measurement put me at US6, waist US10, hips US6 and the grading wasn't too bad once I got my head around it.
    My first Georgia, the Valentines day one, didn't fit great around the bust even after SBA - the neckline didn't lay flat and it was kinda loose under the arms, but the straps held it up so no drama, but it was too late for adjustments so I left it.

    For my second one, I did SBA as well as taking a 3cm wedge out of the centre front bodice piece - in total taking out 6cm of the front neckline.
    I tried it on, it seems to fit better now but we won't know until the whole thing is sewn up and zipper is on.

    Do you have to do any adjustments on the figure hugging skirt??

    1. Glad to hear the grading isn't too bad! I haven't cut my skirt panels yet, but will do one in my test fabric to try the fit. It's the bottom half that makes me nervous about how it's going to look! My hips are almost the same width as my middle (not circumference, as I have a little bit of a round booty!), so I want to try and create more of an hourglass shape. Did you line you skirt?

  2. Rachel! I've written basically the same post as you, for the same reasons and with the same measurements and issues!!!! My bodice is a bloody nightmare but the skirt looks great. I basically threw it in the bin last week. I too did an FBA of 1 inch, had cut a 8, then 6 and taken 6cm out the back, it was still indecently low and pulling up on the front (plus I ruined with interfacing, dont try that!)

    So looking afresh a week later, I realise the sizing is slightly small on the Georgia (compared to the anna where I was an 8) and actually my full bust is more like 33.5/34 at the mo, which makes me a size 10 - this should help with coverage. Plus i need a slight FBA - I'm going to try 3/4 of an inch this time, plus I have a narrow back, so I'm going to take about 6cm out of this again. It also gapes, so I'll do a sloped seam on the bodice centre front. I will let you know if it works. In the meantime - did you crack it? What happened next? Any other ideas?

    1. I'm glad I'm not alone! I haven't tried to skirt part yet, although I suspect I'll have to alter a little to fit my 5' frame. I'm curious to find out if the sizing in the skirt ends up as wonky as the bust did for me. Let today I'll post a little more on how I fitted my bust. You might also want to check out this post: http://lladybird.com/2014/02/19/completed-a-lacy-georgia-a-giveaway/ as she's also quite petite but with bust fitting issues.