Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Challenge: Long Distance Fitting

The sewist (me) is in Missouri, the client (my sister) is in Florida, the facilitator (our mom) willing to hold the pins and do the fitting is with the client at the moment, and the other facilitator, just as critical to the process, is the photographer (my brother-in-law).
Last night, while on the phone for an hour, this is what we accomplished

The pattern, Vogue 8369 (as always, click on image to be taken to Vogue Pattern site)

This time, I made the muslins in Muslin - Eureka! You can draw on it, cut it, and not worry about having to have a wearable garment in the end.

The composite shot below shows the progression:
1. the jacket front, with sleeve slid up arm but not sewn in, and although I'd asked for a pic with no pinning done yet, I see there is a pin on the right front princess seam - oh well, we all get the idea.
2. instruction #1, release princess seam above bustline and take in Front only, leaving side front width exactly as is. Much better
3. Princess seam at hemline needs to be released and grain line on front pulled toward center again, to close front at hemline. This may necessitate a wedge of more muslin to be inserted here - the seam allowance may not provide enough fabric to keep everything in order.
4. I've drawn an elipse and highlighted it with the glow to show where the side seam needs to be opened up at the waist level and just above and below - to eliminate those drag lines going on there.
The fit now is very close now.
The back. I drew on the first pic, using the elipse and draw and gave instructions to first let out the princess seams at the waist level about 1/4" on each side - total gives an inch of ease then in the waist,
Then to pin out a 3/4" wedge across the back. Notice how all the drag lines are gone at the underarm area and the fit is much better.

We are now working on the muslin for V2975.
There is a lot of work to be done on this one.
The armscye is too high and tight, the CF's don't meet, the neckline lapel begins to low.
I determined that the first change that needed to be made was releasing the stitching holding the jacket body to the Yokes, and dropping it down a bit. That solved a myriad of problems.

But there are still issues. I don't know if the rest of the fitting will take place tonight, tomorrow, or on the weekend. Depends on the schedules of those in Florida.
The side seam has swung to the back.
It is cumbersome fitting this way. Things I would do intuitively I have to think through and put into language that is comprehensible on the other end. Because I only have snapshots, I'm not seeing the whole picture. Late last night I was telling them how to open up the side seam to bring it back into alignment, then they quit for the night, and my sister sent me another group of pictures, and I had that aha moment - the side seam won't need all that adjusting when the side front is swung back around.
I had them pin the jacket new CF line to my sisters top - that was a mistake. Next time, I'm going to have them pin the new CF's together - then pivot the side front so that the grainline is again vertical - somehow it got all wonky and is all angled to the back now. You probably can't see it in this picture, because it is only drawn on the muslin rather than stitched in. but that side panel needs rotating back into place. This jacket is going to require another muslin once it comes back, to check all the changes that got made, before I cut into the wool.

oh, and a pssst:
I succumbed this AM to the 25% off sale at FabricMart.
Got this
62" Wide
Herringbone Suiting
60% Rayon 40% Silk
Color: Gold with navy and burgundy pinstripes
Care: Dry Clean
and this
60" Wide
Silk and Rayon Blend Twill weave suiting
Soft hand great drape
Color: Natural off white..Medium weight
Care: Dry Clean

If you haven't been following the chatter on the sewing chat boards, you may have missed this:
Fashion is growing up again - Thank Heavens!


Els said...

You are doing fine with the distance fitting, my suggestion which helps in fitting is to mark the bust and waist and hop line on the outside with wax paper or machine sewing the lines with a non matching color and large stitches.
Great fabrics, I love the silk herringbone fabric.

Carrie K said...

Long distance fitting? My heart quails but it looks like you're doing a fabulous job! (along with the photographer, model and pinner.)

Wow. Off the rack is really a horrid thing, isn't it?

Alexandra said...

Wow, this looks like quite the challenge but you and your crew seem to be handling it really well. Great pictures help.

Nancy K said...

The benefits of real muslin for making a muslin are exactly as you mentioned. I'll go Els one bit further. Use a sharpie to mark the bust and other pertinent areas as this will show up better in the pictures. I like this myself and it often can be seen on both sides.
I am impressed that you are all still talking. It is very hard to communicate visuals with words.
Question for you, are they using shoulder pads? The jacket doesn't look like it does. I assume that the jackets have at least thin pads called for.Its looks like you have the fitting well in hand.

julia said...

Marji, your long distance challenge is blogland's benefit. Between your text and your pictures, you're providing a really nice illustration of the fitting techniques we all read about. I appreciate being able to observe your thought process. I'm learning alot and I appreciate your willingness to share the experience.

LauraLo said...

Thank you for this demonstration of sewing techniques. Sounds like in for a lot of work, you're the best sister I know! Those fabrics are beautiful and definitely a good reward for your work.
I love your new tops on Pattern Review. They put me in a happy mood :)

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Can you tell me when I should book my ticket? I have a few vacation days and would love for you to fit me too! ROTFLOL!

You are doing a great job on your sister's outfits and I'm glad that she is coming to see you in person!

And give me my snow back...gosh it's everywhere except in the middle atlantic states!!!!! I need snow days!