Monday, 19 April 2010

Walkaway dress alterations: Post 1

Hey folks. Here is my first post on the evolution of the Walkaway dress.

The first thing I did after I had cut out the pattern for thsi dress was do an FBA. This is standard practice for me now as I am a J cup so there is usually a lot of extra room needed since patterns are based around a B cup. Turns out I didn't need to do that at all. This pattern is quite roomy in the bust area so the 16 actually fits. Sort of. I say sort of because it doesn't really. Here, let me show you.

Now be gentle guys, these are some of the least flattering pictures of me I have ever shown anyone. This is exhibit A. (Please ignore the socks and the mismatched ribbon that is holding the dress together) Note the bagginess at the sides above the darts. The slightly gapey waist area and the weird over hang at the shoulder.

Exhibit B. Odd line under bust I think and masses of bra on show.

Exhibit C, gratuitous armpit shot. from the pictures on the pattern envelope the front should come round high enough to cover the bra and the back should come round quite high and go just over the side of your boob and close at the front.

So far we're not doing very well. But his is what I mean about it fitting kind of. there is clearly no need for me to do an FBA. This just leads to having masses of material to try and take up in darts at the side. Pus that wont actually give me more material where I need it. So this is where Spadger comes in armed with a pin cushion and a Sharpie.

The first things we did was undo the side dart and redraw it. Click on the pic to make it bigger. Can you see the line of the original dart just above the dotted line? Now I know french darts point upwards but I'm fairly sure that's not what these ones are. The new dart is in line with my bust apex without coming right to it and takes up all the slack on the side. Much better.

The rest of the alterations are marked here with arrows. I am bringing the shoulder in on the outside. I like the wide neckline but these little over hang bits will drive me nuts. There is the new bust dart that I showed you above. I plan of lowering the neckline to the low point of that central line. The bottom arrow is pointing to where I plan on having the back pieces come to. Now it won't come over my bust like it is supposed to because there is no way it would lay nicely there. To much out front you know? So I'm going to bring it under my bust like an empire line almost.

Like this.

Lastly I need to add a bit to the waist length. Those 50's lasses were a lot more waspy than me!. So those are the planned alterations. Not many hehehe. I might also pull the waist darts in a little more but I think that will depend on how it lies under the higher back pieces. Hopefully by bringing the front pieces up I will eliminate the problem I've read about with the dress slipping due to the weight of the back piece. Because the front pieces fastened so low at the waist in back there is nothing to help cinch it in. I'll be closing it much higher up (and have a bit out front to anchor it down over as well) which I am hoping will stop that problem entirely.


  1. Hi, it was interesting to see how you have altered the pattern to fit. I wonder if the underarm problem is fixed, ie is your bra covered now? I'm asking as I have similar problems with patterns, I'm not quite the same shape as you in the bust but I have my own bulges that need to be accommodated!! Was the pattern meant to have cap sleeves? I'm with you on the overhang bit, now I have seen the alterations I'm looking forward to the finished frock!! I hope after all this work it turns into something you will make more than once!

  2. Again you are my hero...this seems like a very very hard pattern. it's going to look great.

  3. ok.. looks like you have had the same problems i anticipated which have caused me to put it off.. and off... i'm excited to see your finished version !

  4. This is going to be really lovely! I like the idea of using ties on the waist. Looking forward to seeing the finished item.