Plus Girl Sews

You can read my first blog post about the adjustments and grading I made to the Sew Over It Doris Dress here. There were quite a lot of adjustments to increase the size and the bust fit but overall, the result has been pretty good. 

I completed the first toile of just the bodice and had some small further adjustments to make. The first, something I had already predicted might happen, was the wide neckline. By adding an inch down the centre back I had increased the width of the neckline and now found it too wide. Being quite narrow in my shoulders it was already likely that the neckline would be too wide (and widening necklines is a real issue with plus-size grading).

In order to bring the neckline back in to a more comfortable scoop, I added 1″ on each side, bringing it in by a total of 2″. This is quite a lot, but I wanted to ensure the dress would not slip off my shoulders when it was made up in a soft viscose challis. 

I also had to redraft the facings slightly to make them match the new curve, but luckily this wasn’t too difficult. I have considered just fully lining the bodice of this dress but I think that will take away from the simplicity of its construction.

The new bust dart I added definitely made the bust width fit better, however the dart was incorrectly placed. It was horizontal to the side seam, and thus came in far under my bust point. I had to re-angle the dart upwards more. This is likely due to an incorrect angle when cutting the FBA, but it’s not too hard to fix. In this stiff polycotton the dress looks quite odd, but it is not really designed for fabrics with such structure. I swapped the dart out for a french dart instead which is angled slightly higher. It’s still not totally perfect but I want to see how it looks in the fashion fabric before adjusting it further.

The sleeves were also a little small. They fit but only just (this probably exacerbated the wide neckline issue as the small sleeve pulled the neck edge further off the shoulders). To adjust this, I made the underarm seam curve around and slightly downwards to give a wider armhole shape. I also lengthened the sleeves by 1″ as they felt a little short for me. Overall I’m pretty happy with the direction this project is heading, and am excited to cut out the real one!

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