Class · Review · Sewing

Tuesdays with Gertie: Fit, Fit, and More Fit

This year I’m sewing along with Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. A bunch of other talented seamsters and I have joined up through the Craftsy online community to make perfectly fitted bombshell dresses. Here’s a reflection on my efforts to sew well.

After piecing together the bodice and doing the first round of fitting (hello extra length!), Gertie then walks the class through adjusting the bodice bra cups, specifically for a full-bust adjustment.  As I’m not the bustiest of ladies, I figured this week’s homework would be light.  But, I spent most of the week fiddling with the bra cups all the same.  My issue was getting the little piece of the bodice that juts up between the bra cups to lay flat.  When made according to the original pattern pieces, it would pull forward just a little.  To me (and all of you in last week’s comments), a bustier top should fit snug everywhere.  No gapping allowed.  Anywhere.  My instincts, both last week and this week, suggested it just wasn’t “cuppy” enough.  So, I added more fabric to make more of a cup.  The result:  a baggy mess.  The extra fabric just pooled at the center.  Adding structure helped a bit, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was making it worse.  It’s incredibly hard to fit something like this on yourself!  Finally, this past weekend, I put it all back together according to the original pattern to remind myself how bad the gap really was.  And, when I added a bit of structure to the top this time around, the gap was nearly gone.  Maybe structure was all it really needed in the first place?

After all that, my plan is to cut the bra cup pieces according to the original pattern and cut the bodice adding 2″ in length.  Worst case I have a gap at the center of the sweetheart neckline but nice lines and a snug fit everywhere else.  Best case the additional structure does what it should, and I have a snug fit everywhere, including at the center of the sweetheart neckline.

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9 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Gertie: Fit, Fit, and More Fit

  1. This sounds like a fun fitting adventure. I missed your earlier post about this, but I thought I’d jump in anyway with a thought… If the cups fit well, a smidge of width to the “bridge” between the cups could make it lie flatter. Something like slashing from the center front and spreading that little v out a teensy weensy bit tapering to nothing by the time you reach the bottom of the cup. Is it excess fabric gapping or is it just taut and pulling away from your breastbone? I don’t want to send you down a frustrating trail of more adjustments though. I know how it can get tedious. 😉

    Loved all your Renfrew tops!

    1. From what I can tell, the bridge is fine and the center of the cups is fine. I was trying to add a bit of width to the inside of the cups, but it wasn’t sitting right. I think the fabric really just needed motivation to sit flat, but the extra fabric wasn’t providing that motivation. Bones and cup structure (and perhaps underwire) help a lot. If it turns out I’m wrong and I do need more fabric, these pieces are so teensy tiny that it shouldn’t be a problem to cut new ones late in the game. Hopefully…

    1. I reused my Pendrell muslin fabric for as much of the bodice as I could. For the rest I used scrap fabric I picked up at the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook launch party. They had tons of Spoonflower fabric that had the book cover printed on it. When I was leaving, they gave me a giant stack of it. I figured it would work well for muslins with small pieces like this one.

  2. i forget, does the muslin take you all the way through adding tape at the top of the bodice cups? this tightens them up a lot… i remember feeling like the muslin cupped nicely, if a little loose, then the fancy stuff later for the real thing did the trick.

    1. Nope, the video walks you as far as sewing the single layer of fabric together. This week I tried adding more of the structure used in the final dress (helpful that I watched all the way through first!), and it helped a lot once I got the top back into its original form. Here’s to hoping the added structure really does the trick!

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