Event · Sewing

A Saturday Afternoon Fit Clinic

I mentioned in my post on Tuesday that I was going to a Fit Clinic held through the Bay Area Sewists Meet Up group this past weekend. Well, I decided I didn’t have the courage to wear a muslin of a bustier in front of strangers, so instead I made up a muslin of the Paco Peralta Draped Top.

I traced the pattern since it is hand drawn (by the designer himself, I suspect!) in three sizes (with instructions online for how to grade up or down). I then cut the smallest size out of muslin and stitched it up following the online instructions.

The tricky part for me was the V point at the bottom of the bias-cut cowl portion of the front of the blouse. I followed the same method I used for my Crescent skirt and V-neck Renfrew (see the Sewaholic tutorial here), but it took me three attempts to get anything acceptable.

On Saturday morning I jumped on the Caltrain with blouse, pattern, pins, and marker in hand, and before I knew it I was introducing myself to three other sewing enthusiasts in the area: Amanda, our host; Miriam; and Annamarie. Together, I think all three women had over 100 years of sewing experience. Compare that to my two. I was in awe. We sat around and chatted for awhile, getting to know one another and generally enjoying the atmosphere. Then, the fitting began. Since our wonderful host Amanda had had such a busy week, she hadn’t had time to make a muslin, but her pattern and fabric selection were fun to ohh and ahh over. The fitting began with Annamarie and her spectacular 80s blouse. She’d also brought a pattern she no longer wanted, Simplicity 6782, and I was the lucky one who got to take it home.

Next, it was my turn. First thing of note was the waist. Again, I’m long waisted, so they moved the waist down and inch and a quarter. We discussed several ways of doing this taking into account the bias piece that cuts through the waist line, but we decided it would be best to just move the curve of the side seam down without messing with any of the seam lines on the front. Next was the back sleeve. They added a wedge to the top of the back shoulder seam, starting at a half an inch at the shoulder and tapering to nothing at the neck. They also altered the curve of the back sleeve a bit. Finally, they pinned out a sharper V as another possible design change.

Finally, after my turn was up, Miriam showed off a dress muslin that will hopefully become a royal affair for an Oscar party she has next weekend.

After the fitting was done, we exchanged our favorite fabric stores then packed our bags and said our goodbyes. Miriam and Annamarie sounded like they might be heading over to Discount Fabrics, and though I was tempted, I instead hopped back on the Caltrain. I’ve spent too much on classes lately to justify any new fabric purchases!

All in all it was a great event, and I’m very happy that I got to take advantage of over 100 years of collective sewing knowledge. I look forward to the next event!

10 thoughts on “A Saturday Afternoon Fit Clinic

  1. That sounds so nice to get to meet with other experienced sewists. I have to stick my neck out a bit and see what’s around here in my area. The top looks really cute! It def looks a lot better sewed up than the line drawing. I probably could’t bare to make the real deal one in any kind of print so that the v would not be lost.

  2. How exciting … Many thanks for choosing my design. The muslin looks great. Please, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I can not wait to see your blouse. Greetings from Barcelona !!


    1. Wow! What a nice surprise! Ms. Fine Fabrics of Santa Barbara shared your lovely pattern with me after i had a bit of a shopping spree in her store. She and I picked out a lovely gray silk with a nice drape for this blouse. As the designer, do you have any advice on fabric choice?

      1. ohhh .. yes .. Susanne told me. We are connected through facebook. I’m glad. Well, you can use any soft tissue, crepe style, but a little weight (sorry my english …). For the sample, I used a crepe fabric (back satin), 100% polyester. Sometimes silk fabrics have too much drape. You can try folding the fabric as a scarf over the mannequin. The eyes are the perfect partner for us dressmakers.

        I’m sure you’ll be a perfect and beautiful blouse. !!

  3. I just received a copy of this pattern in the mail (I won a giveaway over at Sewing Princess – yay!) and can’t wait to sttch it up. Looking forward to seeing your version:)

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