On this, the first day of September, I was inspired to sew and sew and sew. While working on a client’s custom garment, I discovered some fabric that would be perfect for my curvy young friend. The school year has begun and her back-to-school shopping yielded nothing but frustration and some awkwardly fitting uncomfortable clothing. A t-shirt dress with a wide billowy shape constructed from this lightweight cotton knit seemed to be exactly what the young lady needed. Knits are not commonly found in my nearby fabric shops, being in the heart of quilt country as I seem to be. I was lucky enough to stumble onto this for her and it screamed at me to become a curvy tween diva dress.
I updated her measurements and altered a “big 4” Girls Plus pattern bodice from a party dress. Initially, I did what amounts to a pivot full bust adjustment (FBA) using her measurements. I pivoted the bodice, adding 1 1/2 inches and then altered the rest of the bodice by re-drawing the side seams out to match her measurements at waist and hip.
I stitched up a fitting muslin and tried it on her. There was an excess of fabric in the armpit but the fit was close enough and I set about cutting out the flamingo pieces. This I learned: always create a pattern based on the latest alterations. How do I know this? I did not do re-draw the pattern and I completely ruined the cutest fabric and an adorable dress for a young lady. When I cut out the garment for the second time, on the flamingo fabric, I totally forgot to pivot it for the FBA.
To add insult to injury, I did not realize it until the t-shirt dress was complete and on its way to the recipient. Suddenly, it hit me like a lightning bolt. I was admiring my talented stitching, my wrinkle-less neckband, and my label attached at the hem. It was all beautiful and had no hopes of ever fitting her.
<Heavy sigh> It’s a good thing I have 30 days to get this right!