Thursday, 1 May 2014

Modifying Maisie - Part Two (and MMM'14 Pledge!)

Hi Folks,
So, are you ready for the next instalment of Modifying Maisie?  Good, let's get started then.



Upon completing my bodice section, I needed to try it on myself over standard underwear – no bullet bras or padded hipped knickers that day!  I inserted a lapped zip for ease, making sure that the teeth were in the right spot to allow the centre fronts to meet at the right location (i.e. the 1.5 cm seam line).
 
Normally, when these shells are used to make a sloper, you need to remember to include ease.  I got a bit confused about my aim along the way, as we’ll come to later.  Anyway, for my exercise – to make Maisie closer to my size and quirks – I needed to ensure that the fit was skin tight.  I wondered about the merits of taking photos of this whole exercise at various points, but ultimately decided against it – no value to you guys and not something I need on the internet for perpetuity! 

Bodice
Upon trying the bodice shell on, the directions direct one through various check points, until all major fitting areas have been considered and revised (where relevant).  For me, this meant letting out the side seams, squaring off the shoulders and reducing the width of the shoulders.  It’s funny, because I went into this thinking that I would probably have to make a wide back adjustment, but I didn’t.  Also, my waist is quite defined (more than 20 cm less than my bust or hip measurements), so I didn’t expect to have to let the side seams out – women that are more straight through the middle must have to let those out a lot. 

I could have predicted the changes required to the shoulders if I had really thought about them – I sit up quite straight (= square shoulder change) and I find that blouses fitted through the shoulder are more flattering than ones that are looser there (and fit in other areas).

Sleeves
The sleeves are attached to the bodice once it’s perfect and then various things are considered there too.  I had to make two changes: raise the sleeve heads quite a lot (using all of the excess) and lengthen the sleeves below the elbow.
 

Skirt
Then it was time to move on to the skirt.  That was straightforward for me – I just had to let the side seams out by 0.5 cm.  Ha ha, “just”.  There may have been a little bit of sulking at that, before I decided to make a cuppa and have a couple of biscuits…

Then comes the time of connecting the two together, thus forming a shell.
 
Making the Pattern Reflect Me
So, in summary, the changes I made were:
  • Let bodice side seams out by varying amounts: tapering from nothing at the armpit to 1 cm - 2 cm at the waist (each side, each piece)
  • Reduce the width of the shoulders
  • Lower the shoulder seam by 0.5 cm (tapering to nothing at the collar) and change the sleeve curve the equivalent amount to allow for square shoulders
  • Increase ease in bicep by 1 cm
  • Increase height of sleeve head by 2.5 cm
  • Let skirt side seams out by 0.5 cm
All of these changes have been made to the pattern pieces, which now represent my ‘Sloper’.    The changes to the bodice outlined above are highlighted by the green lines on the photo below.  The only problem I've encountered so far is that the sleeves incorporate ease (too much in parts) whereas the bodice and skirt do not.  I forgot what I was hoping to achieve... Whoops.  I should re-do the sleeve really.


The only thing that has frustrated me in all of this is that when I went to connect the bodice to the skirt they weren’t a perfect match – the skirt was slightly wider than the bodice.  It makes sense because they were let out different amounts, but I don't understand why they were - I thought they would need the exact same changes and then would fit together perfectly!

Here is the finished bodice on Maisie, dialled out to my measurements underneath – it’s a good illustration of how the two don’t equal the same thing.



 
Up next I’d like to make a heavy cotton version to use as an actual cover for Maisie, once I’ve reduced her measurements and wrapped her up in batting.  She is going to be snug as a bug in a rug!

Me Made May 2014
Have you signed up for Me Made May 2014 (MMM’14)?  I have watched other people’s efforts with awe over the years, being both inspired and too scared to join in.  I wear clothes I’ve made the vast proportion of the time, particularly with the RTW fast this year, so I’ve decided not to sign up to that kind of the pledge.  However, something that Zoe suggested really struck a chord with me – using MMM’14 to finish off the unfinished objects (“UFOs” – ha, ha!) that have been hovering unfinished for a while (paraphrased!).  I’m extending that to mean UFOs that are either cut out or have been in my mind for ages.  Essentially, for me and my pledge that means I shall:
  • Finish Modifying Maisie;
  • Finish my cardigan jacket – it’s only been in progress for a about a year now!;
  • Make my winter coat - which was originally going to be a cape, and for which I’ve had woollen fabric in my closet for probably 3 winters now; it will be moth eaten if I don’t look out!;
  • Make my chambray skirt and blouse combo - because I really want to have them to wear this summer; and
  • Make up the 1980s dress.


Given that I have a formal outfit to make in May as well (and a half marathon to train for and run!), I think that will be more than enough of a challenge for me!  In fact, maybe it’s too much – I’ll remove the 1980s dress.  So, without further ado:

“I, Rachel C.T., sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to complete my three UFOs (cardigan jacket, winter coat, and chambray skirt/blouse combo) by the end of May 2014”.

Phew.  Feels just the right mix of nerve-wracking and exciting to make me think it is pitched at just the right level for me.  I particularly love that component of Zoe’s call to arms actually – that we should focus on what would be a challenge for ourselves, rather than doing the same as others (if that doesn’t actually suit your own circumstances).  Isn’t it so enabling.

Good luck to everyone else who is doing it too!

Rachel J

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