Fire in Cairo — Arrival Outfit — Part Three – the fitting

And now, the fitting.

A big mistake that many pattern-users make is that they cut out the size that’s closest to their measurements, and run up the garment and expect it to fit. But with only the bust, waist, hip and sometimes back length measurements listed on the pattern, there are so many variables that you cannot reasonably expect a pattern to fit you, even if you are a “perfect size”.

Each pattern is based on what is called a “base size”. This means that the measurements of the pattern correspond to the measurements of a given size. This person could be a fit model or it could be the dress form upon which the first mockup was drafted. Even if each size is drafted individually and not graded, there are still assumptions made based on this base size. In any case, the pattern is sized based on that base size, and the only information you have about it is usually bust, waist, hip and torso length.

There are so many more measurements on the human body than just those four. Measurements also don’t take into account if we have one shoulder or one hip higher than the other (most people do) or any left-right asymmetry (most people have at least a little bit).

So we fit.

Since this jacket is so similar in cut to the bodice I made for the white Cairo outfit I worked on last week, I used the same fitting muslin for this one. But since this jacket is in wool with a stiff interlining and cavasses and that was in linen with a flexible and light interlining, I will have to fit the jacket all over again.

Taking into consideration the changes I had to make to the last pattern, I ran up the jacket as you saw in the last installment. Here it is before any fitting took place:

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The front and back of the assembled jacket with sleeves before fitting

Then I put on my corset and tried it on. Looks pretty good from the front. But in the back, a problem emmerges.

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It’s clear that all is not well in the back of my jacket. While it’s true that I have not yet stitched the boning into the seams nor applied the canvasses to the interior, this puckering and twisting of the upper back cannot be explained away by the lack of those elements. It’s just plain too big in the back.  So we have to adjust.

I take off the jacket and turn it inside-out so we have access to the seams. By pinching the seams while they’re on the outside and pinning or basting them in place, you can achieve a terrific fit.

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The jacket on inside out

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The jacket with the seams pinned to remove the excess

CAUTION: This is a practice with which you have to take a good deal of care. When you have the jacket on inside-out, you are effectively fitting the right side of the jacket to the left side of your body and vice versa. If you know yourself to be more than slightly asymmetrical, this won’t work for you. I know my right shoulder is lower than my left, but I also know to readjust that point for myself.

I put the pinned jacket back on right-side out to check the fit. The puckering at the waistline I believe will be aleviated by the addition of boning at the seams. The front isn’t affected by the change to the fit of the back.

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Later today:   More About the Guts!