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May's Monthly Make!

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

This month I have made the Isabella Dress and the Erin Shirtdress both by Serendipity Studio Patterns.

The Isabella Dress design is a creative twist on the classic shirtdress, with a raised waistline that has a gentle curve along the front and back bodices which are gathered for an easy fit. The princess seamed skirt provides a fitted yet flattering silhouette. I made the Isabella Dress in our gorgeous AGF Boho Fusion Acqua Di Rose 100% premium cotton.

The Erin shirtdress

I usually need to do a full bust adjustment for fit, but with this pattern, I used the bodice measurements for my full bust size and made a tiole to assess the fit. Looking at the toile it fitted well across the bustline but I had to reduce slightly at the top of the side seam by the armscye (see pic 1). Having pinned the adjustment I then marked the new seamline on my toile (see pic 2). The seam can then be unpicked (always sew a toile with a large stitch eg. stitch length 5, so easy to unpick). The seam allowance is then added back onto the toile to detail your new pattern cutting line (see pic 3). Placing the toile pattern piece back onto the pattern then gives you your new pattern cutting line to mark onto your pattern piece (see pic 4 & 5). In this case it simply graded down to the next size (see pic 6), the sleeve will then need to be adjusted to fit the new armscye.

The Erin Shirtdress is a classic sleeveless shirtdress with princess seaming, a slightly raised waistline , and subtle gathering at the centre. I made the Erin Shirtdress in our striking AGF Dotted Impression from Twenty by Katrina Rocella 100% premium cotton.

The Isabella Dress design

The Erin shirtdress is a fitted bodice with princess seaming and so did require a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA). As you can see from my toile I had drag lines across the centre bust and also the side front panel for the bust (see pic 1 & 2). Unpicking the seam lines on the princess seam allowed me to identify how much adjustment was needed to be added (see pics 3 and 4). It is helpful to write the measurements on you toile. Finally although this pattern was designed with a raised waistline, I felt it was too high for me and so wanted to lower (see pic 5).

Having identified my adjustments needed on my toile, I then had to adjust my pattern pieces accordingly. Initially mark your seam allowances on your pattern pieces (see pic 1,2 &3). Then using a series of marked lines with hinge points at your seam lines you can adjust your pattern to accommodate a full bust according to you measurements on your toile (see pics 4, 5 & 6). I also then had to adjust the front bodice length to lower the waistline (see pic 6). The back panels also required adjustment for the lengthened bodice.

There are many good books available re fitting but classes are a better format to learn fitting, and we hope to offer these classes soon at New Forest Sewing Studio. Another good resource for fitting your own garments is to use a mannequin adjusted to your body size, and we hope to offer some classes soon to adjust your mannequin to fit your body size and measurements. Alternatively there are also some good you tube videos available on this should you wish to have a go, the main thing I would recommend is to always put an old but good fitting bra on your mannequin, padded out to you!

Happy Sewing :-)

From the NFSS team.

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