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A tale of two wadders, and what I've learned

I know that Burda supposedly drafts for broad back and shoulders, so I should have known that Burda 6680, a nice, simple, building-block princess-seam A-line dress would need more than a basic Narrow Shoulder Alteration. Before cutting a muslin of the bodice I measured the distance between shoulder-seams on the pattern and compared them to my own shoulder-to-shoulder measurement and gulped at the thought of taking out 3 inches. I think I ended up taking out 2 1/2, and stopped because I was worrying about distorting the armscye. 

I didn't do a FBA, because I've not done one before with a princess-seamed bodice,  and so I thought I'd try out the Burda D-cup fit first. I'm around an E cup and so sometimes I need all an FBA, and sometimes I don't.

First of all: the bust-fit is great when I grab the shoulder seams and lift them about 2 inches. Of course, I can't actually do this for reals as a fitting solution, because the armscye disappears into my armpit.

Do I have weirdly high breast-roots? Do I have a very short back as well as narrow shoulders? (I think this is likely). Either way, I sighed, folded up the muslin, and made a bunch of notes. I'd like to come back to this one, I think it's a great base for the kind of dress I'd like to own in multiple fabrics. I'm not sure where I start making a short back adjustment but I'm sure I could figure it out. Is there such a thing as a short, narrow back? I think I have that. As well as narrow shoulders and a pot belly. Guh.

 Enter wadder 2: Lekala 4517

I'm interested in the customization possibilities of Lekala, especially as I always have to do some kind of Full Bust and Narrow Shoulder Alteration with all Big 4 patterns, and at least a Narrow Shoulder Alteration with my increasingly T&T fit-brand, Hotpatterns.
This came together quickly and I found the instructions perfectly clear but .. I didn't select the narrow shoulder or narrow back optional adjustment on this pattern (like a moron) and so again-  the bust dart fits perfectly when I pull the shoulder seams up about 2 inches ... and the armscye is high up my pit, being impossible. 
I bought this one for less than $3 and so I don't mind that it didn't quite work. I love the idea of it so I might try again next time Lekala has a sale. When a pattern cost me $3 or less, I don't mind repurchasing it with some adjustments, specially if it's close!
The other note I made in my sewing book (which feels a lot like a wadder list, at the moment!) is that the neckline gapes weirdly and the front AND back neckline facings don't fit at all. I'm not sure if it distorted madly while on the back of the cutting table or, uhhm, dangling off the edge of the ironing board overnight, or .. ok it probably did. But anyway: more cherishing of the necklines in future, specially if I use this linen/rayon fabric again.

Whenever I get too down I remember that I wear clothes I've made myself at least 3-4 times a week, and the reason I make these in cheap fabric (or actual muslin) from my stash is because I'm trying to figure out how to get clothes to fit me. It's also why I'm weirdly happy making myself trousers (well, HP tailored trackpants anyway) because those and HP t-shirts always, always work for me. And .. that's what I wearing right now, as I chart my fitting woes!

The weather has turned and I need dresses with at least elbow-length sleeves, and some that look good under cardigans. Next up: knit dresses with sleeves I can wear to work.


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