Saturday, January 8, 2011

Butterick 4919: bodice muslin

I purchased this retro reissue pattern last year in the first flush of enthusiasm of buying 99-cent sale patterns when I was getting back into sewing. I don't know if this will look good on me or not, but I thought it would be fun to sew. It's a simple pattern with only four pieces (front and back bodice, bodice back facing, and skirt).

I cut and sewed a bodice muslin this week. One feature of this pattern is the long ties that are part of the back bodice piece that tie from back to front and then back again; being a cheapskate, I pieced these and sewed them together rather than cutting them on the back piece because I figured I could still get the idea of how this would fit. I needed to enlarge the waist, but because this dress has no side seams I couldn't figure out how to do this other than adding onto the ties (back piece) and the ends of the front pieces that wrap around to the back and attach with hooks. Also, I didn't sew the waist darts on the back. I think this worked, judging from how this fits onto my dress form. However, I know I need to do an FBA, but I'm trying to figure out how to do this with a pattern with no darts and no side seams. The dart control is in the gathered front shoulders.

Here's the front on the dress form. You can see how it pulls and gaps across the bustline; it also looks like it gaps out at the underarm area.

Any advice is welcome!


  1. I'd probably attack it the same way I did this blouse with cut-on sleeves and a shoulder dart. I think if you allow yourself to create a small underbust dart, it will make a better fit. Darts are the best friends of a bust girl!

  2. I think it would look beautiful on you! And I agree with Steph that the FBA has to be positoned within the gathering at the shoulder.

    It's hard to tell on a dress form, but if it gaps in the armhole when you wear it, maybe you can take a dart out of the armscye and rotate it up to the shoulder?

  3. Steph and Robin, thank you!

    If I'm understanding this correctly, you're suggesting I add a dart in the armhole to take up the extra fabric that appears to be there and then rotate it up to the front shoulder?

    The reason I didn't put this on me is because it's complicated, what with all the hooks and the zipper necessary to get it to stay on. The dress form is not a bad approximation of my figure, though I've got a bit more padding (of course).

  4. Harriet, yes, that's what I was thinking. Pin out darts in the armscye, then rotate to the shoulder dart.

    Steph had a good idea, too. I think her idea is to rotate the dart to make an underbust dart. (at least that's what I think she meant).
    That makes sense - you'd have a dart in the shoulder seam and an underbust dart. For a full bust, multiple darts will give a more pleasing fit than a single large dart.