Sunday, January 2, 2011

Toile Time

I've cut and sewn my toile for Butterick 2669, and I think this is a contender for gown of the year - look, it's a stunner!
It accentuates my curves, cuts the perfect length, is incredibly comfortable to wear, and makes me look ten years younger - even in calico.  You'll notice of course that I spent ages doing my hair and makeup especially for the photoshoot!

Well, the comfortable bit is certainly correct!

My pattern is a size B34/W26/H36, and I am size B35/W29/H39, so I graded it in width accordingly - +1,+3,+3.  It appears the original may have fitted me after all with a small addition to the hips - was vanity sizing prevalent even back then!?  I realise it is meant to be a easy-fitting shift, but it is rather huge don't you think?  

Apart from overall excess width, the bust apex is 1" off to the side of mine, although it is at the correct level.  The armhole seems quite wide-set and the front neckline a little high.  I have trimmed the seam allowances off the neckline and armhole so we are looking at the finished edges:

I have the same shoulder-to-bust drag line that was on my Coal-Miner's Daughter Dress.  I think the shoulder is the cause as I have square shoulders as well as quasimodo shoulders.  That's a new term I just made up for my own shoulder which has a bump in it.  If you have studied shoulder anatomy then it might make sense if I tell you my coracoid process of the scapula sticks out!  Although Steph suggested an FBA so I'll look at that if shoulder adjustments don't work - I am a 'B' but could be a bit prominent in the chest.

There is a sway back adjustment to be made - see how the side seam swings forward from waist level, and the CB hem is lower than the front (not really evident in side view, more evident in back view).  The forward side seams are causing the front skirt to flare slightly.  This is a classic swayback appearance in loose clothing as mentioned in my swayback analysis, so I'm pleased to have a photo as an example now.

Plus this is so long I could probably abandon the hem band if I wanted, but I think that is here to stay. 

Back to the drawing board!


  1. Thank you so much. I've been trying to figure out if I really needed a swayback adjustment and now I know exactly what to look for.

  2. I think it looks fine as-is, also if you hadn't added the ease I don't think it would fit you as intended? That's what I tell myself.

    Once, while doing clothing alterations in a vintage clothing store several years ago, a girl brought me an exquisite trapeze dress from the mid 60's. She wanted me to "make it fit her." It already did, as a trapeze dress. I knew full well what she was asking me to do, but kept insisting it already fit until she left. I didn't want that mutilation on my conscience.

  3. It is a bit of a sack ! I am very confident that you will turn it into the glamorous picture that it is on the cover of the pattern.

  4. What an amazing analysis Sherry. I have never looked at my toiles with such detail before. I won't be able to this time either (being pregnant and all) but they are all excellent pointers.

  5. Sherry, in the 3rd photo, from the side view, I can see the shoulder seam sits a bit further back than ideal. You might consider moving that forward and see how it affects everything else.
    Do you feel like you need to hike the top of the dress forward?
    (love the sexy silhouette ;)

  6. Hi Robin, yes the dress does want to move backwards off the shoulder, the whole balance seems to be off. I worked on it today and think I've sorted most of it, but will do another calico just to make sure!