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5907Re: [F-Costume] Re: Pattern Mod help

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  • Naresha
    Nov 20, 2012
      No fittings?  That's going to be exceptionally problematic even with the most precise and detailed measurements, especially with a dress that is designed to hug the body and moreover, NEEDS to in order to support itself, you will need fittings.  I recently made a strapless sun dress for a friend of mine (admittedly this was the most complicated sun dress I have ever come across - A Vogue pattern with 27 different pattern pieces) and with my mother, the seamstress taking it over due to the ridiculously tight time frame involved, we still both struggled to get this dress to fit properly with almost weekly fittings.  We got to the point of putting the dress on her, noting the required changes/pinning etc, making the alterations, putting it back on her, checking, amending etc multiple times each fitting. (Note to self: never agree to make three dresses in less than three months when every pattern requires modification or is overly complicated to begin
      with!)  We ran out of time to make it 110% smooth and perfect but it stayed up, sat nicely, looked good on and she loved it.  Even with the experience of both me and my mother and the patience of our client, we both nearly ended up bald we tore our hair out so much with this dress and getting the foundation to the point where it was good enough for the dress to fit and be wearable.  We could quite easily have spent at least another month finenessing it to the point of perfection.

      One good find from this project was the material I used on the foundation - horsehair interfacing.  Thick but not overly stiff - it, along with a few bones, helped make the dress look really nice and finished and definitely helped in giving that extra bit of stiffness for keeping a strapless dress in place. Check the pattern before you get too carried away with looking for a second pattern for a foundation garment - a lot of them may already have a foundation built into pattern.  I would definitely ask if you can have a look at the instruction sheets - as others have suggested, just explain what information you're wanting from them and with any luck, they'll show you or be able to give you some advice based around their own knowledge and experience.

      As for the measurements...  I've learned only to trust measurements I take myself. When making things for overseas friends, I have had instances where a basic t-shirt dress dress meant for a petite size 8-10 (Australian) fitted their plus size 14-16 partner - and that was after I supplied a measurement chart and instructions!  Thankfully it was such a basic shape (and for a close friend) that in the end, they shipped me a t-shirt that had the fit they wanted when they sent the dress back and I picked the seams apart and hacked the dress down to the correct size based on that.  If your client is providing their own measurements, then make sure they understand that the finished product will be based on those measurements and that you can only make it based on what she tells you - with any luck, a run down of the things raised here will perhaps assist in persuading her to take the time to come to you for a fitting or two or accepting the added cost of
      you going to her with the dress for fittings and definitely go with Sarah's suggestion of a deposit that covers your materials and first few hours of work on this project.

      From: Hazel Daniel <hazel.daniel@...>
      To: F-Costume@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, 20 November 2012 5:56 AM
      Subject: [F-Costume] Re: Pattern Mod help

      Do you know of any good patterns for the foundation garment I could use? Ideal fabrics? I know that coutil is used alot in corsets....

      So the foundation is sewn into the side seams of the dress with a waist ribbon belt that is slightly smaller than the waist and closed with hook+eye..and obviously the dress is closed with whatever closure (zipper in my case)...is that right?

      Usually when I buy patterns I get them online, but I've started to get them from the fabric department when I'm in the capitial. They are kept in a bunch of cabinets behind a sort of bar thing where they keep the catalogs so I dont think you're actually allowed to rummage for yourself, have to ask a staff member for the specific one you want. Could always ask next time I'm in there. :)

      I refuse to so much as buy a button until I get those measurements, so all I can do is twiddle my thumbs and seek advice on this dress.

      Fittings? I wish I had the luxury of such a thing. We live in separate areas of the country, so honestly the first time I'll know if it fits her properly on not is when she tries on the final garment.

      This is my first time making something that isn't designed to fit me specifically.....This dress will make me have premature grey hairs at the end!

      --- In F-Costume@yahoogroups.com, Sarah Strong <sarahstrong13@...> wrote:
      > Yeah, like that. The foundation is like an almost-corset (it's not designed to squeeze you, just to fit really closely so your waist can support the dress) that is stiff enough to basically hang the dress off the top of it. So the bones go at least from the waist up to the top, to hold it up. The foundation will have its own pattern pieces, because it will have less ease than the dress bodice that you see, and if the dress has any style details like pleats or ruching, those obviously won't be in the foundation either.
      > If the dress is really heavy like the one you are looking at making, you might want the foundation to extend down to the hip level, so the hips also help to support the dress. But the ribbon belt at the waist is also key, it may be as much as an inch tighter even than the foundation, firmly tacked to it at all the seams and here and there between, and closed with a big hook and eye or two.
      > on looking at pattern instructions:
      > I often sit down at the table by the pattern cabinets in the store, where the catalogs are, and take just the instruction sheets out, if I want to check what the pattern shapes are or something. Some things you can't tell from the line drawings. obviously I don't unfold the tissue, and I put everything back exactly as it was, so the next person won't be inconvenienced. I guess I'm also a regular enough customer so they know I'm not going to cause trouble! :D
      > Not having accurate measurements is a big red light... You need those to start with, and they need to be taken over the bra or shaper she plans to wear under the finished costume. She needs to wear those for all the fittings too, from the first muslin to the final hem-check.
      > I suggest not buying any materials before you get a sufficient deposit to cover them and your first few hours. Installments are good for everyone's cash flow...
      > S
      > On 11/19/2012 9:50 AM, Hazel Daniel wrote:
      > >
      > > Oh! You mean kinda like having a separate boned bodice sewn into the dress, kinda like a sandwich?
      > >
      > > Really? I thought you weren't allowed to remove the instructions in the shop. The nearest place that sells any sort of patterns in the capital, which is half hour train ride away.
      > >
      > > I don't even have accurate measurements for my client, she says she'll give them to me when she pays for the commission itself after christmas, end of december, the new year.
      > >

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