Monday, September 3, 2018

Dolman FBA

Dolman tops are so easy and such a quick sew!

I needed a quick Labor Day BBQ outfit and this Tamara dress came through for me!



I used this really pretty, fun pineapple double brushed poly from the Fab Clique. 

I did a quick full bust adjustment and used the natural waist option (the pattern also has an empire option).  This is a dolman style top, so the adjustment looks a little different than a standard block bodice like I did in this post.

I can get away without a full bust adjustment when I'm using stretchy fabric like DBP, but I much prefer the look of sizing down so that it fits my upper bust and waist.

Fabric Choice

This pattern looks great with a drapey fabric!  

I recommend brushed polyester, spun poly or bambooRayon Spandex would work for the top length, but the weight of a dress might cause it to lose its shape.

The amount of stretch your fabric has may affect the fit of your garment.  If you’re using a more stable knit, with less stretch, you might be more likely to need a full bust adjustment even if you normally get away without doing one.

Do I need a full bust adjustment?

That's a difficult question to answer.   The usual rule is if your upper bust and full bust measurements are more than 4" apart then you would need a FBA.  Another way to know is if the pattern lists an upper bust and a full bust measurement and your upper bust is in one size and your full bust in another.  It really depends on the designer, the fit of the pattern, etc.  

Another easy way to know would be if you have made the garment already and you're noticing your side seam being pulled forward and always having to dug your blouse down.

Measure your bust!

Upper bust - measure just under your armpits, across the top of your chest. This should be a fairly snug measurement.


Full bust - measure across the fullest part of your chest, wearing your usual bra.

Subtract your upper bust from your full bust.

Mine is about 46.5"-42.5" which is right about 4".


Getting started


Supplies:



Print and assemble your pattern.

The great thing about layered PDF patterns is that you can print just your size or sizes if you're going to grade.  If you need to grade your waist or hips, turn those sizes on too.

Be sure to choose the size that matches your upper bust.  Since you're doing a FBA, the bust measurement on the chart for your size will no longer be a constraint.


Slash and Spread

Another great thing about PDF patterns is that you can reprint, unlike a tissue pattern where you can't afford to mess up.

With a normal block bodice, you'd immediately start working on the bodice.  Because this a dolman, you first need to define the armcye and remove the sleeve portion.

The Tamara has a a sleeveless option which means that the armcye is already drawn!  I use this pattern as a reference for defining the armcye of other dolmans too. (I love the All Seasons!)



Create your Pivot Point

I start by marking a dot in the center of the bust. I hold the pattern piece up to me to double check the location.

Then draw a straight line to the side seam in line with the bust.

Then connect the center bust point to the bottom center of the armcye.
Cut up the center line, up to the armcye. 

Cut into the center from the side seam.

Normally you'd also cut across the waist, but since the Tamara sits at the waist, that wasn't necessary.



Spread based on how much extra room you need.  I need about an inch.


I've shown where I'm adding space in purple.

Now we need to put the sleeve back on.  

Butt the bottom of the armcyes together - the top of the sleeve will extend a bit above the shoulder.


Lengthen the shoulder to meet the arm. 


(Note:  this may make your neck a little lower - my neckband still fit fine, but if you're making a big adjustment, consider the impact.  This would not be a concern with a self-binding neckline like the All Seasons).

Tape together and trim and you're ready to proceed with the tutorial in the pattern as normal!




All done!




Pattern stats:

Maternity:  Yes!  This skirt is very forgiving.  For later wear, consider doing the empire cut bodice and swapping out for a traditional rectangle gathered skirt using the full width of fabric for the most available space - measurements for that rectangle piece can come from the Madrid Pattern.
Madrid Dress (blog post)

Nursing:  Yes.  This is the low front neckline and it's very low. Especially because I lowered it another inch with my FBA.  Pair with a cami for lift up access for modesty.   I like the Halla Hey Babie Cami.  See it in action under my Be Captivating Dress. 

Be Captivating (Blog Post)


Disclosure:
This post may contain affiliate links.  They don’t change the prices you see, but I might get a small percentage to help fund materials for my next post.
If this post was helpful to you, and you’re planning to purchase the pattern anyway, I’d really appreciate it if you’d use my affiliate link:  Tamara Dress/Top Bundle

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Peplum Top


 Mamma Can Do It Relaxed Fit Peplum paired with a pencil skirt in summer or the Mamma Can Do it Fit pants for winter is one of my (new) favorite go-to dressy work outfits.




This look is exactly how I picture being stylish but also work-fancy. I am comfortable like I'm wearing a tee shirt and shorts because my clothes fit so well, but it looks like I'm dressed up for work!

The fit and look are perfect because I customized this pattern!

See my posts for those customizations:


I've already made a bunch of versions of this outfit already and I just got the pattern!



Fabric Choice

Pleats without structure aren’t going to stand up as well.  For pleats that stand out, use a stable knit such as a pontescuba or liverpool.

For the coral I used a liverpool from Elevated Fashion Fabrics.

For the black I used a solid scuba. 







Both above are made with my pleated peplum hack

I also made a full circle version in Ponte from Girl Charlee






and a half circle version in solid DBP from Elevated Fashion Fabrics and Liverpool from Sly Fox Fabrics.  I added the double flounce sleeves from the Anneleine Tamera dress/top.








Pattern Stats - 
Maternity possible:  This is one of those patterns where it's important that the waist hit you right at your natural waist or it might make you look pregnant when you're not.  That is also an advantage though, you can definetly hide under this skirt for awhile and no one would ask!  Consider adding a second skirt (one peplum length, one tunic length) and you can hide even longer!  For longer wear, shorten the bodice and use the tunic length skirt.  I recommend the gathered skirt - you can widen it to the full width of the fabric.

Nursing possible: Pull down access only - pick a fabric with good recovery!

Styling

This top is great for wearing to the office!  I paired with a skirt here, but only because my Mamma Can Do It Fit Pants were in the laundry!   Here's my blog post about the fit pants.

Mamma Can Do It Fit Pants
This post may contain affiliate links.  They don’t change the prices you see, but I might get a small percentage to help fund materials for my next post.

If this post was helpful to you, and you’re planning to purchase the pattern anyway, I’d really appreciate it if you’d use my affiliate link:  MCDI Relaxed Fit Peplum (Women’s/Girl’s/Bundle)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Pleated Peplum Hack

For this tutorial I am using the Mamma Can Do It Relaxed Fit Peplum pattern.

See my other posts for this pattern too:


Let’s get pleating!

This is a really easy modification and it really changes the finished look!  You can use this method on any skirt (peplum or full length) that is designed to be gathered.


Pattern

I’m using the women’s pattern, but this method will work with this girls‘ too, so grab the bundle!

Fabric Choice

Pleats without structure aren’t going to stand up as well.  For pleats that stand out, use a stable knit such as a pontescuba or liverpool.  I used a liverpool from Elevated Fashion Fabrics.



Prepare the Bodice

Follow the pattern tutorial to assemble the bodice.  I also did a full bust adjustment on mine and have a blog tutorial on that as well.

Prepare the skirt

Sew the two skirt pieces together on the side seams, right sides together as described in the tutorial.

Hem the skirt, as described in the tutorial.

Prepare the pleats

There are several ways to go about this.  You can do math and be really exact, or you can just wing it and eyeball the spacing.  

How big do you want your pleats?

I like my pleats 2" total, so they stand up about an inch when you pinch. 

You might want fewer more obvious pleats, or twice as many smaller pleats. Satisfying personal preferences are why sewing for yourself is so great!

Math-Method

Since I knew I was going to blog about this, I wanted to be sure my spacing and pleats were perfect!

I measured the bottom of my bodice and my skirt piece.  I graded up from an 18 waist to a 20 hip, so my bodice pattern piece was 10.5" and my skirt was 21", both to be cut on the fold.

Math-wise, I knew I could get 10 small pleats or 5 large ones.  I drew out both possibilities.

I identified my center pleat (purple line on the left side), seam allowance (blue line, right side) and quarter center pleat (middle line) first.  Then I calculated the distance between pleats based on 1" and 2" pleats and drew out both scenarios.


Fork Method

I could then transfer the marks to my fabric.  I could also use the pattern piece as a guide while I clip.



I opted to wing it.  Since I knew how many pleats I could fit, spacing was easy.  Just make sure your pleated skirt is the same width as the bodice, like you would do with gathers.  I find it helps to have a ruler handy.  



I used the fork method to help keep my pleats consistent.

I slip one tine of the fork into the center of the pleat, roll the fork to fold the fabric over and clip.  My fork happens to make perfect 2" pleats. 



Attach the skirt

With either method you chose, now you have your pleats folded and clipped into place.  I like all my pleats to go the same direction, but you could do them mirror image so they point toward the center pleat.

With the skirt right side out and the bodice wrong side out, put the bodice over the skirt, aligning the waists with fabric right sides together.  Unclip each pleat and reclip to include the bodice.



As you sew this seam, you'll be catching the folded fabric to make your pleats. Be sure that when you folded, you didn't fold at an angle. Pleats should be straight at the waist.  I find it easier when I do the pleats all folded the same direction so that I can serge with the fold and help prevent pleats from slipping out of the seam while I'm serging.



Iron

You're all done at this point, but if you take the extra time to press your pleats you won't regret it!


Styling

This top is great for wearing to the office!  I paired with a skirt here, but only because my Mamma Can Do It Fit Pants were in the laundry that day! 


Link disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links. Clicking the link doesn't change the product or price you're shown, but I might get a small percentage towards materials for my next project.  If you found this post helpful and are planning to purchase the pattern anyway, I'd really love for you to use my link.

Pattern link: MCDI Relaxed Fit Peplum (Women’s/Girl’s/Bundle)

Full Bust Adjustment

For this tutorial I am using the Mamma Can Do It Relaxed Fit Peplum pattern.

See my other posts for this pattern too:






I chose this pattern because the bodice is a block, which means you can use this tutorial's method on almost any dress or top.

Fabric Choice

This pattern (whether pleated, gathered, circle or half circle) looks great with a structured knit fabric!  I would recommend a stable knit such as a pontescuba or liverpool.  I used a liverpool from Elevated Fashion Fabrics.  The amount of stretch your fabric has may affect the fit of your garment.  If you’re using a more stable knit, with less stretch, you might be more likely to need a full bust adjustment even if you normally get away without doing one.

Do I need a Full Bust Adjustment?

That's a difficult question to answer.   The usual rule is if your upper bust and full bust measurements are more than 4" apart then you would need a FBA.  But it really depends on the designer, the fit of the pattern, etc.  Check out the size chart. If you're one size larger in the full bust than the upper bust, then you should use the smaller size and do a FBA.

Another easy way to know would be if you have made the garment already and you're noticing your side seam being pulled forward and always having to dug your blouse down.

Measure your bust!

Upper bust - measure just under your armpits, across the top of your chest. This should be a fairly snug measurement.


Full bust - measure across the fullest part of your chest, wearing your usual bra.

Subtract your upper bust from your full bust.

Mine is about 46.5"-42.5" which is right about 4".


Getting started

Print and assemble your pattern

The great thing about layered PDF patterns is that you can print just your size or sizes if you're going to grade.

I want to grade to a lower size at the waist for a more fitted look, so I'm printing both my normal size and the size below it.

Be sure to choose the size that matches your upper bust.  Since you're doing a FBA, the bust measurement on the chart for your size will no longer be a constraint.

Slash and Spread

Another great thing about PDF patterns is that you can reprint, unlike a tissue pattern where you can't afford to mess up.

I recommend printing two bodices. It's really helpful for reshaping the armcye after we do the FBA.


I numbered this bodice 1.  It has my grading down at the waist and I've marked the outlines of the original pattern piece.


Here's bodice number 2.  On this one, I start by marking a dot in the center of the bust. I hold the pattern piece up to me to double check the location.

Then draw a straight line to the side seam in line with the bust.

Then connect the center bust point to the bottom center of the armcye.

Finally, mark a line on the inside (fold side) just below the waist. (this protects the waist shape)


Cut the pattern apart at each of these locations.

Hinge from the bust point to add space at the bust.  Add space based on how much more than 4" difference you have between upper and full bust. I need a minimal adjustment.

Unroll some pattern paper, enough to fit this piece.  If you don't have pattern paper, you can tape together several pieces of blank paper or tape it to bodice #1 if you printed two.


I marked with purple where I'm adding space.

If you're confused about the waist space by the fold, it's to keep the bottom of the bodice aligned and offset the space being added just below the armcye.

I marked in pink where the original bodice was.  We need to reshape the pattern piece to match the original armcye and waist.


I use a french curve to help draw the armcye back in.


You can either use the curve or a straight ruler to connect the waist and armcye.   Use the straight side to connect the waist to armcye.

Here's what mine looks like -


Now you can cut out your fabric with your new bodice piece and proceed to sew!

Here's mine.  I also pleated the skirt using this hack (link to my blog post).


This post may contain affiliate links.  They don’t change the prices you see, but I might get a small percentage to help fund materials for my next post.
If this post was helpful to you, and you’re planning to purchase the pattern anyway, I’d really appreciate it if you’d use my affiliate link:  MCDI Relaxed Fit Peplum (Women’s/Girl’s/Bundle)