Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pendrell 2.0: Planning

Yesterday, over Twitter, the lovely K-Line suggested that perhaps the FBA was unnecessary on my Pendrell. I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of how that turned out, so my knee-jerk reaction was, "no way!" However, after sleeping on it, I'm starting to wonder if she was onto something. I do love a good flow-y top that's forgiving in the waist... and that kind of top works well in charmeuse... and I'm not likely to be tucking this into anything high-waisted anytime soon...

... can you see where this is going?

I think I'm going to try making the top again, without the FBA and with slightly longer sleeve ruffles. Now, the only thing I'll need to decide is: what size to make?

I'm a bit perplexed on the subject of ease. Last time, I made a size 8. The FBA added 2" to the bust (but nothing to the waist because I removed the excess there). This means that my finished blouse has 2.5" ease in the bust and 5.5" in the waist. That doesn't sound like a lot in the bust, does it? But it doesn't look/feel too tight.

If I make a size 10, I'll have 2" of ease in the bust and 7" in the waist. That's 2" less than the designer intended for the bust, but spot on for the waist. (It's also 0.5" less in the bust than my first Pendrell.) However, if I were to go up to a size 12, I would have the recommended 4" of ease in the bust, but 8.5" in the waist. And who knows how wide the shoulders would be. (The size 8 shoulders fit perfectly.)

(Of course, the other alternative would be to make the size 8 again and do the FBA but don't remove the excess inches added to the waist. That would give me 2.5" ease in the bust and 7.5" in the waist.)

The mind, it boggles.



  1. I am making this blouse right now. I have a larger chest, smaller hips, and a much shorter body than it was designed for, so some changes were in order. Before I cut the muslin, I measured 3 different loose-fitting blouses of mine to figure out how much ease I wanted in the bust and the longest length I might want it to be. I decided that 2 inches of ease is pretty perfect, and cut 3 inches off the bottom straight away. I'm very small overall, so I actually cut a zero and graded to a 4 just at the tops of the side seams to accommodate my bust. It was the best fitting muslin I've ever made!

    So I guess all I'm really saying is that you should make a size 10.

  2. That's awesome! Thanks for sharing that. I'd been googling around for standard amounts of ease and the results got me thinking that 2" wasn't very much. But then, I guess I should trust my gut because I know I like the way this one fit! I do like the idea of making one of the sizes as drafted and not having to tinker with it again :)

  3. I made the 8, no FBA and I'm pretty sure I would make a 6 next time. And my chest seems bigger than yours (from the photos of your pencil skirt).

    I noticed two things about the pattern when I made it - the waist is crazy long (esp. for a short, short waisted girl), and the bust has much more ease than I imagined it would, given that it's drafted for a pear shape. Goes to show it's designed for a woman who isn't narrow. Narrowness of back and large breasts are an odd fitting combo. Often, you won't need an FBA (or as much of one as you might imagine) because the narrowness of your frame mitigates the largeness of your chest.

    Didn't mean to shake your faith, btw. I just know the pattern - I worked with it for quite a while.

  4. BTW, the FBA is an art and it's great you're learning it / applying it. It will come in handy many times over! So congrats on doing it so successfully!

  5. @K-Line - don't worry, you didn't! I appreciate the honest feedback. This in particular is interesting to me:

    "Often, you won't need an FBA (or as much of one as you might imagine) because the narrowness of your frame mitigates the largeness of your chest."

    I suppose this is only something I'll learn by trial and error? I have no idea whether my frame is large, small or average compared to my bust. My bust can be deceiving... it doesn't look huge but it rarely fits anything (part of my motivation to learn to sew, absolutely). There's an 8 inch difference between my bust and my waist, and I wear a 32F bra.

    Anyway, thanks for all your feedback, I appreciate your wisdom!