Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sencha: Muslin

Today was a quiet, beautiful day. I spent most of it on craft preparations. I wound nine skeins of Berroco Ultra Alpaca (six worsted and three fine), ironed the fabric for Pendrell 2.0 and Sencha, as well as some new muslin fabric (read: thrifted bedsheets).

I also ended up completing my Sencha muslin. I'm between sizes, but I followed the advice of the pattern and cut the larger size (size 10). Here's the result:



The fit, in general, is about right. I'm happy with the amount of ease (I could perhaps use a pinch more in the bust, but not much.) However, what the photo above might not illustrate properly is that the front is several inches shorter than the back. I'm not sure if that's inherent to the design, or a consequence of my own figure? Regardless, I would like to fix it, particularly because the blouse as-is (i.e. un-hemmed) is about an inch shorter in the front than I would like the finished blouse to be.

I'm inclined to place the blame on my bust. I know Colette patterns are designed for a larger bust (C instead of B?), but that's still several cup sizes below what I wear. At any rate, doing an FBA would certainly add length without distorting the bottom of the blouse... in fact, that's the only way I can figure on solving this. I'm not keen on adding any ease to the waist, so I would have to go down a size before making the adjustment.

Clearly, I don't really know enough about fitting yet, so if I'm way off track please do leave a comment and let me know. Or, if you think I've got it right, I'd love the affirmation! I'm going to sleep on it and read up in Fit For Real People in the meantime.


  1. i like it - particularly in a fabric with a subtle stripe (i remember seeing a similar one in bright pink at fabricana last summer - a silk jacquard, i think).

    how amenable do think this pattern would be to changing the neckline? I had passed this one by a bunch of times, because the neckline looks quite high.

  2. @Alice - I'm actually going to be making it up in pink! But more of a dusty pink, in a hammered silk.

    I'm clearly not an expert, but I do think the neckline would be very straightforward to lower. View 1 would be the easiest as it's just one curved seam. You would just need to remember to alter the facing as well. View 3 there's the keyhole to lower as well, and View 2 has some neckline tucks.

    I also generally avoid high necklines (I lowered my Pendrell's); however, I do have to say that I think it suits this pattern. My apprehension about it was why I decided to go with the keyhole version. You may want to make up a muslin and try it on before you decide to lower it?

  3. Hey - I've made this too and discovered exactly the same thing (it's that narrow back / large bust scenario again). I had to take it in the second time I made it. I also think that Colette cuts for a D cup (despite what everyone says) and a wide frame. Next time I make it, I'm going to raise the dart end to closer to the bust. On me, it's just not long enough so there's a bit of bag underneath the boobs and it makes everything look a bit low.

  4. Oh, that's interesting! My instinct would have been to lower the dart, but now that you say that, I totally get that it would probably be the wrong thing to do (especially in a silky fabric). And yeah, I don't exactly think I need a huge amount of extra ease in the bust, but I certainly need the length. Do you think I'm on the right track with doing a size smaller with an FBA?

    (I'm off to stalk your blog and see what you've written about it!)

  5. I do think a smaller size with FBA is the way to go - but you may not actually need the FBA. My chest is same size as yours and, on reflection, I probably could have made the 6 using smaller seam allowances. Thing is I'd already done so many alterations on the 8, I felt compelled to stick with my own version rather than start again not knowing what additional alterations that muslin would bring. We all have different shapes but I found the sleeves too blousey and the back too big. An extra tuck on the back is a good fit mechanism and I think it looks better than the one tuck version.

  6. I'm following you on the reasoning for not needing the FBA with regard to ease... I guess I'm lost on how to add length to the front of the blouse if I don't do one? Clearly, I need to spend some time reading my reference books!

  7. Your muslin looks great! I have this pattern, but haven't made it up yet. Looking forward to seeing yours!

  8. Thank you! My fingers are crossed that it works out!

  9. Hello! I'm glad my Sencha FBA tutorial was helpful to you. Yes, I have the same problem, several cup sizes above the average pattern sizing, same old FBA over and over again. Yes, and the shortness in the front can defnitely be a result of the bust taking too much space. I have this probelm all the time. The problem will be solved by an FBA. Yeah for FBAs! Looking forward to seeing the finished result.

  10. Oh that's great to hear! Giving the FBA a go for this pattern is on the list for this week. Thanks again for the tutorial! :)