I borrowed Trinny and Susannah's "Body Shape Bible" from the library yesterday, and although I am not sure why they think nearly everyone with an hourglass figure is overweight, I think they make some good points about clothes suitable for this figure type.
One point that I had trouble with was "Never wear blouses with bows or flounces". Particularly as I had just cut out blouse 117 from the August 09 Burda magazine
Technical drawing from burda.com
I have a weakness for ruffles and flounces.
I don't think it looks too bad, although maybe not my best look.
I took a bit of trouble with this project. The first thing I did, as I do know that boxy styles do not do much for me, was to add a side bust dart to the pattern.
I used the instructions from my Taunton Press book "Fitting solutions". First I found my bust point on the pattern by holding the front pattern piece up to myself ( I made a mistake here, and the dart ended up a bit high, but you can ignore this). Next I measured 2 inches vertically from this point, then drew a horizontal line to the side seam line. Then I ruled a guide line from this point on the side seam, to the bust point. At this point I found the instructions a little vague, but eventually worked out that the dart should finish 1 inch from the bust point, along the guide line.
The next stage was to draw in the dart, with the legs starting equidistant from the guide line. I could have worked out the dart mathematically, but instead held the fabric up against me and pinched out the excess fabric to give an idea of the dart size required. I then drew this out, folded the dart down, and recut the side seam with the dart folded to allow for sufficient fabric at this seam.
Adding the dart stopped the blouse from being completely shapeless. I did need to raise the armhole marking by 2cm, as before this change it was in the dart, and I am glad I did this, as the armscye only just covers my under wear.
Next I considered the finish of the flounce. The Burda instructions tell you to use a narrow zigzag to finish the edge, then turn this under and zig zag from the right side. My sample following these instructions is on the left. In the middle is a machine rolled hem, and on the right is an overlocked rolled hem. I decided to use a machine rolled hem.
Unfortunately, I failed to remember that, following the Burda instructions, I had added a 1.5cm seam allowance to the flounce. Naturally I did not use all of this for my rolled hem, so the flounce is a little bigger than it should be. I could not manage a neat machine rolled hem for the top edge of the flounce, as the corner gave me trouble, so I did this part by hand.
My other change was to use a bias strip to finish the neck, rather than a facing. I doubled the strip and machine sewed it to the right side of the neckline, then turned it over fully and hand stitched it. I extended the right side of the strip to make a loop, rather than use a thread loop for the button as Burda instructed.
The fabric is almost the last of my pale olive green voile from Oh Sew, Noosa, there are only scraps left.
Just to use it up - and the half reel of navy thread from my daughter's trousers, I sewed some pillowcases from another fabric Sharon brought me from Japan, using the green as piping. I could not imagine myself wearing a garment from this reversible thick cotton fabric (the stripes again I think), but it makes pretty good pillowcases.
BetsyV asked me if I planned to make the 12-2009 trousers for myself. I do, but the thought of the fitting is putting me off. My daughter has long legs, is a dancer and is not yet 15 years old, so the small sway back, waist decrease and backside increase adjustments that I make for her don't give me too many hints on how I should fit for myself. However, she does not have a skinny, flat backside, so I think the flattering cut on her could be similarly flattering on a more generous figure with curves.
Sewing is about to come to an abrupt halt here. The weather looks to be clearing up and camping is on the agenda again. - Elizabeth and Janine, I am on holidays at the moment, so have spent hours every day doing just what I like - sewing!