Walking it back

Walking it back

In my last post about my new bodice fitting based on the methods described in Mathew Gnagy’s book “The Modern Maker” and the pattern published on his facebook page (the pattern which will be included in his soon to be published pattern book(!!!)) I went on (at length) about the issues I was seeing with the L measurement coming out wrong if you’re long waisted. Well since then I’ve iterated the pattern a lot and I’ve decided I was utterly and completely wrong.

V6
C: 41
W: 36
L: 40
Hate the center back closure but willing to use it for quick fittings with a zipper. For this version I shortened L quite a bit which brought the sides closer to where I want them (from 46 to 40). BUT I was still cutting the very deep front point. I decided that maybe 40 would be too short if I removed the front point so for the next version I went to 44. My bosom was still creeping down into the “bra band area” so W may still be too big.
V7
C: 41
W: 35
L: 44
Hate the center back closure but willing to use it for quick fittings with a zipper. For this version I took 1 more inch out the W measurement. This is now fitting well. The flat front is nice.. but 44 is too long.
V8
C: 41
W: 35
L: 40
Hate the center back closure but willing to use it for quick fittings with a zipper. This version is getting pretty close to correct. I made this up and then wore it for about half a day. The fit is mostly right but I noticed that when I sat my belly pooched out and pushed the bodice way up. In thinking about it, if the bodice ended at the bottom of my ribs then this wouldn’t ride up. Funny enough “bottom of my ribs” is pretty much exactly where the bodice ended with the original L value from the book (insert face/palm moment)
V9
C: 41
W: 35
L: 34
Ninth time’s the charm. The C and W feel right and L is matching what’s in the book. This version had a center-back closure and after all the hassle I’d run into with making 9 versions of this with a back closure I decided I was done and the final garment would have a front closure. Also, since I was wearing the sample for half a day I ended up picking up toys from the floor and realized that this shape of bodice was doing nothing to prevent my bosom from escaping out the top neckline.
V10
C: 41
W: 35
L: 34
This is identical to V9 on measurements. I moved the closure from center back to center front and I cut a nip out of the top of the center front 1/4 along the top line and 2″ down to prevent my boobs from popping out. I’m not certain that is enough but I’ll stick with this for now. This feels good to go so I’m using these measurements to make the first garment based on this pattern, an underbodice.

In summary, although the book’s given values for L puts the bottom of the bodice above what I’ve always viewed as my “natural waist” it does put the bottom right at the bottom of my ribs.. which means that when I move/sit the bodice won’t bunch up above my belly. In chatting with Mr. Gnagy about this he advised that the gap between the book-given bottom of the bodice and where I believe it should be sitting will end up filled with skirt, petticoat and possible even a hip roll. For my first garment, an underbodice, I will be using the book’s value for L and make it like a medieval bra.

Interestingly the final W measurement of 35 is actually about 2 inches smaller than the smallest measuerment I can get around my ribs with the tape pulled as tightly as possible. I contacted Mr. Gnagy about this and after we discussed it for a while he mentioned that although it’s not shown on the pre-publication drawings of the pattern pieces, the pattern includes both a front and back seam. I had assume that one of those would be cut on a fold. This accounts for one of the extra inches in the pattern. He further advised that the other inch would probably be somewhat accounted for if I were making a fully lined and padded bodice. He wrote that “the supportive, un-boned bodice that I teach has an additional five layers of fabric pad stitched together in the front canvas and there are manipulations as well”. Since I’m planning a much simplified underbodice of two layers of linen I’ll leave this extra inch out (but plan to add it later when he publishes the “Women’s dress” book that walks through these 5 layers and manipulations).

So.. my “real” measurements should be:
C: 41
W: 37
L: 34

If I plan to use this drawing of this bodice using my real measurements, with a flat front, single (either front or back) closure with the opposite side cut on a fold for making an unstructured bodice (consisting of two layers of linen) then I plan to update the measurement for the back bottom from W-sii to W-si.

The pictures in the gallery below are from V8, before I decided that the book’s L value was correct. The placement of the side looks correct to my eye but in wearing this around the house the bottom would bunch up over my belly when I sat. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of v9 or v10 so these will have to do until I finish the underbodice based on that pattern.

Also, as an aside, Christmas wrapping paper with a grid on the back makes these types of patterns terribly easy.



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