I prewashed all of my fabric purchases after I returned home from my shopping excursion. With the fabric prewashed I was ready to go. I consider myself a good sewer and rate myself on an intermediate level (but of course, what is the scale? my own personal opinion as to what I consider a beginner and what I consider advanced!). However, I hate to alter patterns! I liked it when clothing designs were baggy and unconstructed - not so much for their look (because it actually was a bit dowdy and sloppy) but because I didn't have to do so much alterations to the patterns!
I wasn't sure how this one would fit in the bodice. It didn't appear to have that much ease built into the design and I typically need to do a FBA to all of my tops. I decided to cut it and sew it up as is and make adjustments (if needed) on the next one. (See, I was so optimistic about this dress that I had fabric for the second one planned already.) I did lenghten the bodice piece by 1". I knew that the midriff band would not sit underneath my bust as designed if I did not lengthen the bodice slightly.
As soon as I sewed the bodice I could tell I would need an FBA after all. Drat! I pulled out my Real Fit for Real People book to find instructions on doing an FBA with a sleeve that is cut in one piece with the bodice.
I did a slash and spread adding width and length. I curved the edge up to where the side seam is (the circle marks that location on the pattern piece). I'm still not sure if I did it correctly but the bodice does seem to fit better now.
I did the frog stitch (rip-it, rip-it) and took the bodice apart. Here is the difference between the original piece I cut and the pattern piece that was altered.
After resewing the bodice together and resewing the midriff band back on I tried it on again. The FBA worked, but I needed to readjust the gathers under the bustline. I originally gathered the new adjusted bodice piece within the notches just as the pattern instructions call for. However, it was too much gathers in too little of a space. It did not look right. So, I removed the stiching yet again - sigh - and readjusted the gathers to that they begin right at the center front band and continue on to the second notch. With the extra fabric that was added for the FBA this distribution of the gathers looks much better. Keep in mind that G.G.'s not quite as well endowed as I am (that's my dress dummy's name - it's short for "Gravel Gerty" and someday I'll tell that story).
The bodice is now completed and I only need to sew the skirt portion.