Seamwork Akita

I’ve barely sewn anything in 2015, and I recently decided that the Akita blouse, from Seamwork, Colette’s online magazine, would be a good project to try and kickstart my sewing mojo. It’s a one-hour project that takes about a yard of fabric, and has very simple construction. I decided to make up a wearable muslin in some quilting cotton and see what I thought. (Spoiler: WTF?.)

According to the pattern, I’m just shy of a size 12 for the bust, and between a 12 and 14 for the waist and hip. Based on my experience with Colette’s Crepe dress — I have a muslin of the bodice that’s been languishing for quite a while, because it’s at least one size too big, despite careful measuring on my part — I decided to go for a 12, rather than a 14. 

Not surprisingly, the size 12 turned out to be baggy around the bust and waist. Conversely, the hip seemed too small, though it was hard to tell by how much, because the hem was sitting on top of my butt and bunching up. It looked extremely voluminous, but I knew the stiffness of the fabric was also a factor. I decided to focus on refitting the bust, and then figure out the hip.

I recut to a size 8 at the bust and left it as a 12 at the hip. I had to do this adjustment twice, but eventually wound up with a version that fit much better in the bust and waist, so I took some time to assess the length and the fit around the hip. I wound up cutting the back down to the hem marked for the size 6, and fudging the back hem by a similar amount. This is where I stopped on Sunday; you can see some pictures on Flickr.

This version fits better overall, but I still need some more room around the stomach and hips, and maybe to remove some fabric around the waist. Today, I tinkered with the pattern pieces and graded out to a 16 at the hip. My plan was to cut a new version of the top out of some jersey, so I could get a better sense of how this will fit in a drapier fabric, but turns out I don’t have quite enough length in any of my leftovers.

Getting this all down in writing, and looking at the photos more closely, I think I should quit while I’m not too far behind. I’ve got a pattern piece that incorporates 4 different sizes, and is no longer the rectangular tunic it was designed to be.

This experience also has me wondering if I should go back to the Crepe I’d started, or bother with Myrtle, which I recently purchased. Both are dresses. I know I don’t have the patience or interest in doing a lot of fitting, and it seems clear that if I cut a size that fits at the bust, I’ll wind up with a much-too-small bottom. I might be better off reselling them and finding something else to do with the fabric.

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