Of FBAs and abandonment of projects

I’m in this weird headspace at the moment where I kind of want to sew something, but I’m also kind of massively disheartened and it’s all to do with the Megan dress. I kind of made myself commit to doing the sleeves on it, but it all felt so pointless because it’s a bit of a mess and I’d already decided that it was going to be cut up and the fabric turned into a Runaround bag because the FBA isn’t right and the whole bodice/skirt connection isn’t right and it’s baggy at the back and just argh (hey, my invisible zip is PERFECT though!)

But not doing the sleeves is also kind of holding up anything else I might want to sew because I’ve got this half-finished, not-right thing drifting about looking at me accusingly.

So I came to a decision. I decided to not finish the Megan at all, abandon the sleeves (after all the sleeves on the Alma pattern I’ve bought to practice the FBA on work in exactly the same way, so I’ll get to do it then) and just declare it a failure and move on. But I figured it would be good to document it for my own notes, so I put it on.

Megan dress mess in progress

And actually it’s more comfortable than I remember. And the colours are great on me. And. And. Oh bugger. Clearly it’s never going to be good enough to really wear in public, which makes me think that there’s no point to it, but maybe I’d wear it around the house? And then I noticed some bits and pieces that maybe I can fix, but it’s probably better to have the sleeves in to see how it all sits to determine what’s actually going on.

So what have I discovered:

  1. Actually, the bodice is the right length in front. I don’t think the fold that runs across the bodice at the bottom of the bust (can’t really see it well in this photo but it runs right along horizontally just under those three dark squares on the left) is anything to do with the dart tucks now – I think instead it’s a factor of right-length in front, but possibly too short at the sides, which could be right because redrawing the sides and getting all that to match up with the width at the bottom was one of the problems I had with doing the FBA. Possibly also to do with my mistaken taking-in-at-the-sides because I felt it was gapey – now I think that extra space would have helped the front sit right.
  2. I think the darts are coming too far forward, in spite of being a full 2.5 inches back from the bust point. I think they could do with going back another inch and I think that might smooth out the result. Probably still be a little too large in front, but I think the result would be better.

So. There’s not much I can do about the fold and side length and so on unless I unpick things and patch in fabric, but as the FBA work needs to be redone for next time anyway, I think this is just a matter of taking note. Possibly a slightly smaller FBA (which is probably what I need anyway because of the bagginess) – maybe 1.5″ instead of 1.75″? – would sort this out.

However, I might still be able to fudge a rework of the darts and see if that improves the way they lie, in which case I would be able to definitively note down a distance of 3.5 inches for future FBAs, which would be very useful to know – at the time I did a bunch of internet research to see where they should come and everyone seemed to be saying that even if one was oversized in this area, 2.5 inches should do it, but I think it’s clear to me now that it won’t.

Actually… I’ve just realised that I trimmed the immense quantity of fabric that was in the darts, so changing them will probably make the bodice unwearable anyway, but the info gathered from the exercise should be incredibly helpful, so I think I have a new resolution:

  1. bugger the sleeves. Sleeves are all over the place in just about any top I’m going to make. They don’t sound massively difficult anyway and understanding the FBA is harder and more likely to waste a whole garment in future if it goes wrong. I did originally buy the fabric from Ikea specifically because it was cheap and would allow for messing things up without guilt over expensive material, so I need to not feel guilty simply because it’s a design I like!
  2. I’ll do some work on the darts and see if I can sort this out. Even if it leaves a hole, I should be able to see whether it’ll sit flatter further back
  3. Then back to the original plan of making a bag out of the skirt and leftover material
  4. Consider going back to Ikea for a restock of this fabric because I really do like it (and Djelibeybi’s crazy about the print on me). And maybe on the next run I can actually get my pattern matching to work at the waist too!

Wow. Full marks for thinking out loud. Sorry about that. But yay! Plan!

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