yup, you guessed it. I cracked that *bleepin* FBA! well.. kinda. sorta. (okay, i cheated. but who cares, it works!) I’ll go into detail later about how i did it (+photos), and what the problem was, but tonight, i’ve got a muslin that works (well, on one side) and tomorrow all i have to do is to unpick the side panel and to transfer the changes i made to the muslin to the amended pattern tissue so that i can use that from this point on to make my waistcoats. Whether this method will work for a shirt when it arrives, i doubt, as its a real bodge, so i’ve still got to learn how to do a proper FBA… but it does buy me some time.

tonight we had meatballs again. I’m starting to love this dish.. still not quite at the readytosharetherecipe stage, but soon.. i’ve some mouthwatering photos to share on that one too.

Firstly though i want to share a photo of the birthday card i made for my Dad. It was his birthday yesterday, apparently Mum decorated the living room with helium balloons, banners and woke him up with a birthday cake (he was rather gruff about that). I think he had a good day, though, lots of nice pressies (i’ve instructions from Michiel to raid the whisky when i go down next weekend) and he’s got a few more yet to come. Photos behind the cut, as always…

Dads Birthday Card. I reused an old one - very green!

Dad's Birthday Card. I reused an old one - very green!

The Waistcoat and the Eff-Bee-Aye. The instructions i had for it basically said to trace out the pattern onto tissue paper (so you don’t risk cutting up your only pattern of course!) and then to draw a line from the bust point on the side panel to the hem of the pattern in a straight line, which i did… You also had to draw 2 lines from the bust point, to 1/3rd of the way along the armhole from the side seam, and to the side seam about where a bust dart would be if one existed:

see the red lines? thats where i cut

see the red lines? that's where i cut

After that i was supposed to extend the gap between the long red line by the necessary amount and squidgy the top pieces around (the instructions i was working from are to be found here), sellotaping onto new pieces of tissue paper as you go to stabilise the whole thing. What i ended up with was this:

Ridiculous armhole.. could you wear that?

Ridiculous armhole.. could you wear that?

After some more work i managed to arrive at a sort of solution, don’t ask how – this was several days ago. At this point i realised the bust had been extended by so much that the front piece was going to need to be changed as well, in two places, according to the instructions and that’s the point where i gave up on this, really.. i just could not see how it would work.

still not really working...

still not really working...

At this point i gave up and wrote the last blog, having a bit of a rant and a rave, and had a cry, feeling very useless and pathetic (and poor Michiel tried to console me). Then, late last night, Mum popped online n in talking to her, i was looking at the website page for the pattern and it gave, at the bottom, the measurement for the garment in various sizes when made up according to pattern and instructions. Just out of curiosity i got the tape measure and measured the full bust measurement and it was only 10cm smaller than the full bust measurement the pattern said the garment would be. Hmmm.

So, this morning, i set to work. Instead of trying to do an FBA, i shifted the side seams instead – extending them by 2.5cm each, on both the side panels. I then cut out a muslin from this new amendment, sewed it together and this is what i got:

first muslin attempt

first muslin attempt

You can see its rather tight, and that there’s some bad gaping around the armholes, but it was better than the other versions which wouldn’t sew together at all! At this point i decided to try to deal with the gaping around the armhole and hit the ‘net again, and then i found a really helpful page, which commented that Princess Seams can actually be thought of as a series of interconnected darts. When i read that, a light dinged above my head and i knew what to do.

side view - you can see the gappage here

side view - you can see the gappage here

I pulled the waistcoat back on, and where there was gappage, i pinched the material together as if i was going to form a dart, pinning it with a pin. taking it off again, i measured the width of the dart, then shifted it to the princess seam, by taking in the side panel by the same amount as the dart… i pinned that, and to my amazement, it worked. Shrugged out of it again, undid the stitching on the princess seam, reworked in the amended detail, and tried it on again and it was better.. a slight change to the side seam and the top of the front pattern piece made that side perfect.. and now all i have to do is to unpick the pattern pieces to retrace the changes on my tissue paper.

amended version - better!

amended version - better!

So that’s what i’m going to do tomorrow: a couple more small changes, remarking onto the tissue paper, then i’m going to make my first waistcoat. Not from the red velvet yet though, i’m not quite ready to attempt that, especially as i only have so much of it. Instead i’ve a number of pairs of black jeans, one’s mine, which will be turned into a skirt (there’s a bit of a rip between the thighs, but that can be avoided by turning it into the skirt), and three pairs of Michiel’s old jeans which i shall use to make a matching waistcoat. I have some other patterned material which i shall use to make an insert for the jeanskirt, and since its got some flowers on, i may applique some of those flowers onto the waistcoat to make it a matching pair. I’m hoping to get this done by the end of Tuesday evening; it should cost me nothing (bar the electricity to operate the machine) and will be a good dummy run that i may even be able to wear when i visit my parents this weekend. I’ve also plans for a bag – watch this space!

And Finally… meatballs! nomnomnomnom…

the wrap all built up

the wrap all built up - salsa, lettuce, meatballs, creme fraiche and grated cheddar...

plates of meatballs - this is after 2 wraps each - enough left for spaghetti with meatballs on tuesday night, and possibly another meal still..

plates of meatballs - this is after 2 wraps each - enough left for spaghetti with meatballs on tuesday night, and possibly another meal still..

all wrapped up and ready to go.. (yes go on, groan)

all wrapped up and ready to go.. (yes go on, groan)

would you like a bite?

would you like a bite?

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