So I decided to kick off my FESA sewing with the new to me Sewaholic Granville shirt and a bit of slower sewing. Two weeks later I still don’t have a finished item to show, but it has been an interesting journey and I think I have learned a bit more about dealing with fit problems!
My autumn plans are all about wearable basics and a white shirt is as wearable basic as it gets. Granville is a fitted shirt with princess seams at the back. I wanted to get a good fit and focus on all the shirt details – tower plackets, collar stand, edge stitching and flat fell seams!
I started with a test version (using an duvet cover) to check on fit and when I first tried it on I had a moment of thinking that it was absolutely fine, then I looked a bit closer and realised that it needed some more work!I started by cutting a size 12. I would probably usually have cut a 10 at the shoulder/bust and graded out to a 12 at the waist/hip, but I often have fit problems around the shoulders so I decided to give myself a bit more room.
I found several helpful posts about Granville fitting. The most useful for me was this post by Spiffy Stitches which I covered most of the adjustments that I needed. There are a number of other useful Granville fitting posts – including this one at Saturday Night Stitch and this one at Lavender Lane.
So these were the issues I wanted to correct:
Side seams wing out too far at the hip level
This was the easiest fix – I just folded out about half an inch from the bottom of the front and side back pieces to reduce the flare.
Bust dart was slightly too low – again this was an easy one – I copied the line of the original dart about an inch higher.
There was a lot of extra fabric at the backThis took a little more thought. I curved the princess seam lines in on both pieces by about half an inch, tapering back to nothing above and below.Sleeves were slightly too tight and I couldn’t lift my arms fully. This was the biggest challenge and ended up being two adjustments. After looking at other posts – Spiffy Stitches in particular – I decided that the armholes were too low and the sleeve head was longer than I needed. I also wanted a bit more space at the back of the shoulder.
Firstly I raised the underarm seam line about half an inch – adding another half inch after that and taking in the side seam slightly above the bust dart.For sleeve head height I followed an adjustment from the Threads book ‘Fitting for Every Figure’ on sleeves to slash and spread and reduce height in the sleeve cap and widen the sleeve a bit – see picture below.This is probably the most work I have done on fitting – I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of adjustments I needed but I was able to put them all together into a second muslin. I was much happier with the result and I can move my arms! The back is also much improved but was so creased that you can hardly tell the difference in my pictures, so you will have to take my word on it for now!
The information I found in other posts was really helpful and gave me confidence to push ahead with changes I haven’t tried before – particularly raising the underarm and reducing the sleeve head.
So – after all this – which took well over a week in snatched sessions – I was ready to go ahead with the real thing. I have posted some of the details on my Instagram feed, but stay tuned for collars, plackets and flat felled seams and hopefully a well fitting shirt!
Anyone else faced some fitting challenges recently? I might be ready for some quick and easy sewing after this…