How Very Fitting

I spent my evening sewing time working out the fitting problems with my stays pattern on Sticky. For a while I seriously doubted my skills. I had a few waves of panic that there was no way I would be able to fit them properly, that I would spend all this time & money & they would be junk. I wished that I had the skilled hands of the Empress showing me what to do, or that at least my mom was looking over my shoulder helping. But alas, except for the kid & the cats, I had no help.

I did eventually get things straightened out. To start with, I had to smoosh Sticky's boobs in to get the cardboard pattern to actually "mould" in the way the stays will. I also learned that you can stick the pins right into the tape if you want, but if this is something you plan to do frequently it might not be a good idea, as it will shorten the life of your dummy. Although with the cardboard there wasn't another way.

I have narrow shoulders and a large bust, which makes fitting in the shoulders a little tricky. I had PM'd Kass earlier to see where the straps should be sitting and got the OK to move them to a more "on the shoulder" position. But this meant completely reshaping both the front & the back curves to match my shape. This is where I paniced a little. I ended up getting one side perfect and will use that for both. I'm not lopsided enough that the difference between left & right will be noticable if there is much of a difference at all.

Here you can see the cardboard pattern on Sticky.

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Here is the fitted half of the cardboard under the original tracing of the pattern. You can see how much I changed the angle of the straps. I ended up not needing to re-trace the back pattern. Instead I laid out the shoulder strap piece at the proper angle and marked the adjustment on both pieces. I did re-trace the front piece though.

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I also have a short torso and, as I had to do with the hemp corded bodice, I dropped the front neck line about an inch. At first I had only about a 3" deptb from my collar bone, ie they were practically choking me. I dropped it to almost 5" and I think that will actually work alright. It will give me some chest area that I would loose otherwise but not be over the top. But again I paniced not wanting to cut too low or leave it without lowering. Probibly by this point I was just in a state of panic and self doubt as comes with all big projects like this.

The stays are the single most imporatant part of this project. They will take the most time & they make the biggest impact on the final product for things like the mantua. They are also the one area that I have worked in before & been unhappy with the result. I'm sure that the problems with the Hemp Corded Bodice are effecting my work on these (which I should refer to as the Linen Reed Stays). But with the HCB I did flat fitting & went off a self made pattern based on measurements. I really think the fitting with Sticky, using lacing tapes during construction and using a prooven pattern like Reconstructing Histories, will make all the difference.