THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

July 27, 2009

First Fitting, Vintage Sheath

Filed under: Dressmaking,Fit/Pattern Alterations,Georgene,sewing,Vintage Sewing — georgene @ 12:02 am

The first fitting of the vintage Vogue sheath dress went as well as could be expected, I guess. I like to fit with both sleeves, so I asked for help. Thanks to Jennifer and Rose for giving me a hand with it.
sleeve fitting
The right sleeve was pinned in with the seam allowance of the sleeve folded inwards, and the armscye on the body adjusted from the pattern. You can see my left side the sleeve is pinned up the way it was cut (right side on your screen)– it looks too wide at the shoulder and cross chest, really falling off the shoulder. On the next test garment I will work out the new armhole.
– It may be less of a radical adjustment than this fitting indicates. I won’t really know until I can look at the actual bodice and sleeve pattern on the table. I think the sleeve fits well, I don’t want to increase the bicep… I just have to work on the armhole on the dress side.

I had cut the muslin bigger along the side seams, but not nearly enough for the waist and high hip – I will have to add at least ¾” on for a total of 3” (gulp!)
The bust darts need to be dropped down about 1 ½” – 2” – both at the side dart, and at the bust point of the French darts. I will drop all 3, and lower the waist point as well. There has been a major change in the undergarments one would wear since the 1950’s. I am not just ready for a long line girdle or waist cincher other than for a costume.

The 3 little elbow darts on the sleeve are not in the right place for me. – I will have to raise them higher, so that the center one falls at the blue line marked. Since I have a lot of turn back for the cuff at the hem, I will probably just fold out the excess above the elbow all the way across.
elbow dart
I think I am going to like the dress length, but will peg it at the hem. You can see the difference in these 2 photos – on the right photo I am holding the skirt in as if it were pegged. Without that, it looks almost A-line as it is originally cut.

not pegged pegged


  1. I love what you’re doing here and you’re right on target…move that “bust point” down a little. Also I don’t like to take the dart out exactly to the bust point – I like to leave it a little short – usually 1 1/2″ to 2″ depending upon the client. Post pictures as you go along, but looks like you’re headed in the right direction!!!

    Comment by Claire — July 27, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  2. What a difference a pegged skirt can make. There should be a law!

    Comment by Bunny — July 27, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  3. After you move the bust point down and adjust the side, check to see if there is still fabric you can “pinch out” from the bust to the shoulder. This will give you a nice smooth line.

    Love the pegged skirt.

    Comment by RachelMM — July 27, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

  4. I am thrilled to watch you complete this project. I just finished my first vintage pattern and they have some unique challenges but some truly wonderful and unique design and instruction features. I thoroughly loved making it but I had similar fitting features and hope to watch closely what you are doing as I want to start another pattern this week. Thank you and it looks lovely.

    Comment by JoanneM — July 27, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

  5. It’s amazing what a difference it makes when the sleeve is placed properly on the wearer’s body. when I pinned your left sleeve, I was pretty much following the seamline (along your stay stitching). Wow. Thank you for showing us the difference!

    Comment by Rose in SV — August 2, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

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