When I first saw Sewaholic's Granville Shirt, I thought it would be perfect for my Liberty of London Fabric. I love the fitted look of it, and I figured it would be an excellent wardrobe builder. I wanted to make a shirt that fit me very well, so I was prepared to do some fitting work but it was more of a headache than I anticipated. However, it was an excellent learning experience!
My measurements indicated I needed I size 8 or 10 but a size 4 in the hips. I expected this because I know Sewaholic is drafted for "pear" shaped women which I am not. No problem, I started with a size 8 and graded to a size 4 at the side seams. I kept the back seams a straight size 8. Well, it looked terrible. The curves were all in the wrong places. The sides stuck out very strangely, and the back was flat and shapeless.
So, my next step was to take in the side seams a whopping 3/4" at the hip line on either side. I shaped the back seam increasing at the low hip by 1/2" on each seam. I also decided to lengthen the whole shirt by 1". The results: too tight! Too tight everywhere, the front edges don't even close. It also felt a tad too long. The back curves were a little bit better and not so flat and baggy in the low back. However, I decided to move on up and try a size 10.
I made up a size 10 grading to size 4 hips on the side seams and lengthened the bodice by only 3/4" instead of 1". Results: Horrible in so many ways but I didn't even consider fixing those problems because it was too big in the shoulders and upper chest. I needed to start with a well fitting shoulder/neckline. Soooo, back to the previous muslin!
I took my previous size 8 pattern and reduced the lengthening of the bodice to 3/4" instead of 1". Then, I took the side seams at (hip level) back out 1/2" for a net reduction of 1/4". This was graded smoothly to the upper waistline. I kept the same shaping I had done previously on the back seams. Next, I did a 3/4" F.B.A. Results: Sooo much better in the bust but still tight in the hips. So, I took out a further 3/8" at the hip side seam grading to the high waistline.
This was as good as I was going to get! Plus, I'm just sick of making muslins, and my head hurts thinking about all this. Oh yeah, the sleeve! Can't forget the sleeves. I shortened it by 3/4" which I don't think I've ever had to do in my life. I just measured the pattern and compared it to my measurements.
Judging by the way I had to take in the side seams then having to put them back out after lengthening, I think I'm trying to change too many things at once too drastically. I think next time I'll remember that simply lengthening can change a curve to sit in the right place. I'm not sure that exactly would have happened in this case, but it probably would have resulted in less back and forth adjustments. Overall, it was a good experience with fitting that I definitely need. So, I'm looking forward to actually starting to sew this thing and hopefully it turns out half decent!