I decided to do the fitting toile in separate parts before assembling the bodice to the skirt. This makes it easier for me to focus on the specific areas in each that present fitting problems. As I am learning today, the surgical mesh that was put in place in the late 1990s to repair an incisional hernia has affected the fit of the skirt around the waist and abdomen.
Here are a few photos on the problems as well as what I think the toile is telling me the solutions should be.
First Skirt Toile-Fitting problems and possible solutions
My abdomen is a bit puffy where the mesh was placed. This affected the waistline and abdomen lines. The front skirt length is 1″ more while the side and back skirt length are the same. I eliminated 1/4″ from the center front length and it now rests in a better position.
There was only 3/4″ for dart intake. The drafting instructions called for dividing that intake evenly between two darts. I do not like the way the darts look. Also, during the fitting the waistline gaped between the darts. I will use this extra amount to increase the intake. The extra amount was pinned into place.
This custom made dress form includes a derriere which I think makes a big difference when aiming for an accurate fit and enough ease around a pencil skirt or any skirt for that matter. At the back, I also found more gaping between the darts, so that excess will be used for the next skirt’s back darts. Here, too, I am thinking one dart may be better than two.
To create a more pleasing shape, I’m going to try tapering the skirt from the hip to hemline. I’ll measure in about 1/8 to 3/16″ at the side seam and taper to zero at the hip. This will give the skirt a bit more of a curvy shape.
To create some sense of shape at the front and make something of a visual distraction from the puffy abdomen I think darts that slant to the side seams might work. What do you think?
It’s still too soon to tell how the next toile will come out but I think there will be some improvement. If you look at the right side of the skirt (left in the photo) there already is a better shape resulting from some tapering at the side seam and taking in the excess fabric that had been gaping.