It took me a couple of weekends to motivate myself to get back to working on my coat fitting. It’s so much more fun to play with quick and pretty lingerie projects than to struggle with fitting issues.
Here are some photos of my muslin #2 in which I had gone 2 sizes down at the top, based on my high bust measurement, added a FBA adjustment and blended out to the original size at the waist.
The fit seemed much better at the shoulders now.
There was still plenty of ease.
Unfortunately this still did not seem to resolve my mobility issues. The bunching at the top seemed slightly less but you can see how it still starts to bunch on my arm. By the time my arm was lifted to shoulder height it would cause stress at the seam and drag lines across the chest. This was all easier to see in the thinner woven fabric of my second muslin.
When I completed my first muslin, I was really uncertain about how the raglan sleeves were actually supposed to fit and how to adjust them. I couldn’t seem to find pictures online of raglan coats where people have their arms outstretched. Thankfully, a fellow sewer took the time to comment about my muslin and even posted a picture of her recently completed raglan coat with raised arms! You can see Donna’s gorgeous raglan sleeve coat here. This was such a big help!! I love how Donna’s coat fits and I could see in comparing her photo to the fit of my new muslin, the issue seemed to be less with how low the under arm seam was and more with the deep curve of the sleeve piece.
I could see this even better when I pulled out the underarm stitches. Making the curve on the sleeve piece shallower, so the underarm of the sleeve is closer to the garment, looked like it would drastically improve how high I can lift my arm!
The method I used to fix this was to insert a gusset piece into the underarm hole I had made in the muslin. This was suggested to me by the members in the forum over at Sewing Pattern Review. I posted a topic in the forum looking for fit help and was blown away by how many members took the time to offer suggestions or point me to helpful information. What a great sewing community! Their comments helped me decide to try a smaller size with FBA and the gusset. I wasn’t overly keen on the idea of having a gusset on a dress coat until somebody suggested just putting the gusset in the muslin, to determine extra fabric needed, then moving the extra to the existing pattern pieces. Genius! Honestly I don’t think I would have thought of that.
My only concern now was there might be too much wrinkling due to the extra fabric under my arm. I was having trouble telling with all the seams and pins. I also needed to transfer the gusset onto my pattern paper, tweeking it it to make sure the sleeve still fit properly on the front and back seamlines. Because of this I made a final 1/2 muslin for my left side. So in the below pictures you can see final muslin #3 on the left compared to muslin #2 on the right.
Phew, the wrinkles at the side actually seem the same or less!!
Way better movement without pulling and bunching. 😀
Guess what? I finally cut out my wool and am merrily working on my interfacing now!