Why such enthusiasm? I want to fit my favorite dress pattern for wearing at a summer wedding. KS 2599 has been a favorite of mine for over 3 decades because it is easy to sew; easy to fit; and easy to wear. Not to mention easy to adapt with style designs and trends. Oh, totally forgot, while it is drafted for wovens, 2599 is easily adapted for knit fabrics. I’ve also chosen to work with it now because this is like the next step in using the sleeveless bodice I just worked so hard to successfully complete. It’s a natural. Take the basic bodice; make it into a dress.
2599 has a horizontal bust dart for front shaping. Does not have vertical waist darts like my sloper but there is a very shapely center back seam and some side seam shaping. I’ve chosen to use Style “B” because of my fit experience with this pattern. With my narrow shoulders, the drafted shoulder point hits at about the right spot to make my shoulders look normal and while I don’t completely understand why, 2599 has always been easier to fit than other tank top styles. Style B does have sort of a high neckline. Woven fabrics require a back closure of some kind. Knits will pull on and off. I also prefer hem vents for ease when walking.
To choose size, I compared my measurements to the pattern envelope chart. Not surprisingly, I should fit in a size Large across shoulder and bust but take an XL for my hip and sitting regions. Leaving plenty of white space on my tracing paper, I traced a large starting at the shoulder/neckline, to the S/L line below the bust. Continuing my tracing, I copied size XL from underarm to hem. I pulled out the just-fit sleeveless sloper for comparison and looked a the backs first. With sloper on top, I aligned the center backs and slid the sloper up until the shoulder points met. I copied my sloper’s shoulder line onto the copy of 2599.
When the sloper is removed, you can see that I’ve effectively raised the shoulder at the neckline about 5/8″.
Generally, I lower the shoulder point 5/8″ which increases the shoulder slope angle; then redraw the armscye the same distance lower and sleeves may need to be trued. Personally, I prefer to adapt necklines rather than armscyes and sleeves YMMV.
The natural waist is marked on the center back of 2599 but not the front or sides. I compared the waist on my sloper with the natural waist of 2599. Stunned to discover 2599’s waist was 2.5″ lower than my natural waist — I checked everything again; and then a 3rd time. I’m used to making a 1″ back waist length adjustment. 2.5″ seemed wholly unreasonable. I decided this was test. I’m testing not just how 2599 fits me now, but how I can effectively use my slopers. Even if I throw this test away, it will not be a wasted effort. I’ll know what doesn’t work which sometimes is more valuable than what does work.
Even though I traced the XL side seam (because that’s what Kwik Sew said I needed to cover my hinny), my first comparison indicated I would still need to add 3/4″ ease at the hip. After the BWL, only 1/4″ extra was needed from hip to hem. Get this, 2599’s (size L) side seam from underarm to waist was almost exactly the same as my sloper. Using my curve, I did a little smoothing to join the L side seam at the Bust, to the XL +1/4″ side seam at the hip. I was surprised at how easy it was to adapt the side seam.
One curious difference on the back was the underarm. The underarm of 2599 was 1/4″ lower than my sloper. I’ve been thinking that my sloper needed to be scooped at the underarm. I haven’t been 100% sure scooping the armscye was the answer and haven’t done it. I thought this might be a good test of that theory too. I left the underarm of the 2599 as drafted.
Then turned my attention to the fronts. I immediately completed the 2.5″ BWL. Didn’t even do any kind of comparison. Just fold and tape. The front and back have to be the same or shaping will not align. Then I compared the fronts with the sloper on top CF’s aligned and slid upwards until shoulder points met. I copied the shoulder slope of my sloper to the front of the copy of the 2599. Compared side seams and added 3/4″ from hip to hem but not above. Again the side seams from underarm to waist were almost exactly the same including, this time, the underarm.
Please return tomorrow. I promise pics of the final dress and little sewing discussion.