If you read my earlier posts, you will be quiet surprised in regards to what I am about to say. Even as I type this, I double checked myself to ensure I was sitting down before I typed, "Muslins really are handy."
With winter well on the way, I set out to make a wool version of Vogue 8701 with great enthusiasm. Examing the pattern pieces before I started to cut my fabric, I discovered a great problem: the ease and piece measurements did not match the typical sizing. More times than not, a size 12 fits perfectly around my chest, but this one indicated that is would fail to fit. So with reluctance, I cut a cotton bodice thinking that the possibility of needing a new pattern was totally unjustified and wasting my lovely light blue wool was not an option.
With dressform in place and pieces loosely sewn together, I put the mock-up to test. It proved that my measurements, and the ease measurements printed on the pattern pieces, were exactly right. The size 12 was completely too small! The bust and shoulder darts sat at funny angles, the neck darts bunched, and the back did not close. So, what is a seamstress to do? Decrease the seam allowance? Enlarge the rear bodice pieces? Move the center line of the pattern away from the fold before cutting? I mulled over this decision for awhile and decided to increase the width of the waist strictly down the center marking of the front bodice. Increasing the waist girth by two inches straightened the darts and side seams, while keeping the well fitting neckline intact, and adjusted the back piece to fit correctly without modification.
Since the bodice now fits correctly, I will transfer the changes to make a new bodice pattern piece---but I must sew another muslin to make sure the plaid I intend to use has the possibility of lining up straight. I will also increased the front skirt width to fit the bodice, that is another step I must not forget.