Hey, did you miss me? I was so exhausted by all that zipper sewing that I had to convalesce for a few days, under strict doctor’s orders to do nothing but eat my children’s Halloween candy and watch Good Times reruns, and give nary a thought to sewing, zippers, fit, or grain.

Post-zipper intensive care

But now I’m all better. Or I was, until I turned to Bishop and saw this:


Eeeeeeeeek! Because fitting is terrifying, and endless, and impossible, and makes strong seamstresses cry.

But it turns out  Ms. Bishop says not to worry my pretty head about it just yet. Right now, as a beginner, all I have to care about is this:PB150053

Do my boobs fit? Does my gut fit? Does my butt fit? Is it the right length through the bodice? Then I am good.

What a relief!

I decided to make a simple sheath to try out this theory. Ms. Bishop’s take on fitting is unusual to me, because instead of slash and spread or any other familiar technique, she has you slide the unslashed pattern around the fabric. Like, if something is too short through the bodice, you cut out the armscye and neck and the part of the bodice that is right for you, then you slide it down the (in my case 2 inches) you need, then repin and start cutting again. Crazy talk!


See, if you need another 3/8″ at the waist, just unpin that part and pivot that part of the pattern piece over 3/8″. She swears that because of the magic of Grain Perfection this will work fine.


Or if the whole thing needs an extra inch, slide it over that extra inch and cut. Grain Perfection will protect you.

Big boobs?


Cut from A to D, then make a chalk mark that marks how much you need to add to the front. Slide the piece up to it and cut the rest.

Whether such madness works or not will have to be determined another day, because I chose to test fitting using a prewashed and predried wool crepe that is now so spongy as to be, in effect, a knit. So all bets were off, everything was huge when I basted it together, and I wound up fitting it using a dressform and pinning to fit on myself.

But I will tell you one thing for sure:
My lapped zipper kicks serious ass!
22 inches, baby, and it alllllllll works.The top stitching is wambly even though I marked it with chalk. Maybe I will give the tape another try.

You will note that I gained confidence in taking in the waistline when I added the extra 3/8″ at the hip the second time. The first try I just sort of gently graded to the hip while the right side veers madly from my small waist to my ginormous butt and thigh width. When I finish stitching the lining to the zipper and putting in the hem I will take some pictures of me in the dress.

For now, more shots of zippers and darts and lining not peeking out.



Although this is a very simple dress, I can assure you I would NEVER have made it this well were I not following The Bishop Method. Excelsior!