Fitting the Amélie: Final Toiles + Pattern

Fitting the Amélie: Final Toiles + Pattern

In my last post, I had just finished cutting out my updated Amélie pattern for Toile #2. With my pattern pieces cut, I was ready to actually sew it up and try it on once again!

I immediately noticed that the point of my CF dart was wayyy off from my actual apex point. So I quickly marked the bodice while I was wearing it...

...and then adjusted the paper pattern. I unpicked the bust dart and re-angled the dart to match my newest adjustment. 

Then I tried the bodice back on once again to make note of any other issues I saw. I guess you could call this Toile #2A. This one adjustment made a world of difference to how the bust fit.

But, like with Toile #1, I was still having a shoulder pulling issue. 

I've always had this issue with my clothing, but I was never quite sure how to address it. II mean... my shoulder seam was hitting me right where I wanted it to, but it was as if I still didn't have enough room in my shoulders for the fabric to go, so it tugged. 

This led me down a rabbit hole where I pulled out my favorite fitting book. I looked at the adjustments from broad shoulders vs. square shoulders and weighed my options. 

I even found a tutorial online for forward shoulder adjustments by Alexandra Morgan and followed all of her suggestions, creating a new set of pattern pieces and Toile #3! 

But when I put the 3rd toile on, something felt off. The shoulder seams seemed too far forward, even though the pulling at my shoulders had vanished, and the bodice felt like it was too short on my torso. 

So I took a moment and looked at Toile #2A again and that's when it hit me. The issue wasn't with my front shoulders or shoulder width, it was with the amount of room I had in the back of my garment and where the button was placed. I needed more room!

To test my theory, I pinned a small scrap of fabric to the back buttonhole area, and guess what? my shoulder seam tugging vanished!

I wound up needing roughly an extra 1.5" (3,8 cm) of fabric at the button point. So I made one final adjustment to my pattern, extending the CB point out by that amount. I even grabbed a bit of scrap material and attached it to the back seam for my final adjustment and Toile #2B. 

Doesn't it look wonderful?! Sure, there are probably some parts of this pattern that I could tweak further, but again, I wanted to stay away from over fitting, especially as I knew that this garment would have a lining that would effect the final look of the overall garment. Would you like to see how my final Amélie turned out? 

Pretty amazing, right?! I am so pleased with how my new dress fits me. I know that fitting and making toiles can be a total drag, but I found this entire process to really be worth the extra effort. Not only was I able to make a dress with a bodice that fits me perfectly, but I am able to use that pattern again and again and again knowing that it's fits me just the way I like it. Which is why I love sewing ym own clothing to begin with - getting the fit just right! 

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Nice job! Can I ask you what book you have used for the alterations?
Thank you!


Hi Stephanie!

Oh I am so glad that you found this tutorial helpful! And of course- the book I use is a vintage book called “The Vogue Sewing Book”, published in 1975.

Brittani (Pattern Maker)

This is so helpful! Do you mind if I ask which fitting book you’re using here?


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