Peony's progress

I feel I'm making good progress on my Peony now and feeling much more positive. Version 3 was completed over the weekend and the adjustments I made all worked! At the moment I don't mind that I will pretty much have used my entire 3 metres of muslin poplin on the bodice alone. I'm being blissfully  naive that the sleeves are going to slide in perfectly and look AWESOME.....

Increasing to a size 4 bust and grading up to an 8 waist gave me a little more room over the bust which I needed. The darts are in the right position now and are the right length:

You can see from above on the left that the extra inch I lengthened the waistline by is still too much - so for Version 4 I will drop it back to a half inch. 

There is still a little gapage in the front, but the upper back fits well thanks to angling off about 1/2 inch at the top of the back centre as described in my last post.

The front gapage I have pinned out, to be transferred to the side bust dart in Version 4. 

There was a heap of fabric to remove for the swayback adjustment:

So much easier when someone else is home to take symmetrical non-mirror pics!

Here I roughly stitched in the sway back adjustment - getting better but still too much loose fabric across the back...
Taking in the centre back seam an extra 2/8ths of an inch plus the sway back adjustment looked pretty good to me. This is still version 3 with the extra 1/2 inch waist length.....

The final tinkering before version 4 involved playing with the vertical bust darts. I really wanted a snugger look under the bustline as I feel it is more flattering - the fabric wasn't following the curves of my bod enough! 

Too baggy under the bust line
But pinching out the excess at the top of the dart without changing the bottom seemed to help......
How to adjust it?

I think that a lot of girls who have made this dress have had the same problem - there really aren't that many Peonies that have a really snug fit under the bust - and most likely those sewists were probably happy with it, but I wanted a snugger fit, a bit more like Lauren @ Lladybirds Peonies, and it was REALLY hard to find an answer. My saviour was Gertie. There's a bit out the on the interwebs that talk a little bit about curved darts especially around the bustline, but Gertie has a great little snippet in one of her tutorials about pattern adjustment that shows how to make the dart more flattering by turning it from a triangle shape more into a little triangle on top of a truncated triangle.  What this does is takes in some extra fabric just under the bust without affecting the width of the dart at the waistline. 

 I marked on the muslin the point where I had started to pin it in under my boob, with some texta, and this worked out to be about 4cm down from the apex of the dart, so this is the point where the dart gets widened:

I experimented, and did one side like she suggested, and the other side I sewed it curved, by lining up my french curve with the 3 points on the dart - the apex, the new wider point, and the legs at the waistline...

The dart in the picture on the left (which is actually right boob) follows the lines, the dart in the right picture (left boob) is the truly curved dart. They look pretty similar I think. The outcome is also fairly similar, with possibly the right dart looking a little better...

They're not sewn that great, and so I have those faux nipply puckers, but thats just crapola lazy technique at 10.30pm!

Right bust

Left bust
And so to Version 4 - my last draft bodice muslin...... with no fewer than 7 pattern alterations!!!!!