Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nice to meet you, Mr. Mrak.

This project has been a long time in the making. It began many years ago when my friend Nina D. gave me this Magic-Fit kit. It came with a nice styling ruler that I use all the time. While I had only glanced at the booklet, I couldn't get the hairy hands of the handsome Mr. Mrak totally out of my mind. I had never delved completely into the box's magical mysteries. It was time to let Mr. Mrak out of the box.

Dusan, you beast!

The handy ruler with the handy slots for adding a 5/8 s.a.

I wish I could always have him by my side. (In the sewing room)

His system is a connect the dots approach to creating a fitted sheath dress. You take about a dozen measurements (which I did by myself-so pretty easy to do), locate the dots that correspond to your bust size, connect the upper body darts, slide the pattern to position the waist and hip, then connect the rest of the dots.

There is separate template to create the bust dart. I had a screaming headache the day I did this, so I was sure I misunderstood and had done it wrong.

I proceeded to make a muslin and, low and behold, it was actually not bad. Not perfect, but not bad. I had to tweak the princess dart in the front (made it shorter and deeper under the bust), the princess dart in the back (made the upper part of the dart longer) and made the shoulders narrower. Then it fit pretty well. The neckline was lowered also because I put the zipper in the side seam and it wouldn't go over my head otherwise. 

This system will not create a fitting shell-it has some ease built into it-but instead a fitted sheath dress. The dress has nice high armscyes, fairly narrow sleeves with an elbow dart and a shoulder dart, which I think are all really helpful for making a nice fitting garment for a large busted, small framed person such as myself. Now, I probably won't wear this dress much, but I do hope the pattern will be useful for comparing to commercial patterns.

Once the sheath is drafted, the booklet details how to use it to draft other styles, such as an A-line dress, princess seam sheath, jacket, coat and tunic. Emboldened, I decided to make a jacket. I also made a dumb mistake. I forgot to raise the neckline back up, so when I drafted the collar (with the help of Ms. Armstrong) the neckline is too low for the collar to roll or sit properly. I'm pretty happy with the general fit of the jacket, although the  shitty collar makes it unwearable.  I'm envisioning longer version of the jacket with a mandarin collar.

Even though I got a dress I'm not likely to wear much, and a jacket destined for the trash, I consider the learning part of this whole enterprise to be a resounding success.

So, thanks, Mr. Mrak. It was a pleasure.


  1. Interesting way of pattern drafting to get a great fit. Nice job with dress and jacket.

  2. A lot like Sure Fit Designs.

  3. I love that dress and do not see at all why you would not wear it.

    1. Thanks, I like it too, but I'm usually more of a separates kind of person. I'm actually planning to wear it to a birthday party this weekend, weather permitting.