V8648 -The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje

Wow February was an exhausting month and the dress isn’t finished but I thought I’d share my preparation for this course.

In our detailed pre-class notes Susan asked us to bring to class “a fitted muslin/toile” and as I shared my plans for this course I did have my 4th toile ready for Susan to fit on our first day of class.

The reason for the 4 toiles is that all of my sewing of late has been using TNT patterns so it has been a very long time since I have tried to get a pattern to fit me.

Therefore this is a very long post about pattern adjustments.

1st Toile

In preparation for my first fitting with Anita from Studio Faro I started with size 6 using my high bust measurement as the starting point.

Then I did the following adjustments:

  • FBA of 2cm
  • Raised the hips by 5cm
  • Raised back neckline by 9.5cm
  • Added 0.5cm to each of the seams of the skirt and back to zero at the bodice.

My first fitting with Anita was on 4 December 2016 and as you can see the bodice was snug so Anita suggested I add 0.5cm to every vertical seam on the dress so this makes me wonder if I should have started with the size 8 but then those vertical seams did not affect the shoulders.

2nd Toile

So the width was added to all the vertical seams for my 2nd visit with Anita on 8 January 2017 and Anita marked the following adjustments:


  • Took 1cm out of the width of the centre front bodice
  • Smoothed out the bust curve by 7mm
  • Took a tuck from the bodice side front side seams of 11mm to nothing at the bust curve
  • Took a tuck of 7mm above the bust on bodice side fronts
  • Dropped armhole by 1cm
  • Bodice back side took 7mm tuck right across 

Midriff pieces

  • Added 3mm at waist edge of Midriff Front and Midriff Side Front taking to zero at bodice edge
  • Took 1cm from bodice edge of Midriff front to zero at waist seam


  • Biceps adjustment on sleeve back of 1.5cm at hem edge using Fit For Real People on page 171 
  • Added 9mm at back side and front side seams
  • Added 6mm to sleeve centre seam starting at the sleeve hem taking taking back to zero level at the underarm for both front and back patterns pieces
  • Shortened the sleeve 3.2cm
  • Dropped the armhole by 1cm 

  • Added 3mm on the front and side front seams from the waist back to zero 13.5cm below
  • Took off 1.5 cm from the front centre back to 1cm at side seam
  • Took off 1cm at side back skirt to zero at side seam

3rd Toile

At my final fitting on 22 January 2017 Anita took a further 0.6cm from the centre front bodice,

and for both the bodice side front and back, reshaped the armsyce and adjusted the shoulder seams.

V8648 Bodice Side Back

4th Toile

Finally my 4th toile was ready for my fitting with Susan Khalje on 6 February 2017.

More to follow.

6 thoughts on “V8648 -The Couture Dress with Susan Khalje

  1. This is all amazing. I can't even imagine being able to see where a 3mm adjustment is required! What happens when you recreate the dress in anything other than calico? That's a fabric that, in my hands at least, fits like no other fabric I ever sew with! 🤔


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