Altering Patterns – The Hard Way

I have to alter pretty much every single sewing pattern in order for it to fit me. Standard alterations include length (all over), full bust adjustment, swayback adjustment, large backside adjustment, and grading from one size on top to another on bottom.

Having accepted this from the word go, I don’t mind the process too much. I trace all my patterns in order to preserve the tissue and stuff like adding length in is very easy to do on the paper as you go along.

A full bust adjustment? Not so much. The slash and pivot process is very much to be done with scissors and tape, as illustrated fantastically by the gif on my go-to FBA tutorial. But I use greaseproof paper for tracing off my patterns, and have yet to find a reliable, accurate sticking method – after all, it’s designed to resist grease and glue!

So last night I gave it a go on McCall’s 5661 using nowt but a pencil, ruler, protractor and compass. Here’s where I got to, before I rubbed out a load of the construction lines:

IMG_6201 (600 x 450)

There are a couple more steps to go. In particular, I divided the one big dart that I was left with into two smaller ones, but have currently got both their points meeting together, which will not be a good look when sewn up.

It’s fun, though. It really stretches the brain, I find, and makes me want to go on a proper pattern drafting course. Of course, the real proof of the pudding will be in the eating – when I transfer the 2D changes to a 3D muslin in order to dress a 3D body.

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One thought on “Altering Patterns – The Hard Way

  1. In The Jar « Sewing Slowly January 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm Reply

    […] starting with McCall’s 5661 – the pattern I was twisting my head around here. This pattern is actually now out of print for some unfathomable reason, but reviews and pictures […]

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