EAC: Pattern Alterations

I decided to start fresh with this pattern.  I made a new tracing but at the same size has the previous version.

I’ve always heard that you make length adjustments first so the first thing I did I made was a 1″ BWL (back waist length) alteration to front and back pieces.

Since the dartless FBA has a length component, I made Louise Cuttings Dartless FBA next.  Basically the front is quartered, separated specific amounts, taped into place and then lines are trued.   I added 3/4″ width and 2″ length.

Next I made my 1″ NSA as described in yesterday’s post.

Last I trimmed the armscye, shoulder and collar seams to 1/4″.  I prefer 1/4″ so I can sit and serge. But I admit to a need for fitting and left the other seams at least slightly adjustable.

I chose a good shirting fabric.  I did not want to repeat the mistakes made on the POV.  Ok part of that was simply I don’t like extremely dropped/extended shoulder seams. But the lawn fabric was also just not good for that design. It ended up looking like what all the fat girls wear  instead of the elegant garment in the drawing.  First step in avoiding that look (fat girl garment) is through fabric choice. My fabric was advertised as cotton shirting with 1% lycra. It has a very slight stretch, not even 10%. Which gives the fabric just enough room to stretch or bend when I do and then completely recover to its former size and shape.  I do think there is a polyester content as well because it presses easily like cotton  and tends to maintain the press like polyester.     At 2 yards and 48″ wide, I didn’t have quite enough fabric.  I wanted to check sleeve cap height (shown here) and opted to make long sleeves but not the collar.  Still didn’t have quite enough fabric (I purchased this fabric thinking summer, short-sleeve, camp shirt) and had to change the full length sleeve into separately-cuffed, full-length sleeve.

I taped the back shoulders and stitched them to the front; then finished the neckline, front facing buttonholes and buttons.  I basted in the left sleeve and stitched the long underarm/side seam.  Then I basted the right side seam together but stitched  the right sleeve only at the underarm between notches.  As referenced in the previous paragraph, I checked the sleeve cap height and also took photos from front, side and back to check fit.

OK, a camp shirt is supposed to be roomy. Right? But does this back look too large?

It can be hard to see with a busy print (especially a blue that makes my eyes look so beautiful), so I drew lines following some of the vertical folds.

I was mystified. I did not expect the back to look so roomy. It did not look so big in the previous version


and was absolutely too tight in the POV:

(POV used same size).


I am surmising that the slash-and-smash and the rotating dart methods of shoulder alteration must have removed ease from the back with me noticing.  It will be interesting to test this theory. For now, in the final version I stitched a 1/4″ vertical seem from neck to hem edge:

It’s still roomy, but “roomy” like a camp shirt instead of a potato sack.  I have stitched in both sleeves, even though the shoulder cap on the sleeve needs to be raised. I’ve also added shoulder pads and finished the hems in the photo just above this paragraph. I’m not unhappy with this version but I will say that I probably could have made that back seam 3/8 or 1/2″ for this fabric.

To my total shock and the first time in a long, long time, my front hem is too long at center front:

I’m going to again assume, that my previous NSA methods were reducing the front length and/or lengthening the side seams greatly.

I’m also pointing out (in the pic above) that I do seem to have a bit of excess ease on the side.

I’m really pleased with the front view:

But don’t be surprised if I restyle this into a short-sleeve, summer, camp shirt. It just has that kind of feel for me.

I’m can’t call this a TNT, yet.  Judging from the width of the back and ease of the front, I might have started with a smaller pattern. I’m more interested in being able to do creative sewing;  so I will tweak this pattern to fit by

  • Vertical 1/8″ fold on the back to remove excess ease
  • Vertical 1/8″ fold on side-front to remove excess ease
  • Raise the front hem until even with the back, approximately 1″.

I like having a plan to fit patterns, so for new patterns or to re-fit existing patterns I plan to use the

  • 1″ BWL
  • 1″ Slash and slide NSA
  • 1/2″ X 1″ FBA

It would be wonderful if that’s all it takes to fit patterns to my frame, but I have to be honest. The camp shirt is a loosely fitting garment which hides many body variations. When I work again on the Tunic Blouse and my favorite T (PP104),  I will need to consider other changes to achieve the more skimming fit I love and desire.  I’ve not ruled out yokes, center front or center back seams as design lines that include fitting options.  Also, my body continues to age and change; so I will be continuing to explore and tweak fit.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s