Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Confession

Image #1 credit: Threads Magazine (click here)



Image #2 Credit: Threads Magazine (click here)


Today's topic is altering patterns.  My confession is simple: I don't know how to do it.  

I have taken 2 classes at assorted Sewing Expos over the years.  One class advocated the "seam" method - opening up the seam allowances (image #2 above).  The other class advocated the "slash and burn" method*...  or something like that...  ;)


My questions for you:  How do you adjust patterns?  Do you use an official method or have you worked out something for yourself?  What can you tell me about the official methods?  Is one better than the other? Any advice?  I'd love to hear anything and everything you want to tell me!  Thanks!  :)



*When I tried it, it was eerily similar to a "crash and burn" method.  

15 comments:

Becky said...

I've tried to learn how to make fitting adjustments to the patterns, but by and large it's mostly eluded me so far. I'm fine with things like add length to the sleeve, and have had some success with altering patterns to suit the design that I have in mind, but things like FBAs just have not worked for me so far! So my standard method is to try on and adjust as I go--take things in at the waist as needed, etc. Though I'd really like to learn to do pattern adjustments for real, to allow me more creativity in altering the patterns! I recently bought a pattern solely to use as a bodice sloper, which will hopefully help with that.

I will say that I made a pattern from the Colette Handbook last year, and her basic fitting adjustment directions are superb. My Licorice dress is the first time I've managed to make a well-fitted sheath-style dress that actually worked!

Shawnta said...

Well I don't know how to either! LOL
I feel our individual body quirks might determine what method works better even though they are all suppose to correct the the same problem. I recently tried my hand at some Colette clovers and did two separate muslins with two different ways of fixing a full derriere a shot. In the end the usual method that you show in picture 2 worked better for me. That one gives me more length in the CB seam where I need it but not all the extra length elsewhere that I don't since I also needed to lower the front rise.
If I can just keep the patience of doing muslins until it's right I will probably find the specific methods that work well for my body.

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I'm learning how. I've used Fit for Real People , gone to classes, watched Silhouette Patterns webcasts and studied the technique pages in the old Burda World of Fashion Magazines. I've used techniques found in all of them and more to learn how to alter patterns to fit me. This is a process for me and I don't think I'll ever stop learning how to fit because my body is changing. So what have I learned so far? 1. Full Bust Adjustment 2. Tilted Waist adjustment (before my skirts would be long in the front and higher in the back) 3. How to fit a bra pattern for me and 4. I almost have my pants pattern fitted. Almost. What I need to learn still sleeve fitting. I've been working on fit for about 3 years now. Yes, it takes time but it's worth it to me for well fitting clothing.

mamafitz said...

i use slash and spread, and i learned most of my fitting from the owner and other dressmaker at the shop i worked at. however, even though i know some adjustments to do beforehand (like a FBA), i still do fitting muslins for just about everything.

Sarah McClelland said...

Isn't it weird how we can do so much and be stopped in our tracks by other things?
I have to say, I have yet to fit a decent sloped and when I make things I generally just cut extra-wide seam allowances if I'm not sure and hope to skip the muslin step. Then I just hope I can make it work...

Alison said...

I think I know how to adjust. LOL. I'm pretty much an expert on FBAs and rotating them etc. I can adjust a shoulder width, sleeve length, neckline gaposis and high round back. Just don't ask me how to adjust for an A cup! I used the slash and whatever it's called method. Not the pivot and slide or the seam. I used to use pivot and slide and like it because the pattern stays whole but I think my girls are too big to do an FBA that way these days. :)

debbie said...

I use a variety of methods. From pivot and slide to slash an spread and whatever's inbetween!

I do have to say I work with mostly TNT's so once they're altered it's pretty much cut and sew with minor tweaks for fabric differences. I do slice and dice , (ala Carolyn, diary of a sewing fanatic) my patterns so I'm not making the same styles all the time.

marysews said...

I alter my patterns before or during the cutting process. I have many books that are about or contain altering directions, including all the Nancy Zieman books. Her books describe the "pivot and slide" method, which is outlined in greater detail in the book "The Sew/Fit Method."

I use the pivot and slide method for all garments that include a torso (tops and dresses). I can apply this method during pattern tracing or during cutting. I even have worksheets to assist in this method (I guess I will have to share!).

When I made the pink/gray/black dress, I did my first FBA.

katherine h said...

I do a mixture of everything. I use some techniques I read about in magazines and adjust patterns before I cut. I have a pretty good fitting book that shows all those drag and pull lines and then what to do. I have made a sloper and sometimes compare it to patterns. I draft my own patterns from my sloper. I tend to stick to the one brand of purchased patterns (Vogue) so that I know what changes to make before I start. I do a lot of avoiding of garments that are difficult to fit...for me, that is dresses or blouses. Sometimes I make a muslin. Sometimes I just make the garment and fix it up after. Sometimes I just live with less than perfect fit, knowing that at least it is better than RTW fit for me. So no tried and true approach...

Dressed2atee said...

When I need to make a full bust adjustment, I use the Full Busted DVD from Palmer Pletsch, it's fab! Like you I've taken numerous classes, one of the best was from Cynthia Guffey and Patti Palmer. I also have some good books. Fast Fit and Power Sewing Step by Step by Sandra Betzina. I also use Wildginger pattern making software, it's really great.

gwensews said...

Arggggg--fitting! I alter my pattern, and make a muslin. sometimes I alter at the side seams, sometimes slash the pattern in the middle and spread. Pivot and slide for a shoulder adjustment. Tweak, tweak, tweak. I like SandraBetzina's "Fast Fit" book, Palmer/Pletsch's "FitForRealPeople" and the new (yay) "Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting" by Sarah Velblen. This book is great if you make muslins.

Lynne Williams said...

Learning how to achieve proper fit and altering of patterns is a life long journey. Which is one of the things that appeals to me about sewing, your always improving.

All of the methods mentioned above work and achieve the same thing you just have to find the method that makes sense to you.

Starting with the proper size pattern is the 1st important step. Determining your required adjustments the 2nd. A muslin and understanding the wrinkles and drag lines the 3rd.
Pants and sleeves are the most difficult thing to fit so be patient with yourself:)

Oh and tissue fitting does not work. what fabric hangs like tissue?

Linda T said...

Fitting pants is my nemesis and seems to be for most women. I have yet to get it right but I am slowly working on it. For this I am using Wildginger patternmaking software. I use whatever method works to make adjustments to other types of patterns. Frankly, I buy patterns or design patterns that don't need much adjusting.

I have the books too and some old adjustment box sets. They come with instructions and a template. I tried the bust adjustment one once and it worked well.

Sew Ducky said...

Depends on who makes them, or what the design is. I do a mix match of varying methods from slash and pivot to draping to flat pattern drafting and whatever else works in between.

No one way works all the time for everyone. A lot is trial and error.

patsijean said...

Sorry about the delay; I have been ill. I have a TNT, one-seam pants pattern (Wild Ginger's Martha's Favorite") that I have used for years. I found that these patterns look best with a straight leg as a narrower leg pulls in the side seam and twists the grain off a bit in center front. Anyway, I recently used instructions from "Pants for Real People" by Pati Palmer & Marta Alto with great success.