An example might be that the sleeves were too long. My sleeves are always too long because compared to the block used, I have short arms. That's not the designer's fault. It makes a lot more sense for me to know my arm length and to adjust the pattern to match me than to expect the designer to draft a sleeve that magically fits all arm lengths of anyone who might buy this pattern. Designers draft to a common block. To achieve good fit, my job is to use whatever alterations are necessary to alter the draft to match my figure.
I wondered... would it be of any interest if I wrote a series of posts about how I work through tracing and altering a pattern for my body and then fitting and sewing it? While these will be based on my alterations, they may provide some things to think about with your own process. The posts would take a fair amount of work but I'd be happy to do that if there's sufficient interest. With the process I've worked out for me, my issues are rarely fit. They're usually about style, wearing ease, and the things I deliberately overlooked. An example would be the top I'm currently working on.
In many reviews, I read that the person felt they needed a sway back adjustment. If you look at the top in the image above, you might think I also need one only those same wrinkles can occur for a number of reasons. One is the center back length. That's not the case here because I had already shortened the center back length so that the curve of the waist is actually at my waist. The difference between my center back length and the one used for the pattern was 1 5/8" which is significant because if the curve of the waist is 1 5/8" below your actual waist where - in my case - the hips are quite a bit wider, there will be a lot of fabric bunching up that looks like a sway back adjustment but isn't. It's a center back length adjustment. SO...
... if I don't need a center back length adjustment and I don't need a sway back adjustment, what is going on? Why is the fabric bunching? The answer is not enough hip ease particularly in the back. I sewed this top from a remnant and could barely fit the pattern on the fabric as is without widening it so I opted not to check the back hip measurement. I knew the front would work so I decided to go ahead and see what happened and here it is - too tight so the fabric walked (bunched) up.
In this image, I've opened the center back seam up past the waist allowing it to split over my hips which resulted in the top settling nicely against the body. The size of the split is 2" which is - coincidentally, VBG -the same amount of difference between my front and back hip measurement. My front hips are 2" narrower than my back hips. I'm currently working on a buttoned godet to fit into the V shape of the opening and fill in the gap. I'll show you the finished top in another posting. Right now...
... my Sew Expo fabric. One of the vendors sells GORGEOUS raw silk and dupioni silk fabrics. These, along with linen, rayon, and a lightweight cotton are my among my favourite fabrics. Left to right are a turquoise raw silk, a fuchsia raw silk, a turquoise silk dupioni, and a fuchsia rayon blend all intended for blouses.
These are - left to right - a lightweight cotton for a blouse, a Japanese cotton to use as an accent because of its lovely gradation of size, a grey cotton knit remnant for a t-shirt, a turquoise knit remnant for a tank top, and dark turquoise bamboo knit for a t-shirt.
Marcy helped me choose the black knit for her Vogue 9035 pants which will surely up my success rate. The black with silver bits is a taffeta like remnant that may be enough for a short coat. The black with silver flowers is another remnant that should work great for Vogue 9060 and the shredded black is for the cardigan in Vogue 9081 which looked far more fabulous in person compared to the pattern envelope. I'm so thrilled that I get the opportunity to see these garments up close. It often changes my impression.
The fabric at left is two sided with the reverse black with turquoise dots. It's heavy - somewhere between denim and upholstery fabric - and will make a great coat. The middle is a light-weight denim and the far right is another remnant that is like a twill. There's not enough for pants which I would have loved to make with it but possibly enough for a vest. I'm imagining it with some running stitches in a black thread.
This is a piece of Miles Frode's painted fabric. Miles is Diane Ericson's son. He often paints on canvas but this time the base is linen. I think it wants to be a purse.
Once I've worked out all the details on the top I'm currently making, I'd like to use the tested pattern again with this lovely grey and purple silk that my friend Claire brought me from Paris. I'm so touched that standing in the middle of a fabric store in Paris she thought of me and not only thought of me, bought me a present. I'm so lucky. I can hardly wait to wear this. It feels GORGEOUS.
While I was at Sew Expo, my son moved out and into his own place. I have an arrangement with my children that they have six months to change their mind and move back and after that, it has to be something significant and beyond their control since they are now adults and need to manage. My youngest is the only one who has ever moved back... twice... and now his months are all used up SO...
... today, I am patching a few places on the walls in "his" room and touching up the paint and sometime soon we'll move the guest room from upstairs down and turn the upstairs room into my second studio.It's the sunniest room in our house and I plan to move the love seat and a chair in there and create a sitting room for knitting, reading, and writing plus for making accessories. The closet used to house my computer so it has electricity for tools and enough room for a four foot counter. It's going to become my "beading space".
I know. How spoiled is that? A second studio is something I've dreamed about for years and I'm really excited to be getting it now. Setting it up will take a while. I'll post pictures when it's ready.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - fabric potential
Never apologize for your studio
- Denise Bezanson