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Friday, May 11, 2007

How to Make Sewing Pattern Alterations


Sewing Friends:

After you have a good fitting bra, it is time to alter your sewing patterns to fit your body.

It is rare to find someone who doesn't require some kind of alteration to make a sewing pattern fit them correctly unless it is a very loose fitting garment.

A pattern is a guide to a certain style. It is drafted to a company's standards that usually don't fit most real people. Each garment manufacturer sets its own standards, too. That's why you prefer certain brands over others because of the fit.

Choose a few basic pattern styles that you like to wear. Aim to get a good basic shirt, skirt, pants, jacket, t-top, dress, etc. Get the fit in those patterns and learn how to change the design lines to create other styles to add to your wardrobe. The fit will already be built into the pattern so you don't have to do it every time. Now, that's fun sewing!

Here is a good resource that covers a lot of pattern alterations that might help you. Some of the topics may be discontinued, but it is still worth a look. These were on HGTV and are available to you online at:,1788,HGTV_3322,00.html

The list of Alteration topics covers:

• Pants Pattern Alterations
• Clothing that Fits
• Altering a Pattern
• Shoulders & Backs
• Pant Fit
• Arm Pattern Alterations
• Vented Hems
• Quick Fix Alterations
• Adding, Removing Seams
• Sweatshirt Jacket
• Princess Seams
• Bustline Solutions
• Trouser Alterations

What If You Are Lopsided?

What If You Are Lopsided and Don't Even Know It?

Of course, the thing I feel is most important is that you get the body measurement right in the first place. You just can't take a full body measurement, divide it by four and expect that is what your body requires. It just doesn't make sense to me!

If your belly sticks out more than your rear, how does that work? If you measure 40 in the bust, does that mean you have a small back and a big bust or a broad back and a small bust or what? Do you really think you should add or subtract equally to the front and back for any of those situations? Think about that!

I firmly believe, especially for older women whose parts have shifted with time, that you need to find out what you need, where you need it and then how to apply that to a sewing pattern.

It is a complete waste of time, energy and effort to make up a balanced "trial" garment or "muslin" and then "tweak" it to try to fit an unbalanced body. All you get out of that is total frustration and you give up sewing. Start out by finding out your body differences from side to side and front to back and you will take your 1st Step To Sewing Success.

Check out Common Sense Fitting and see if it makes sense to you! I recommend that you start in the middle of your body. That tells you a whole lot. Get the lower half figured out and then build on that to do the upper half.

To Your Sewing Success,

PS: Try it! I am here to help you! I want you to achieve sewing success!

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Anonymous AntB said...

Thanks for posting such wonderful tips! I love your blog - keep this tips a comin'!

12:15 PM  

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