- Choose your size
- Cut out your paper pattern
- Cut the main pattern pieces from your muslin
- Machine baste your test version
- Determine fitting changes if necessary
- Alter your pattern
Here we go, lets roll into Day 2!
1) Choose your size
The first of these steps, Choosing your size, is always a little tricky for me. I like my garments to be very fitted and to hug my shape. As many of you have seen some of my previous post you will know that I am in no way a waif. I would describe myself using the German word saftig, which literally translates to "Juicy". My size mostly fits the size 12, but I was waffling, wondering whether or not I should make the 14. I consulted the Threads sewing guide on google books, specifically the section called, Designing Ease. It was consulting this guide which encouraged me to sew the size 14 to allow for what they call a semi-fitted jacket. This means 4.25"-5.75"inches of ease. On the back of the pattern the finished bust measurement is printed. Based on how it correlated to my own bust measurement I landed on the size 14.
2) Cut our your paper pattern
This is another instance where I convince myself that I need to make a simple task more work. I do not like cutting out a tissue pattern. I don't like that if I cut a size 14 I then lose access to the other sizes. So as a result I always trace my patterns to brown paper and then store my patterns pieces in letter sized envelopes labeled with the size I made. I also write whether or not I made changes to the original pattern and note if I have noted the changes on the pattern itself.
For my pattern paper I just use plain old brown paper that I get at the hardware store in the pain section. It is a whole heck of a lot cheaper than buying expensive paper specifically made to be for patterning. A huge roll of it is under $10. I go through the stuff like it's going out of style, cause I love patterning, glad it's cheap.
3) Cut the main pattern pieces from your muslin
I did not have any muslin, OH NO! While this sounds like a disaster, it is not. I have collected a great deal of fabric over the years and sometimes I have not ended up using it for an actual garment. I doubt I'm the only one, but I have bought fabric without specific intent, then not used it, and slightly regretted the purchase. It is times like these that has allowed me to redeem the eyesores and make them into muslins.
For this step I cut:
- Jacket Front
- Jacket Back
- Jacket Side Back
- Upper Sleeve
- Lower Sleeve
Without a whole lot of exposition, here is my basted together test version:
I will say that using this fabric was a little distracting, but I didn't have to buy anything, so I am going to let that go and just look past it.
5) Determine fitting changes if necessary
I like the straight size 14 fit for the most part. I found it a little tight through the bust so I am going to do a large bust adjustment. I know you're all shocked! I'm busty what can you do. I will say that the sleeves feel a little roomy, not so much in the cap, but definitely in the arm. Having given this some thought, I am going to leave it roomy. My reason for this is that with the thicker fabric and linings it's going to get a little smaller. I'm going to let it ride.
Very often in my sewing I do something that my former teachers and the students I've taught would cringe at, I cut corners. I'll admit it, I do. Why you might ask? Well because I have an occasionally short attention span and enjoy instant or close to instant gratification. Plus on top of all of that I run a home, my dogs and wife need me. On this project however I have decided to minimize my shortcuts because I am sharing it with all of you and because I am hoping that I will want to wear this jacket a lot. If it is tight and uncomfy I will not want to do that.
6) Alter your pattern
To make the large bust adjustment one has to perform a lot of slashing and spreading through the bust point. to find my bust point I literally held my pattern up to myself and marked the pattern where it fell over my point. I've starred the point here:
Looking at your pattern you then want to find the balance point on the armscye. Draw a line connecting the balance point to the bust point and a second line parallel to the CF line from the bust point to the hem.
I am an idiot who sometimes does not read all the directions. Thinking I was done marking I went ahead and cut this line up until the seam allowance at the armscye.
I was however not done and I had to draw a line from the bust point horizontally to the side seam. Then I cut from the side seam to within 5/8" of the bust point.
***I should also note that I mismarked the pocket when I thought I was done with the alterations and so that dark green pocket is wrong. You do however have to move and remark the pocket and buttons as the spacing gets off when you slash and spread.
Next I split the right side of the pattern horizontally at the pocket so that the hem of the left side would once again match up with the right side. This is the bodice lining but I split it the same as I did on the jacket front. I did this because when you alter the exterior you must also alter the interior.
Now the companion guide suggests that you should also alter the center back and side back panels. You would do this so that the jacket front and back will be the same length. Being a corner cutter I just shortened the front pieces the same amount which I had increased them with the slashing and spreading.
*Day 2 Steps Completed*
With all of these steps done I am relieved. Tomorrow I get to cut fabric, hooray! I can definitely see the benefit to making these adjustments but sometimes having a large heaving bosom can be quite a bother.
Per usual I had some help around the studio:
Sophie sleeping like the angel she is on her dog bed.
The double dummies (the DDs) sleeping on top of Deb
Then there was the big boy, Orson, positively the most precious thing I've seen in a while!
Gotta love a big dog snuggling a toy.
Tomorrow I will move into Day three with my newly altered patterns. Looking forward to the steps for tomorrow because after that some of the real fun sewing will start on day 4. The final candid is me and the cat as I sit here typing. Catch you tomorrow!