Monday, October 22, 2007

Day 3 Update--Words I Loathe To Read

Vogue 7876

Like I said before, this pattern required adjustments, specifically for additional length in the torso. So what words do I loathe to read on the back of a pattern?

"ALERT NOTE: No provision made for above waist adjustments."

Oh, please. If you're trying to retail your patterns for $18.95 a pop (like this Vogue), have the decency to put in the adjustment lines. At these prices, I shouldn't have to do your work for you.

What this little "ALERT NOTE" means is that there are no lengthen/shorten lines on the pattern. This is a problem if you are tall, like me, or short, like people who are not like me. I can't help but wonder how many people see that "alert note" and refuse to purchase the pattern. I know I used to put them back in the drawer!

Occasionally I run across a pattern I really, really like and decide to take the plunge and buy the thing anyway. That's how this one wound up on my sewing table.

I needed to lengthen the back, front, and sleeves by 1 inch. No lengthen/shorten lines were provided (yes, I looked anyway) and only the back pattern piece had the waistline marked. So I started there.

The first thing I did was to use my ruler to draw a straight line across the back to establish the waistline. Then I drew another line 2 inches above that one, like so:

The little circles at the side seam indicate the opening on the right side for the tie end to slip through to wrap around the back. I wanted to make sure that opening hit me at MY waistline, since the opening was centered over the waist marking. That's how I determined that I wanted to move up 2" above the waistline to make the adjustment. I split the pattern on my adjustment line and spread it 1 inch.

The next thing to do was to locate the waistline on the front pattern piece since the folks at Vogue were too lazy to mark it for me. I laid the front piece over the back piece, lining them up at those same little circles:

I drew in the waistline, then moved 2 inches above it for the adjustment line. I split it and spread it 1 inch.

I lengthened the front drape piece, too, just in case I needed the extra length for a pretty tie. Since neither the front or back adjustment affected the front drape area this was not entirely necessary. I just wanted to make sure, that's all.

I split the drape in two where the pencil is pointing. I just cut on that line going down to the right:

I spread it 1 inch. That lengthened the tie end, but didn't affect the neckline.

The front facing needed to be lengthened, too:

I added an inch to the hem edge. Last of all I added an inch to the bottom of the sleeve, too.

One note about the short-sleeved version of this top--as depicted on the pattern illustration, these look almost straight at the sleeve hem. But the actual pattern has more of a curve:

The only darts in this pattern are on the back. Since I lengthened the back for my height, it is only logical that my back darts should be taller. Here's what mine will look like:

Oh, no, not ANOTHER muslin!!!!

Answer To A Question From The Comments:
The question was asked how I learned to alter patterns. The short answer? The hard way. Trial and error. Figuring it out by pinning, making muslins, etc. I've never had a sewing class. I get disgusted enough by poor fitting ready-to-wear that I'm willing to work it out. Usually it works, but sometimes it doesn't. It's a crap shoot. But I hedge my bets by reading everything I can on the subject. I have zillions of books!

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