In the previous post, I said you’d get to see how I altered the pattern. First thing I did was get out the pattern pieces that needed changing. Only 2, so far. Then I checked my favorite pattern drafting book for “wide back” and “wide bicep” alteration techniques.
Like most of us who sew garments, I have quite a few sewing and pattern drafting books, the two I refer to most are The Sew / Fit Manual by Oblander & Anderson and Fitting & Pattern Alteration by Liechty, Pottberg & Rasband. I believe one or both of these may be out of print. I was fortunate enough to find both of them at the local Half Price Books.
I like F & PA because it shows you multiple methods for making the same alteration, as well as how to do it on different styles (raglan sleeve, set-in sleeve, etc). S/FM is a great basic text that explains what you’re looking at, and why you need to do things that way. Both are worthwhile.
The first piece I tackled was the back. I put some tracing paper under the pattern, then drew some horizontal lines out at mid-back and just below the arm. Basically the places that corresponded to the area of my back that needed more room.
You can see the instructions in the alteration book at left. This is using the pivot and slide method, where you don’t cut the existing pattern, but pivot or slide it hither and yon on the tissue to get the additional ease.
I have marked the original pattern area, then out the 1/2 inch to handle the added ease. Those are the 2 red dots out to the side.
The pivot point I used was the top edge of the shoulder. You can see where I rotated the original pattern out to my marked ease line, and drew in the new cutting line using the original pattern as a guide. That’s the skinny red sketch in the photo.
I moved the pattern back to the orignal starting point, so you can get an idea of how this works.
Now that my new cutting line was marked, I just taped everything together, front and back, and cut off the excess tissue. I supposed if I wanted to be very professional and precise, I would have traced the original pattern, and done the modifications on the tracing, but I was more about expediency this time ’round.