Help me internetz!

Hi there internetz,

I'm losing faith in my teachers. Well, just one of them really, but he's our primary teacher, so that makes it all the worse. After 5 months of boring old sewing drills, it seems like we're not being given enough time (or information!) to do the stuff that's really important. Like getting a good fit. We've moved on from pants to shirts, and I'm still not entirely satisfied with the results of my patterns.

So I thought I'd throw a couple of questions out there that are bugging me:

1. Pants:

We started with Vogue 1003, made up a muslin and proceeded with fittings and flat pattern adjustments. Vogue 1003 is a base for what seems to me a pair of trousers, with a sort of "L" shaped crotch curve. Few of us are used to wearing these types of pants, and I feel like we were all (including our teachers) approaching our alterations with more of a jeans fit in mind (with a closer fitting, more rounded crotch curve).

My question is, wouldn't it be better to start with a pattern closer to that type of fit in the first place? I'm not sure anyone in the class ended up with pants that fit the way they like. What sort of issues come into play when changing a trouser pattern to a jeans pattern?

2. Shirts:

We started with Burda 8153, a tailored blouse with set in sleeves. Me and my D-cups chose the pattern based on my high bust measurement (34 3/4", a 12, whereas my full bust, 38" would have demanded a 16) because I always have an excess of fabric above the bust.

I blended a couple of different approaches to the full bust adjustment. I figured I had about 3 1/4" to add to the bust. The first approach was the one they suggested in my course. This is to cut through the bust dart and waist dart then from the bust point up to a point on the shoulder. The pieces are then spread apart to add the required width and length to the front bodice. I suspected this would just add back the excess fabric above the bust. So I sought out another approach.

I have Pati Palmer's Fit for Real People, and they suggest when you have a large amount to add to the bust, that you should slash to the shoulder and the armhole, and spread the amount between the two. Now, I tried this, and I still had too much above the bust. So then I tried again with just a slash to the armhole. This fits better, but the armhole now has a rather extreme curve to it where I had to swing it up to give more bust room. That doesn't necessarily affect the fit too much, but I'm afraid it's just kind of wrong...

Sorry, this may be overly wordy and in need of images, but I figure, if you're reading this and have done a full bust adjustment, then you probably know what I'm explaining. Any thoughts?

Thanks internetz!


Alexandra said...

Yes, we need photos of you in the garment! Maybe we can help...

Erin Whitney said...

ok, i'll work on it!

lhutch said...

The severe "hook" at the bottom of the front armscye is exactly what is needed for a full bust.
Typically the slash to the armscye for the FBA is to the lowest one third of the front armscye.
Rule of thumb for full bust adjust is .5 inch per cup size. From B to D is 1 inch. B to 3D is 2 inches. If you add the rest of your 3.25 inches in the side seams, you might not have excess above the bust.

Mz. Whitney said...

Thanks! Another one of my teachers assuaged my fears about the "hook" as well. It just looks so strange! Now, if I add the rest at the side seams, what do I do with the sleeves? Do I just add the same to the edges without touching the cap?

Anonymous said...

Are you adding a bust dart with the Palmer/Pletsch method? It seems like I've been more successful with that approach when I've added or changed a dart.

Page 131 in Fit for Real People describes some ideas for dealing with excess fabric above the bust.

Good luck on the pants. I wish I could help you there. Pants are like Wagnerian operas for me...I know someday I'll have the courage to approach them, but for now I'm content with other things.

Elizabeth said...

One of the best books I have found is "Patternmaking for Fashion Design," from Prentice Hall (that's the textbook we use for all our flat patterning). It goes into how to adjust all of the things that you were talking about, such as the sleeve (you can just add the same amount to the sleeve that you added to the side seam, but make sure to walk the piece to make sure it is still balanced without having too much ease).

This book also goes into a lot of detail about pants, which really aren't all that hard, surprisingly. However, trouser fit can't really be changed to jeans fit, because you have to adjust the crotch depth, seams, etc etc. It really requires a different sloper, just because it has to fit so much more closely that, after you made all the adjustments, you would have a new pattern anyways.

See if you can find the book on eBay...It's a huge help, and it has handy pictures showing you exactly where to slash and spread, and where to take your measurements.