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How to alter a pattern to suit you

You know the problem, you see a pattern you like but it is too long or too short, well it is easy to alter it to suit you.

This is how I made a really cute skirt for my summer holiday, it also shows how to lengthen a pattern.
The pattern I used was Butterick B5619

And the fabric is pure cotton printed with a fun holiday print. 

The skirt is far too short for me so I needed to lengthen it. If I was to add extra length to the hem the proportions would be all wrong. If you look at your pattern pieces you will see a line printed "lenthen or shorten here"
I calculated that I wanted the skirt to be four  inches longer

Cut the pattern along the line marked and insert paper to make it the required length, tape it in place. You must measure accurately or the hem will be uneven. 
It really is that simple. To shorten a pattern you do the same except instead of adding a strip of paper to lengthen  it you make a fold along the adjustment line, keeping it even all the way along, this shortens the length.
You can do this for sleeves as well as dresses and skirts.

Then you can go ahead and cut the pattern pieces out.following the directions printed on the pattern pieces. 
There is a yoke instead of facings, and it is necessary to interface the inside yoke, for this I used a medium weight iron-on vilene. 

The next step was to attach the front and back facings to the main skirt pieces and then to stitch the right side seam. Follow your own pattern instructions if you are unsure. Neaten your seams as you go, and dont forget to press as you go too, it really does make a difference. 

I prefer invisible zips so I inserted one on the left side. My lined shift dress has an invisible zip, so you will find I structions there.remember to use an invisible zipper foot and to iron the zip flat before fitting.

Join the yoke pieces together on the right hand side

Right sides together attach the interfaced yoke lining pieces to the skirt. Trim the seam , trim the interfacing right to the seam line, it will leel away easily,and clip the curved edge to the stitiching line.
Press, turn the facing to the inside, press. Turn under the edge of the facing, clip where necessary and slip stitch in place

Tip. If the fabric is bulky then overlock the facing edge or bind it with bias binding. Press, pin the facing to the front and stitch in the ditch on the right side of the skirt. Stitch in the ditch means tbat you stitich in the groove where the two fabric pieces were sewn together so that it is invisible on the right side. Your inside facing must therefore have enough length so that it is caught in place when you stitch.

Slip stitch the sides of the facing to the edge of the zipper, dont stitich too close to the teeth or the zip will stick!
Top stitch the bottom of the facing if you want to,
Add a hook and eye to the top of the zip. I do not add them because I find them too fiddly with the parkinson's,  so I rely on a good quality zipper. 

Overlock the hem, or use whatever method you prefer and turn it up to the required length

One final press and it is ready to wear.

Hope you like it! One last point. I always add deeper seam allowances than the pattern suggests, this ensures that there is plenty of fabric available to make it fit me, and also so that I can let it out if necessary at a later date.

I will be making another one to take away with me , so excuse me while I go and rummage through my fabric stash.

This is the second skirt I am making, the fabric is a brightly patterned glazed cotton, will update blog when it is finished
We will discuss interfacings,and the different weights and qualities along the way.


Posted By Blogger to SewAngelicThreads on 9/08/2014 11:34:00 pm
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