Helen P’s pattern adjustment

helen pHelen P is a part of my pattern making classes, and has drafted her skirt and pants block, and just starting to explore the bodice block. I can keep Helen busy for 10 years.!!!! Helen had a function to go to and had a commercial pattern that she thought that she would like to make up. I am a HUGE advocate of fit in my classes, so Helen made up the upper bodice at home, and bought in the calico “toile” ( trial) for me to adjust for fit. Commercial patterns only fit a small % of the population so spending a good 1/2 hour trialing the shape and fit takes away all of the potential headaches.

 

 

vogue 8766The pattern Helen chose was Vogue – 8766. As you can see by the first photo the “toile” sits away from the body and is gaping at neckline and shoulder. This fitting problem could not be rectified by just taking in the side seams. Our bodies are a continuous shape all around, and need to be taken and shaped in different areas –  patterns need to reflect the  contour of your shape..

The photos below show where I have pinned the bodice on Helen. I have pinned a semi horizontal “dart” shape on the shoulder, a radiating “dart” shape from Helen’s neckline down to her bust apex, and I have also contoured the vertical waist dart more – again up to the apex point.

The next photo shows the pinned areas after Helen has taken her bodice off.

the pinned areas must be marked onto the calico

the pinned areas must be marked onto the calico

On the wrong side of the fabric where the pins are inserted into the calico,  Helen then marked with a pencil where the pins were. She then un-picked the calico to flatten out the shape.See the below photo. The pencil lines reflect where the pinned areas were.

drawn pinned areas after pins taken out

drawn pinned areas after pins taken out

The pattern was then laid over the calico and the fitting lines were transferred on the pattern.

transfer the fitting lines from the calico onto the pattern

transfer the fitting lines from the calico onto the pattern

Helen then folded out the excess areas – horizontal shoulder area and vertical neckline but area. The side bust dart was lengthened for a better fit, as was the vertical waist dart – instead of straight dart legs, the legs were shaped more to reflect Helen’s smaller under bust area.

excess areas can then be folded out and in Helen's bodice we extended the bust dart and contoured the waist dart for a more contoured fit.

excess areas can then be folded out and in Helen’s bodice we extended the bust dart and contoured the waist dart for a more contoured fit.

The below photo is Helen wearing her finished dress at the Spring Carnival. I am sure you will agree that she has made a wonderful fitting garment.

 

Helen at the Spring Carnival. The bodice is from the adjusted pattern, and Helen used her skirt block to design the lower part of the dress.

Helen at the Spring Carnival. The bodice is from the adjusted pattern, and Helen used her skirt block to design the lower part of the dress.

 

And another version of the fitted bodice with an alternate skirt.

And another version of the fitted bodice with an alternate skirt.

Cheerio and Good luck to you all.

Ann from Designer Stitch School of Fashion and Design.

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