Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pattern Alterations Before Fabric Selection

My next JAM (Jacket A Month) project involves selecting four or five fabrics from my resource center that work together.  That would have been an easier task earlier in the week when there was lots of daytime sunshine all around.  But this morning there have been heavy clouds and thunderstorms for several hours and my sewing room, and most of my house is too dark and dimly lit for me to make those decisions.  So instead I'm adjusting the pattern.
Normally I do not need too much of a rounded back adjustment and if I do, I seldom mind having a center back seam to make that adjustment an easy one.  But for this jacket I wanted no back seam so I had to pull out my fitting books to remind myself how to do this.
I believe that I have almost every fitting book ever printed.  These three are the ones I turn to time and time again.  
Fit for Real People is my first choice.  I like the fact that they include various styles and alternative methods for making particular pattern adjustments.  The styles may seem dated...although I did read that vivid color blocking is making a strong comeback....and I find their use of real life models illuminating and encouraging.

The Perfect Fit is useful because it shows me the same or similar alterations with actual pattern tissue.  Sometimes I'm a literalist and want to see that change done on an actual pattern.  Their focus on one alteration broadcloth example versus an entire garment is also helpful when I am fixing one thing at a time.  

I bought this last book years ago when Judith Rasband was working at the sewing expos.  I think that her eye for figure analysis is wonderful.  This book can overwhelm me sometimes but it definitely ranks high for its thoroughness and options.  If I were really going to focus on fine tuning a very fitted garment then this book is the one I would turn to first.

Here's my rounded upper back alteration.  I liked the idea of two neck darts which will also add some design elements to the jacket back.  No, I haven't shown you the pattern yet.  That will come after I make my fabric choices in the light of day.  In the meantime, remind me to get better lighting installed in my sewing room so this problem goes away.


  1. This is an alteration I need to start doing, but haven't yet!

  2. The P&P fitting series in wonderful IMO and I refer to them frequently. I like the live, real models. They make so much more sense than the typical fashion model. I, too, am beginning to need that alteration. If I can, I rotate it to a shoulder dart, because I always need to do a narrow shoulder adjustment anyway.

    You've made an excellent blog post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I have a round upper back to, so its good to see other options than the back seam (which is great but sometimes limiting).

  4. I bought several of the Singer Reference Library books and I just love them! I like the photos they use to go along with the explanation!

  5. I have all those books, too. It still amazes me though, that sometimes, even with all the books, I can't figure out how to do an alteration.


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