Sizing Patterns of Fashion

Find out how to get that dang thing to fit.
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Sizing Patterns of Fashion

Postby kellydofc » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:58 am

So, after having sewn for years I am finally ready to crack open my Patterns of Fashion to do something besides drool. I want to make the 1878 dress from Snowhill and I was wondering how to go about making this in my size. Because even though I wish I did I do not have a 27" waist more like a 34".
What is the best way to go about doing this? Would I start by making the fullsize pattern and then attempt to figure out where to make it bigger or is there a way to make the bust, waist etc closer to my size on paper first?
And yes I know that Heather has a wonderful princess line pattern but I really want to do this from the book just so that I know I can and then perhaps I can move onto things Heather doesn't cover such as the fab 1940s evening dress I have coveted since I first got the book.
Any advice would be welcome.
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 360
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:17 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Sizing Patterns of Fashion

Postby Bookwyrm » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:14 pm

You have a couple of possibilities:

You don't have to resize to precisely the drawn size. Probably the easiest thing in this case is to draw your own grid which is not at the same size the original grid was. So, for example, if the scale is 1 square = 5 inches

- Suppose the waist is 2.5 squares per side (2 x 2.5 sq x 5"/sq = 25 inches full scale)
- Your waist is 34" + 1" ease = 35"
- You want to draw the grid on your paper with squares 35"/5 sq = 7 inch squares (why divide by five? the whole waist is 5 squares because each side is 2.5 sq)

Now, the problem with this is the waist will measure right and probably the bust will be pretty close, but probably the length will be huuuuuuuge. To solve that problem, you can actually make grids that aren't square - so you could use the original 5" between lines vertically, and use 7" between lines horizontally. You'll have to do a little imagining when you're plotting out the pattern, but if you have a decent spatial eye it should go ok.

Second possibility: size it up to its original size and then alter the muslin as needed - some of these things will be obvious, like splitting the fronts and backs on a vertical line from mid-shoulder through the point of the main dart and adding in what's needed to make the bust agree, and altering the length the same way you would on any pattern that wasn't the right length - either in the armscye or below the armpit.

For sizing-up options, you can either get grid paper or plain paper. For plain paper, you'll probably want to use the resizing by string or ruler method - there's a good graphic of this floating around these forums somewhere, try searching "resize" or "resizing pattern." Alternatively, take your book to the local copyshop and have them blow it up to whatever scale is convenient for you.

This is really wordy, sorry.

In choosing whether to alter as you resize, I would start by comparing your bust. Waists are pretty easy to resize in the darts and side seam, so if your bust matches the original pattern, try it just like it is. You can always try drawing on wee alterations to your wee pattern, but the smaller the original pattern the more likely you are to be... not very precise.

Good luck!

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