Friday, March 7, 2008

Alterations! Part 1B--The Back.

Continuing yesterday's post, I'll explain what I'm going to do to solve, what I perceive to be, possible back issues.

Since I'm not sure exactly how the back is going to fit/look from the armhole down with the first try of this pattern, I'm going to add princess seams. It took me a while to kind of accept that using princess seams is the option to use, and I don't know why. If the top fits just by adding that seam (and not taking in/letting out any width), then I can always make the second top without them. The print I'm going to use is rather busy, so the seams won't be that noticeable. I could also use waist darts, a dart shift, or some patternmaking "magic" instead, but princess seams are so easy to do and alter so it's a no-brainer for me.

When my commercial pattern was placed on top of my saran wrap block pattern, I transferred the end of shoulder dart to the commercial pattern. Don't know if you can see it, but there's a little + sign on my pattern. I felt this mark was just a little too high for a princess seam marking, so I made another mark about 1 1/2" below it. Then I drew a line from the mid-shoulder to that point and from the hemline to that point. (Sorry about the two lines from the point to the hem--one isn't supposed to be there.) I curve the point area, mark the grainline on the back/side piece, and add the seam allowances.

In my next pic below, if you look at the side seam, there is some "stuff" going on there as well. I've added an extra 3/8" to the seam allowance (1" total) for fit insurance, as well as another extra 1/2" from the waist to the hem for my high hip curves. Additional fit insurance. Between this extra at the side seams and the princess seam allowances, I should be able to create a back that will mold right to my curves. I'll put the top on Phat Chick when it's almost done and pin fit right to my figure for a flattering back. I also did a 1/2" swayback tuck above the waist. The more fitted the back is, the greater potential for puddling of fabric on my short-waisted body. Usually my swayback alteration is somewhere between 1/2" to 3/4".

Good fit and original style. It is kind of a trade-off with design changes, but it's okay. I don't mind making a simple design change like this if the top is going to skim over my curves instead of hugging them in all the wrong places. And princess seams always seem to get lost in a busy print anyway.

The only thing that I haven't done yet is check the length of the top. I'd rather wait until all my alterations are done and tissue fit as best as possible. From there I'll decide if it should be a little longer.

I hope this post has been somewhat coherent. I had to get up a 3:30 a.m. today to drive DD#1 to the school for a DC field trip, and I have to go pick her up at 11:30 tonight. It's been a very long day, and I sure am tired. Did I do any sewing today? Yes! Assembly line production of several purses. They're cute ones too. Getting ready to use my red alligator-style leather from PR Weekend 2007 for a cute handbag and leather is not forgiving of mistakes. Practice makes perfect :) .

Tomorrow--the front alterations! Followed by the sleeves.

Happy Sewing!

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