Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alterations, alterations, and more alterations!

Last night I had a block of time and had the patterns from the last two tops I made sitting on my ironing board. Before putting them away, I tweaked the patterns with alterations here and there and then put them away. This way, I can just pull them out, cut, and sew--the way it was meant to be ;) ! The knit top with gathers and circular neckline will be made again in a week or two so that has to be ready.

In the meantime, I'm working on Butterick 4183, the green dress version:

I've made this dress before. This dress, along with several strapless dress I've made over the years has high bust gape. Everything fits just about perfect in a 14 (full bust/waist/hip), but the high bust area is way too big. On my first version of this dress, I could pinch out an inch (1/2" dart) on both front/sides.

My sister (who can sews/pattern design/drape) said to remove the excess from the princess seams in the front. I tried that. Just doesn't work. It gives that "Madonna look" and makes my boobs look cone-shaped and comin'-at-ya kind of look. Taking in the side seams does NOT work. I don't need anything removed from the back. Doing this gives me lots of pulls on the back side seam, a little on the front too, with a nice poofy area where I'm changing the seamline on the side seam. So...that method doesn't work well either.

What does work well is if I pinch out the excess, right at the side front on the top edge. A few years ago, my sister said, "Just transfer the excess to a horizontal bust dart." At the time, that boggled my mind. It doesn't boggle it anymore though, since I've gotten much better at alterations.

Last night I altered the front of the pattern, cutting off the dress front below the waist (temporarily) so it is easier to maneuver/alter. I removed the excess (1" which will be 2" total across the entire front edge) and transferred it to horizontal bust dart shown below:

I did notice something that I don't understand. I'm not a fitting guru, but I do know that bust darts aren't supposed to be more than 1" outside the bust circle. The pattern's bust apex is marked with a circled cross. My apex is farther over to the left marked with a dot. You can see where my darts end up/my bust apex, and it's farther away from the pattern's apex.

So here's my question. Why are the pattern darts (the one at the top edge continuing into a long fisheye) so far away from the pattern's bust apex? It appears to be almost 2"!!! My brain is having a hard time trying to comprehend this pattern issue.

However, I'm not coming unglued about this. It is what is. I'll make it up and it should fit fine. No worries really, just comprehension issues for me.

Getting that off my back, now I'm ready to start my day.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Interesting! I have no advice for you as I'm still in the stage where I'm boggled by advice about moving darts, but I'm sure you'll figure it out!