Monday, January 7, 2013

Sorbetto Pattern Adjustments

Taped up downloaded Sorbetto pattern

So let's get to the details! I patch-worked the print-at-home pattern and traced it off onto pattern paper. Then it took quite a few pattern alterations to get it to fit well, so I thought I'd detail the pattern for anyone else wanting to learn to alter to fit themselves better.

Sorbetto Pattern Alterations
Based on initial measurements of the pattern, I realised that the top would be way too short for me. I started by extending the length of the of the bodice in two places - at the notch by 9 cm and then at the hem for another 2 cm, giving me a total of 11 cm extra (see, way too short!)

I then looked at the width and identified the need for an FBA, before sewing up my first toile. When I made this up in my first fashion fabric, I decided to add some subtle waist-shaping that is also shown below.

Front and Back adjustments

The first fitting highlighted the need to make a few more changes - I extended and increased the size of the dart to remove some more fullness and identified the need to alter the back as well to remove a little fullness, so I introduced a centre back seam. This made it much easier to remove this fullness.

I also lowered the sleeve, as I was finding it was cutting into my underarm a little. It was only slight but still worth the adjustment.

In the second toile, I decided to drop the position of the dart as it was sitting slightly too high on me. I only dropped it by about 1-1.5cms, keeping the angle the same.

Shifted dart down (pink is the original placement, blue is the new placement)

Sleeve Pattern Alterations
I decided to make my first version with sleeves, using the free sleeve pattern made by Mena at Sew Weekly and then updated by Sew, Incidentally).

I measured the sleeve against my altered Sorbetto and realised that it was too small, so I assume the free pattern was for a smaller Sorbetto size. So I did a bit of slashin' and spreadin' to make the sleeve the right size.

In the image below, you can see the method I used. I marked the lines on the pattern to show where I wanted to cut the sleeve up and number each piece so I wouldn't get confused. I then marked a line on another piece of paper (pink line) and used this to line up the lines. I then split the sleeve up by 1 cm in 5 places, as per the yellow lines, based on the amount of additional sleeve I needed to fit the bodice of my pattern. In order to ensure the sleeve head was still well-shaped, I raised the middle sections by either .5 or 1 cm. Once I had the graded sleeve, I re-traced this onto another piece of pattern paper. I smoothed the edges out as I retraced and then re-confirmed that the sleeve would fit correctly.

Sleeve adjustments

When I made up my second toile, I found that the sleeve kind of stuck out (like little wings!), so I pinned out the fullness in a couple of places. I then transferred the changes to the pattern and started cutting out my real fabric!

Final sleeve, showing removed fullness

Final patterns with all adjustments

Once I'd made this up in my first fashion fabric, I found that the neckline was wider than I liked and also lower at the back than I would prefer for work tops. So for my second version, I altered the neckline by raising it at the back by 5 cm and at the shoulders by 2 cm. I didn't alter the front neckline at all, as this was perfect already!

Neckline alterations (front and back)

Neckline alterations close up
Finished tops to follow shortly :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Good-bye 2012, Hello 2013!

There's nothing like a firework filled skyline to bring in the new year!

I've been reading my favourite blog summaries of 2012 and plans for 2013 and everyone is so inspiring. I don't really have a lot to recap for 2012, since my blog is still in it's infancy however the most exciting sewing event was my return to weekly sewing classes. It's been a great way to get back into more consistent sewing,  improving my pattern drafting and altering skills, sewing skills and having loads of fun on a Saturday morning with the sewing gals!

I also entered the Tessuti Awards for the first time. Whilst I didn't win, I really enjoyed challenging myself to sew to a theme and to extend my sewing, pattern drafting and pattern draping skills. The stripe matching took quite a bit of time, patience and hand-sewing but it was 100% worth it! If anyone is interesting a reading about the process, let me know and I'll do a blog post about it.

Close up shots of my Tessuti Awards 2012 entry. For more photos, see my entry page.

The next highlight is getting a blog up and running. I've spent a lot of time playing around with the look and feel of the blog and bringing any valuable posts over from my old and quiet blog! Since I still feel like I'm only just kicking off my new blog, I'm calling today my official blog starting day for anniversary purposes. Woo!

So onto planning for 2013

  • I feel like my blog is a big part of my plans for 2013. I would like to blog at least once every week but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't!
  • One of the key reasons why I started sewing, was to be able to get great fitting clothes which is difficult with RTW due to my height. So focusing on fit is an important part of my year. I'm not one to turn out a garment a week (hats off to those who can do that!), so I'm not going to pressure myself to churn out garments when it's just not feasible for me.
  • I've toyed with the idea of doing a SWAP over at Artisan Square and the rules this year look achievable. I've been doing a lot of planning, selecting patterns and pre-treating of fabrics.
  • Get more involved in the blogging community. I'm an avid reader of quite a few blogs but I tend to keep quiet and rarely post comments. This is something I want to change! I just need to work out the most efficient way to do this, particularly using my commute. I normally read blogs on my RSS reader but never really got the hang of commenting at the same time. So that is something I want to change!
  • Make some of the things I've pinned. I love pinterest and am addicted to pinning all manner of pictures but I rarely make the time to go back and make up some of the items.

So here's to an awesome 2013!