An educated guess at initial blazer alterations

Initial blazer adjustments - front and side front

My initial set of pattern alterations to Simplicity 2446 (a classic-cut blazer) is complete.  Granted, the last time I made alterations before a muslin resulted in a hot mess, but this time I hope (?) I’ll have better luck.  Unlike last time, I drew in the seam lines on my traced pattern pieces and did some flat-measuring on the pattern in an attempt to avoid too much guessing.  However, I was comparing the pattern measurements to my own measurements that I took myself, and man is it difficult to take your own measurements!  So who knows how this will come out.  : )

Above you can see the side front (on the left) and front (on the right) pieces of the blazer, on which I made 3 alterations:

  • Added 1/2 inch in length just below the shoulder — to accommodate my long upper torso.
  • Added 1 inch in length at the waist — to accommodate my long lower torso.
  • Added 1 inch in width at each shoulder — to accommodate my broad upper back.

I’m 5’8″ (173 cm) with a broad back and broad shoulders, and let me tell you, ready-to-wear clothing is *not* cut for my body!  I’m excited to make my own blazer that will actually fit me… assuming this all works out.  : )

The length alterations are pretty straightforward, but adding width in the shoulder was a little more interesting.  I saw this technique in a book at the bookstore a few months ago (sadly I don’t remember which book it was), and I figured I’d give it a try.  Hopefully you can see what I did below:

Initial blazer adjustments - side front shoulder area

I made an L-shaped cut around the armhole and shifted the armhole piece to the left, adding paper to fill in the 1 inch gap that I created.  At the bottom of the photo you can see that the armhole piece didn’t move up or down; it just slid out to the left.

Initial blazer adjustments - side front side seam

Bumping out the armhole area required re-drawing the side seam, since the bottom of the armhole was now jutting out an extra inch.  I added paper and free-handed a smooth line from the new base of the armhole to the waistline.  The added area is the long triangle of paper at the left edge in the photo above.

Initial blazer adjustments - side front shoulder seam

My L-shaped shoulder alteration also required re-drawing the shoulder seam, which wasn’t too big of a deal.  I just drew a new diagonal line and erased the old one (sorry, I didn’t take a before photo!).

Initial blazer adjustments - back and side back

I made the same 3 alterations to the back and side back pieces, as you can see above.  The new shoulder and side seams on the side front and side back pieces should match, since I made the same alterations on each piece.

Initial blazer adjustments - upper and under sleeveFor the upper sleeve (on the left in the photo above), I added 1/2 inch at the top of the sleeve cap to match the 1/2 length alteration that I had made at the top of the front and back pieces.  I didn’t make this adjustment on the under sleeve (on the right) since it sits below the area I altered.

For both sleeve pieces, I added 1.5 inches in length in the lower portion of the sleeve to accommodate my long, giraffe-like arms.  Can’t wait to have sleeves that actually fit me!

On the upper sleeve, notice that the two length alterations aren’t parallel to each other.  I assume this is ok?  I followed the lengthen/shorten lines in each region of the pattern piece, so hopefully everything will be all right.  I assume the sleeve curves vertically down the arm?

Anyway, I don’t know how clear these photos and my explanations are, and I don’t even know if these alterations are going to work!  Sewing is still such a mystery to me sometimes.  : )  I guess we’ll see when I try on the muslin… stay tuned!

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