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:
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.
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.
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!).
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.
For 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!