Common Sewing Pattern Alterations

Reducing or Increasing Back Waist Length

Back Waist Length is the most important measurement.

I am petite and I am altering my 647 Boxy Jacket pattern for myself. It will also help me fit this pattern onto my single metre of Harris Tweed in my mission to #UseWhatYouHave and #SustainableFashion.

Every other measurement can more or less be altered after cutting out but getting the Back Waist Length right will solve many fitting issues.

If you fall into the petite range as I do, you will be familiar with gapping armholes and bagginess across the back.

Usually it is necessary to take a little out at armhole level and also across the sleeve crown but on this occasion I want to keep the sleeves roomy.

Alterations for Tall Women

Your Back Waist Length or Nape to Waist is one of the most import measurements.

Compare yours to the Sizing Chart. Line up your Front and Back side by side. You need to slash across somewhere below the Under Arm point and also across at the mid point of the armhole.

With some paper underneath, spread and tape your pattern to give you the extra length. Use the grain line as a guide to keep the pieces in line. Redraw side seams. Do the same across the crown of the sleeve so that you get the extra added to the armhole measurement. If your arms are long, also across the sleeve itself.

I have partly covered this in my Boxy Jacket video above.

Trousers and Skirts

For trousers and skirts, decide how far down your widest hip measurement is. This adjustment is more important if you are petite or short as once the side seams are cut, you can't add the extra for your hips.

Slash your pattern across, midway between hip line and waist and overlap the required amount. Keeping the pieces parallel.

If it is lower than the pattern at its widest point then slash and spread.


Accommodating a Fuller Bust

Sewing Pattern Alterations, Fuller Bust, slash through at bust point Sewing Pattern Alterations, Fuller Bust, spread pattern
Sewing Pattern Alterations, Fuller Bust, Rotate Pattern at Shoulder Sewing Pattern Alterations, Fuller Bust, Redraw Bust Darts

Altering Pattern for Size 22 Plus

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