Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pattern Fitting Time

Not only did I enter Patternreview's Mini-Wardrobe contest, but I also entered The Stitcher's Guild 6PAC for spring sew-along. I'm using the first 4 pieces from my mini-wardrobe then adding two more garments. I think these will be the garments I take along with me to Patternreview's Annual Meeting in Chicago next month. The two new garments are M5932 and KS 2631.

I'm sewing the KS top in a white poly/lycra woven with black topstitching. I've made this top before in a stretch woven. I liked it a lot and I hope it works in this fabric as well. Since I don't have to do any pattern fitting on the KS top, it should go pretty quickly once I cut it out. I hope to get that done later today.

The fabric I'm using for the cardigan is a knit that's been in my stash since before I had a stash. It's a stable knit that feels like it has some poly in it. Not the best quality, but the color will work perfectly in my 6PAC.

Before deciding to use this cardigan pattern, I read all the reviews on They were a mixed bag. Not wanting to ruin my fabric but not wanting to do a muslin either, I pinned the pattern together and tried the pattern out on Judy. It fit pretty well with some minor alterations. First, I cut the shoulder slope much steeper, by 3/4" on both the front and back. That meant that I had to fold out 1-1/2" from the sleeve width. That's good because the sleeves looked quite wide. I forgot to mention that when I cut out the pattern I cut a size Large, then tapered to an X-Large side seam at the hem.

The neckline wanted to gape, so I pinched a small dart which I will rotate out at the underarm. I probably didn't have to do this alteration, but since it's easy to do and the pattern clearly needed it, I went ahead and did the alteration. This also meant that I had to reduce the length of the collar.

The back is where the pattern needed quite a bit of help. I had to reduce the center back length by two full inches for it to hang correctly. This is a normal alteration for me, but 2" was quite a lot more than I usually have to do. The tuck tapers to nothing at the side seam. Taking the back tuck will require me to even out the hem but I think I'll remove from the front instead of adding to the back since I will probably want to make it a tad bit shorter. I also had to add 1-1/2" to get the center back to cover my behind so I will be adding a center back seam to get the extra width. I didn't want to add a seam in my stripy knit fabric, but it will help get the fit I need. Oh well.

Without doing my usual high rounded back alteration, the back neckline was going to be way too high on me. One PR reviewer said that she did do the rounded back alteration and now had a bubble under the collar because she added too much. I think that the pattern is just drafted wrong at this spot. I'll correct it by cutting down the pattern and skip this alteration.

After making these pattern alterations, I think I'm going to get a pretty good fitting cardigan. It's still going to have unsewn bust darts, but that's because of the dropped shoulder. I'm not sure there is a way to get rid of that without actually sewing in the darts, something I don't want to do on this simple pattern.

April is almost over and for the sew-along, I need to be done this month so I better get to work. For the PR mini-wardrobe contest, from taking a quick look at the contest gallery, it looks like I came in 4th place. I was hoping to do better, but thank you to all 50 people who did vote for my wardrobe. I know my style of dress isn't everyone's taste, but I think I look pretty good in my new wardrobe. I just can't seem to find the love for the vintage styles that are so popular right now. However, I do love to wear red lipstick now and then. That's about as vintage as I get.


  1. Your mini-wardrobe does look fantastic on you. You should be proud. Voting on PR is such a random thing, and I'm sorry to admit I meant to look at all the entries and vote on this one but didn't get round to it.

    It's so helpful to see how you do your alterations like this. It does make me think a dummy is so worthwhile, too. Fitting your own back without one is sloooow.

    I don't think I've commented before, just wanted to say thanks for your great posts.

  2. I am so glad that you're back, sewing and blogging. But, why did you show me that pattern? Now, I feel I MUST buy it! As for vintage--at my age, I look like I'm wearing my old wardrobe that I already wore years ago!

  3. I've seen pictures of people tissue fitting the pattern to themselves but never to their dressforms. This is kewl will have to remember this!

  4. I loved your mini wardrobe and voted for you. You did a great job! I too am glad that you are writing in your blog once again. I have a lot to learn about fitting and really appreciate your detailed "step by step" reviews and detailed explanations.


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