The Seam Method of Pattern Alteration

I had originally planned for a final post on items I’d made in 2012 but my husband was playing around with the camera and accidentally deleted the pictures so I will have to save that for a later date (I know, it’s nearly 5 months into 2013 and I’m still talking about 2012 clothes).

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I’ve been in a sewing rut lately, It’s not so unproductive as I’ve been quilting and needlepointing while I figure out my next few garment makes. I had originally planned to start the Colette Violet blouse (I traced my pattern out and prepped my muslin fabric) but I’m wary of all the alterations I need to do on it as I don’t like the boxy fit and it runs a little large and short I hear. In the meantime I’ve been researching and writing down all the possible alterations I may need to do for it.

Fablous Fit
A few months ago I picked up this book at the local library sale for 50 cents. Fabulous Fit by Judith Rasband is all about the Seam Method of Pattern Alteration. The premise of the book is that the slash and spread and pivot methods cause distortions in the pattern that create many more problems, so Judith shows us (with many interesting illustrations) how to make precise changes to the seamline of the pattern. If you want more information, check out this article from the Threads magazine website.  The book is a little dated in it’s advice on body shapes and types and I don’t  necessarily agree with the generalizations about body type, but it does have great advice for common fitting problems and I like the illustrations.

I can’t say if this fitting method is better or worse than other methods because I don’t often have to do pattern alterations other than a sway back adjustment or transitioning between different sizes, but I do have broad shoulders and as this garment has sleeves and is not a knit pattern I may have to make some adjustments.

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Here is the adjustment advised by the book. My only concern is that is appears to have shortened the armscye in the front (I don’t know if you can see it but the zigzag lines indicate pattern overlap, whereas white spaces indicate spreading), which may create another set of problems as I set in my sleeves. I could try the method Sunni demonstrates and see where that takes me.

To fix the boxy fit of the top I will likely add  double pointed darts, this is my mother’s favorite way of fitting a garment.

What do you guys advise?  Do you have a preferred alteration method and why?

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9 thoughts on “The Seam Method of Pattern Alteration

  1. It should be first step in approuching any sewing project – is this pattern good for my firure and if not how can I alternate it to be… I have seen this method as one of many … very good book!

  2. Salma, thanks for dropping by!! Do you live in the GTA as well?

    Too bad the expo wasn’t aimed at welcoming young sewists as well. oh well, we have the Internet.

    As for the seam method of alteration, I’ve heard great reviews from people whose advice I really trust.. Ill give it a try and post a review.

    • Hiya! I used to live in the GTA but recently moved to USA. I never knew there were so many fun sewers in the GTA! I’ll also give this method a review, but first I have to cut my muslin out.

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