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Forum > Fitting Woes > Ideas for fitting a vintage blouse pattern ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Ideas for fitting a vintage blouse pattern
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kdbobo
kdbobo
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Date: 12/27/11 1:12 PM

Hi everyone!

So, in a fit of extravagance and extreme patternlust, I purchased this totally squeeworthy (to me, anyway) pattern: Butterick 2149

Now that I have it in my hot little hands, and have happily traced it off, I seem to be incapable of settling on the best way to alter it to fit. My needs are fairly basic: an FBA to fit my low DD bust and an expansion of the sleeve to fit my ginourmous upper arms. I've cut off the sleeve and done an FBA, so now the pattern has a big side dart, but I am having a hard time envisioning how to rotate this dart into those bodice pleats, since they don't really point to one specific bust point. And how can I lower the bust point if needed? And once that is done, the armhole shape changes, so how do I then widen the cut-on sleeve in such a way that it can be reasonably graded back into the blouse? And let us not even begin on the peplum, which is also pleated, and will need to be widened...argh.

Any ideas would be appreciated--I've been perusing all my fitting books but am still uncertain as to how to proceed. I feel like this should be fairly simple and obvious, but for some reason I am at a loss.

Maybe I should have gone for that engineering degree,
kdbobo

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to kdbobo


Date: 12/27/11 1:23 PM

I love this blouse...especially the pleats at the neck line. I won't try to offer suggestions on the dart rotations, I'm not real up on that sort of thing. I have to do FBA for a D cup, so not a lot of dart rotation is involved. I can suggest to lower your bust point: Draw a box around your new side dart and cut out the box. Lower the entire box the amount needed for your bust point, fill in the spot at the top of the box with filler paper and tape. This should lower your bust. Do you have Fit For Real People? It's a great reference to have for FBA's and dart rotations.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/27/11 1:48 PM

I would rotate the bust dart to the shoulder pleats. That's a common alteration I make for my fbas.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

kdbobo
kdbobo
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Date: 12/27/11 2:04 PM

Hi Jtink--
I do have FFRP, and that's been enormously helpful at showing me how to do an FBA and rotate darts under standard conditions. I usually do the slid-y thing when the pattern actually has a dart in it, but: the thing is, the pattern doesn't actually have a side dart--all the shaping is supposed to come from the pleats. I added one when I did an FBA on it, and am now trying to figure out how to rotate it into the pleats. DianeS, you think just enlarging the shoulder pleats will be enough? I was worried that the extra size would need to be distributed over both the shoulder and waist pleats, but if it might work just as well, I'm game for trying that and seeing what happens.

goodworks1
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Date: 12/27/11 4:14 PM

I'd rotate your current side dart to a spot right in between those two shoulder tucks. And then when you've determined it's size at the seam line, divide that amount by 2 and add to each of the tucks (or are they pleats?)

I'd just leave the extra width and length in the bodice bottom until it's time to add the tie. At that point I'd try the blouse on and pin fit those bottom/waist tucks so they look good.... (Note that they actually point to the opposite side of the bodice.)

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goodworks1
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In reply to kdbobo


Date: 12/27/11 4:20 PM

Quote: kdbobo
... an expansion of the sleeve to fit my ginourmous upper arms. I've cut off the sleeve and done an FBA,

... the armhole shape changes, so how do I then widen the cut-on sleeve in such a way that it can be reasonably graded back into the blouse?

How did the armhole shape change?

On the current pattern, as printed, where is the grainline on the bodice pieces?

Your answers to these questions will help us know how to answer your questions....

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kdbobo
kdbobo
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Date: 12/27/11 5:23 PM

Hi goodworks1: If you look at the pattern envelope front, you'll see there's a cap-sleeved version of the blouse at the very top. FFRP suggests cutting off the cut-on sleeve before doing an FBA, so before I did the FBA I cut the sleeve off at that cutline, leaving a more or less straight armhole.

Once I did the FBA, I ended up with an angled armhole.

Perhaps I should have created a rounded armhole first?

The grainline runs parallel to the neckline. I'm including a photo of the full front.
Closeup of top front bodice and sleeve cutline
Closeup of altered bodice and armhole
Full front of original pattern
-- Edited on 12/27/11 5:31 PM --

kdbobo
kdbobo
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In reply to goodworks1


Date: 12/27/11 5:48 PM

I think they are actually tucks. I get confused about which is which--and the pattern calls them pleats, to add to my confusion...

goodworks1
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Date: 12/27/11 8:53 PM

Oh, GOOD! The grainline follows the angled front! That should make a great blouse! (What sort of fabric will you use?) I was a little worried that the sleeve/shoulder might be on the fold...and am glad to see it is not.

The angled armhole can just be ignored, I think. Reattach the sleeve section to the top and bottom and see if they are pretty close to matching up. (If you need more space for your upper arm, you may have to spread the armhole area...either as part of the fba by cutting through the armhole edge instead of stopping at the 'seamline' OR later, with another 'dart' from the 'armhole' to the bust point. Another way would be to just lower the side seam and thus add depth to the underarm and lower part of the sleeve. I would personally do a quick and dirty muslin to check how this all is working...

(Remember that you changed the angle of the shoulder seam just a little when you did the FBA, so that actually might work in your favor to give you some extra sleeve space if you just extend that shoulder/sleeve line straight out from the shoulder point. You may be able to taper the sleeve up to the width you need at the lower arm and wrist, without messing with the armhole depth, etc.)

Have you checked your arm circumference against the actual pattern in that area?
-- Edited on 12/27/11 9:04 PM --

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goodworks1
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Date: 12/27/11 8:59 PM

To draft your peplum, just lay it over your altered front pattern piece (like you will when you are sewing the pieces together), matching the side seams and mark the peplum piece where you added the tissue for the front. Add the same amount to the peplum...and it should fit (unless your upper hip area is shaped differently than the pattern.) Again, do a muslin when you get to that point.

Is the sash sewn in between the top and the peplum or is it just added on or decorative?

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