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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Can I simply decrease seam allowance to size up a pattern? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Can I simply decrease seam allowance to size up a pattern?
quirktastical
quirktastical
Advanced Beginner
Georgia USA
Member since 1/24/14
Posts: 20
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Date: 1/28/14 6:54 PM

The project I am looking at is a princess seamed coat (McCalls 6800) that has 12 panels making up the body of it, then it has a notched lapel, collar, and sleeves (of course). It does not go up to my size as it is in the pattern. I would need to add 6" to it to make it my size (circumference-wise). It would be a pretty "even grade" because my measurements for the top of the coat are proportionate to the smaller size, just 6" more. And the bottom flares out, so the extra 6" on the hips would be adequate.

It has standard 5/8" seam allowances to it, so my thought is that if I used 3/8" allowances, that would add 1/2" to each panel, giving me my 6" extra circumference I needed.

Would this be a valid way to go about this? What problems would I run into with this or how could I avoid said problems? I can see the collar and sleeves fitting on it to be an issue (I will have to resize the sleeves anyway to fit my arms).

dmh1
dmh1  Friend of PR
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North Carolina USA
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In reply to quirktastical <<


Date: 1/28/14 7:03 PM

Unfortunately, I think you'll have to make a muslin to test this out. What fabric are you using and how are you planning on finishing the seams? My one thought on this pattern is that I would think the weight of the coat itself would make me want to not impair the stability of the seams in any way, so you don't want to have too small of a seam allowance and then have a seam rip out on you during the course of normal wear.

------
Michelle

SM: Janome DC2013 & Singer Futura Quintet
Serger: Janome Magnolia 7034D
Coverstitch: Singer 14T968DC

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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California USA
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Date: 1/28/14 7:22 PM

If you want to try up-sizing by using the seam allowances, rather than cut out the coat with the 5/8-inch seam allowance on the pattern, I would trace the pattern and add to the seam allowances ON THE PATTERN, and then cut it out.

I'd be tempted to make the seam allowances 1-inch or even 1 1/2-inch. This will give you plenty of room to fit all those seams to your body.

True, you need an extra 6-inches, but my guess is that you won't know where you need those extra inches until you fit it. For example, will you need 2 extra inches across the back and 4 extra inches in the front?

Once you've got it sewn, then you can trim the seam allowances to a standard width.

A muslin is an excellent idea.

CMC

quirktastical
quirktastical
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Georgia USA
Member since 1/24/14
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In reply to dmh1 <<


Date: 1/28/14 8:51 PM

My first one will be a bottomweight stretch sateen, lined with a stretchy knit fabric (I always use stretch linings with stretch fabrics, of course). As for seam finishes, I was thinking either mock French seams or serging them (4-thread overlock). Definitely want to do a muslin... I have about 9 yards of it for just this type of thing. :)

But ultimately I am wanting to make one with heavy wool and satin lining, so I definitely think that I would need my full seam allowance for the heavy fabric. I just want to make it a couple times before I commit to the wool financially and all.
-- Edited on 1/28/14 8:52 PM --

quirktastical
quirktastical
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In reply to CM_Sews <<


Date: 1/28/14 8:54 PM

I figured it wasn't that simple. I definitely need to learn how to resize patterns because most of them do not go up to my size, and many of the ones that do are so matronly (I'm only 24!).

Thanks for the reply!! :D

mmcp
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Date: 1/29/14 6:45 AM

I'm sure you have already thought ofthis, but the one with the stretch fabrics will probably end up being a size smaller than the non-stretch one. You want to make a muslin out of a cheap fabric with stretch for that version. You can make make muslins that fit to just below your hips if you don't want to use a lot of fabric.

KathySews
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Date: 1/29/14 7:19 AM

I understand what you mean that larger sizes are not as stylish. I get extra space by using smaller seam allowances often.

I love this pattern (McCalls 6800) and it gives you lots of vertical lines for adjusting fit. I think it will be very flattering.

When you make your muslin, trace the STITCHING lines (you may have to mark them, they are probably not on the pattern) and give yourself larger seam allowances. This will let you fit by letting out the fabric where you need it. First get your shoulders fitting correctly, then baste the other seams. Muslins take time but for a coat it is worth it. Be sure to mark your final stitching lines so you can mark them on your original pattern.

A couple of tips:
most patterns are made for B cup so as a larger woman, I often find the back fits but I need to add more room in the front with a full bust adjustment

On your final coat - heavy fabrics need larger seam allowances than thinner fabrics.

And lastly, I love shoulder princess seams.



McCalls 6800
-- Edited on 1/29/14 7:23 AM --

KathySews
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Date: 1/29/14 7:34 AM

Forgot to mention, if you have not already done this, check for reviews of this pattern. Some people give lots of great information and you get to see it on real people.

Check out THIS review she gives great info and in the comments includes link to a tutorial on sizing up the pattern.
-- Edited on 1/29/14 7:39 AM --

MrsCharisma
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Date: 1/29/14 10:06 AM

I totally think coats, very fitted things and pants need muslins. I don't make muslins for anything if I can help it...but I have muslined the pants that I've sewn and plan to make a coat and will muslin first.

Side seams don't always help get the fit you need.

e.g., I have a thread going talking about FBAs. I have a 2.5" difference between HB/FB and 6" difference between FB/UB. Extra at the side seams does not help. I *have* to do an FBA.

And yep. A heavy wool will need to be larger than say a thinner twill or of course something that stretches.

Also, I love that coat. LOVE it. It fits and flares just beautifully!!!



------
Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to quirktastical <<


Date: 1/29/14 10:38 AM

I would try it with a muslin. No harm, no foul! Besides, Can't never did anything.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

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