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Forum > Plus Size Sewing > Need help understanding pattern altering ( Moderated by JEF)

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Need help understanding pattern altering
Trying to understand the Barbara Deckert process
mrsbesh
mrsbesh
Advanced Beginner
Alberta CANADA
Member since 5/24/11
Posts: 7
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Date: 8/3/11 5:25 PM

Ladies, I'm back to the discouragement that drove me away from sewing for myself a year ago. My bust measurement is 46 and my hips are a 58, so it is a nightmare for me to fit things. I am determined to get the pattern altering down, but unfortunately, understanding math and construction is not my strong suit (I'm stubborn and want to sew well nonetheless!). Can anyone pass on any tips on understanding the process that Barbara Deckert has in her book "Sewing for Plus Sizes"? I'm reading it, but it is just not computing in this brain of mine! Any advice would be so much appreciated!

Lisabeth60
Lisabeth60
Intermediate
Arizona USA
Member since 6/18/10
Posts: 62
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Date: 8/3/11 7:21 PM

Hi,

I have the book you are referring to, but I am sorry I haven't read it. I just wanted to mention to you though that I just am finishing up the Full Bust Adjustment FBA class here at pattern review and I really learned a lot to help me as far as fitting the bust goes. It doesn't go over fitting the entire bodice or arms or other areas though. I think the teacher is developing some other classes. Just thought I would mention it because if you are bigger than a B cup, then you almost always have to do an FBA unless it is a pattern company that drafts for a larger cup. I am just a beginner sewer and I am glad I learned this from the beginning. I haven't done a lot of them yet, but I certainly learned a lot to help me. I'd recommend it!

I hope you hear from someone who has used the book!

Lisa

mrsbesh
mrsbesh
Advanced Beginner
Alberta CANADA
Member since 5/24/11
Posts: 7
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Date: 8/3/11 10:04 PM

Thanks, Lisa! I'll check out the classes!

Andi
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Andi
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New York USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 1115
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Date: 8/4/11 9:31 AM

I hate to say that I found her book not that helpful for me. I started with the Nancy Zieman approach to get a good fitting neck & shoulders. Then I do a FBA (I am a C cup), then I alter for increased waist/hips. HTH

mrsbesh
mrsbesh
Advanced Beginner
Alberta CANADA
Member since 5/24/11
Posts: 7
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Date: 8/4/11 11:19 AM

Thanks, Andi! My problem is the hips. I swear, when I look in the mirror, they don't seem too humongous, but when I try to sew anything, no matter what size lines I pick, no matter how large the sewing item looks, it's too tight in the hips. So depressing.

Lisabeth60
Lisabeth60
Intermediate
Arizona USA
Member since 6/18/10
Posts: 62
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Date: 8/4/11 12:13 PM

I just looked through a few other books that I have. The reason I haven't spent a lot of time with the book you mentioned is that it didn't seem as hands on practical as the other two I have. These both have a lot of photos for each specific alteration.

The first one called The Perfect Fit has a specific section on Fitting Hips. The other book Fit for Real People is more about the upper body and tissue fitting, but they also have a Pants book. I would think learning about tissue fitting might help you, but like I said I am a beginner.. Just thought I would mention these other two books.

There is a website where they help you with tissue fitting your body if you join. It is called Pefect Fit and Sew or something like that? I have been thinking about doing it, but haven't decided. There are a lot of videos and a forum. It is also based on tissue fitting. And people here are helpful with specific questions I have found.... GOOD LUCK

mrsbesh
mrsbesh
Advanced Beginner
Alberta CANADA
Member since 5/24/11
Posts: 7
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Date: 8/4/11 11:23 PM

Thanks again, Lisa! I'll definitely check the books and website out!

sewingoffthechart
sewingoffthechart  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
USA
Member since 4/5/09
Posts: 38
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Date: 8/5/11 11:16 AM

My hips don't fit in normal patterns either. I don't have any profound secret tips, but here's how I deal with the problem:

1. Believe what the tape measure says. No point putting your head in the sand if the garment doesn't fit at end. Check these measurements against the finished width of pattern (shown at hip point in big 4 patterns) to figure out how the minimum you need to add.
2. Try to keep the pattern ease (amount the garment is bigger than the hip measurement) proportional. Compare your measurements to the pattern envelope to see how much ease is intended. Sometimes I add the amount that I am larger than the pattern envelope to keep the ease that the designer intended for draping, pleating, gathering, etc.
3. Take the amount you need to add and divide by the number of pattern pieces to figure out how much each pattern pieces needs to grow. A simple skirt with 2-pieces (front & back cut on a fold and side seams) should be divided by 4 to figure out how much to add to the front & back.
4. Add extra evenly throughout the garment (ie, don't lump it all on the side seams). I split skirts parallel to the grain line to add inches evenly in multiple places if I'm adding more than 2"--just remember to increase the amount of gathering or pleating at the waist to compensate. I like to split pleats and add extra there because it ensures the pleat will stay closed.
5. Add wedges to allow for extra length needed to cover prominent buttocks & bellies. To do this, splice horizontially from center front to 5/8" (seam allowance) of side seam (do not cut through) at your widest point and spread vertically (I do at least 1").

jeanau
jeanau
Intermediate
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 4/19/07
Posts: 231
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In reply to sewingoffthechart


Date: 8/5/11 11:26 AM

This is great advice...thank you for taking the time to write it down.

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3151
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In reply to mrsbesh


Date: 8/5/11 11:49 AM

I'd love to see the first thing you'd really like to make for yourself. I think you'll get even more tips.

Also a great pattern helps. I struggled trying to learn to fit a simple T shirt. I read about Jalie's here and I've had a lot of success with them. If you post the pattern you'd like to tackle, you may get suggestions that will solve half your problems right out of the fate.

I'm loving your thread; all the tips have been very helpful!

------
Mary


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