Tutorial 15. Customizing the Bodice on Paper.
All eight pattern sheets are printed out and now I need to glue them together.
Put the first and the second sheet together, carefully match all lines and squares, and glue them together. If your printer leaves white gaps along the perimeter of the sheet (not borders but unprinted areas), do not trim them away. The printer just cannot physically print at the very edges of the sheet. Remember to select "Actual Size" in printing preferences. Imagine that you have prolonged the line and glue the sheets together.
For your convenience, there is a thumbnail on each sheet that shows how to join the pieces. The current sheet is marked grey. This way you can tell what part of the pattern you are holding in your hands and what sheet it needs to be joined with.
Here is the central front piece:
One by one, I glue together the separate parts of the standard pattern using a plain glue stick.
I recommend you should print two sets of patterns.
You will glue together the sheets of the first set, cut out the patterns, cut them from mock-up fabric, assemble a mock-up, and measure it.
And then, you will glue together the sheets of the second set and apply adjustments implied by client's measurements.
I have prepared all four parts of the standard pattern. The skirt will be drawn directly on fabric.
Let’s start adjusting the standard pattern.
The central front piece:
Bust Apex to Bust Apex has changed and I need to narrow the front of the bodice by shifting the central edge 1cm inwards.
The clip toward the neckline was adjusted as well. According to the calculations, it was made 1.5cm shorter and is now 6cm.
By changing Bust Apex to Bust Apex by 1cm, you automatically shift the neckline by the same value. I draw a new neckline parallel to the initial one.
And by changing the position of the neckline I also change the length of the clip towards neckline.
I measure it from the bust apex point.
The result is about 7.2cm including the seam allowance. The actual length of the clip toward the neckline is, therefore, 6cm, which fully coincides with the client's measurement.
Here is the adjusted central front piece:
I move on to the side front piece.
There are no changes to the side seam line of the side front piece. The only things that need to be adjusted are clip to the neckline and clip to the armscye.
Both these clips are supposed to have an actual length of 11cm (13.2cm with 1.2cm seam allowance included).
I draw the bust line and mark a clip from the bust apex point toward the middle of the neckline and another clip toward the armscye. Each clip includes a seam allowance and is 13.2cm long.
Before re-drawing the armscye line passing through the adjusted clips, I will shorten the side length by 3cm as suggested by the calculations.
I measure the distance from the waistline to the under-bust line on the side front piece.
It is 10cm on the client and 11.2cm on the pattern.
11.2cm – 10cm = 1.2cm
There is extra 1.2cm on the standard pattern.
As follows from the calculations, I need to shorten the side seam by 3cm.
I remove 1.2cm by reducing the width of the area between the waistline and the under-bust line. Now the width of this area is 10cm, which corresponds with the client's measurement. I re-draw the waistline. Later, I will cut away the excess in this area and align the bottom part of the piece with the new waistline.
I still need to shorten the side seam by another 1.8cm.
3cm – 1.2cm = 1.8cm
This is basically the largest possible value by which the side seam line can be shortened at the top (at the armscye).
I re-draw the armscye line with respect to the adjusted clip toward to middle of the neckline, the adjusted clip toward the armscye, and the shortened side seam. The result is a graceful smooth line.
I re-draw the top line 1.8cm below the initial one to shorten the piece.
The side seam line stays as it is but I need to work with the princess seam line.
I shift the princess seam line 0.3cm inwards at the waistline and 0.5cm inwards at the stomach line marked 12cm below the waistline.
I re-draw the front princess seam line. The area from the stomach line to the hip line is not relevant.
I return to the central front piece to finish the princess seam line and draw a transition to the side front piece at the top.
I re-draw the princess seam line shifting it 0.3cm inwards at the waistline and 0.5cm inwards at the stomach line 12cm below the waist.
In order to achieve a smooth transition from the central front piece to the side front piece, I trim the top of the side piece, fold back the seam allowance, align it with the central piece, and draw a graceful line – the way I want it to be after joining the two pieces along the princess seam. I forgot to tell you that this dress will have concealed side seams. It has a low back and I want the sides to look perfectly smooth.
I adjust the Waist to Under-Bust measurement. It is supposed to be 10cm. Let me remind you that I need to remove 1.2cm to achieve the desired value.
I cut along the waistline of the side front piece and shift the bottom part 1.2cm upwards.
I have thereby adjusted the pattern down to a length of 18cm.
I finish cutting the side front piece.
The flare of the skirt will begin 10cm below the waistline while the bottom edge of the piece (the stomach line) is situated 12cm below the waistline. Keeping this in mind, I trim the bottom edge by 2cm.
I have adjusted the side front piece.
Let us finish the central front piece now.
I mark 2cm up from the bottom edge of the piece and 1.2cm up from the waistline.
I adjust the Waist to Under-Bust measurement. It is supposed to be 10cm. As you remember, I need to remove 1.2cm to achieve the desired length.
I cut the central front piece along the waistline and shift the bottom part of the piece 1.2cm up. I finish cutting the piece.
The front pieces have been customized and fully comply with my client's measurements now.
I begin working on the back pieces.
The side back piece:
I shorten the side seam line by 1cm and mark 1.2cm up from the waistline.
I apply changes to the princess seam line.
I leave it as is at the bust-line level and shift it 1.2cm inwards between the under-bust line and the stomach line.
I re-draw the back princess seam line. Do not be disturbed by the noticeable curve in the under-bust area – it is not a problem and, besides, I will trim the top of the back.
I mark 2cm up from the stomach line to the beginning of the flare and cut along the bottom line and the new princess seam line.
Then, I cut along the waistline of the side back piece and shift the bottom part 1.2cm upwards.
I will copy the configuration and the length of the side seam line from the side front piece. I align the pieces (do not forget that the side seam line of the back was shifted 1cm inwards) and re-draw the side seam line of the back following the side seam line of the front.
Now both side seam lines are perfectly identical.
I finish drawing the top of the side piece and cut it out following the new side seam line and top line. The side seams have 2cm seam allowances.
Let me adjust the central back piece now.
I cut along the waistline of the central back piece, shift the bottom part 1.2cm upwards, and glue the parts back together.
I re-draw the back princess seam line on the central back piece, i.e. re-draw the top and the bottom using the side back piece as a template. (Remember to align the waist notches).
I re-draw the top line of the central back piece and cut it out. The seam allowance of the central back seam remains unchanged – 2cm.
Here is the new pattern customized after my client's measurements.
In conclusion, let me say a few words about iron-on materials.
All pieces will be duplicated with iron-on batiste down to the beginning of the flare. There is no need in duplicating them below that level.
The cups will be duplicated with hard iron-on fabric.
I purposely checked the position of the cup of my client's bra: it was 4cm from the side seam.
Knowing this, I can draw the cup properly on the side front piece. The cup line goes through a point 4cm from the side seam marked on the bust line.