Tutorial 2. Calculating Adjustments to the Standard Pattern.
I need to customize the standard pattern for my client. In other words, I will calculate all adjustments which must be applied to the standard pattern in accordance with my client's measurements.
I have drawn two tables on the writing board and listed all measurements involved in the calculations.
The table on the left (table 1) contains the measurements and calculated values that refer to the pattern of the dress with shoulder straps.
And the table on the right (table 2) has all required measurements and calculated values that refer to the lace part of the dress with shoulder seams, into which delicate lace sleeves will be sewn.
I have simply copied all measurements and calculated values from the previous chapter (Halter-Neck Dress) into table 1 because the patterns of the main parts of the halter-neck dress and the dress with shoulder straps are basically the same.
The only difference lies in the incline of the straps on the central front pieces: other areas of these pieces are also identical.
As you can see, this difference in the incline of the straps on the central front pieces of the two patterns is really small. I invested quite a lot of time into these patterns though: and in particular, into working on the incline of the strap on the dress with shoulder straps.
The thing is you cannot simply draw a low neckline and a strap on the central front piece of the dress with shoulder seams used for the halter-neck dress and sew a similar dress but with straps going over the shoulders. It just won't work! You won't be able to achieve proper fitting of the neckline in the chest and the straps won't be able to support the front of the dress. It did not take me long to apply these changes to the paper pattern but the dress sewn after it just did not fit any of my clients well. A perfect result was only achieved through much trial and error and I had to change the incline of the strap literally by one millimeter at a time.
Table 1 differs from the corresponding table in the previous chapter only in the clip measurement.
Let us move to table 2 with calculated values for adjusting the pattern with shoulder seams.
Here is a list of measurements you need to take off your client to build a pattern of the shoulder part of your dress and the sleeves:
- Front width,
- Back width,
- Front shoulder width,
- Back shoulder width,
- Armscye circumference.
- Upper arm circumference.
- Nape to waist. It is the distance from the seventh cervical vertebra to the waistline.
- Back shoulder slope. It is the distance from the shoulder tip to the middle of the waistline.
- Shoulder to waist (back),
- Neck base to bust point,
- Shoulder tip to bust point,
- Elbow circumference,
- Shoulder to wrist,
- Shoulder to elbow,
- Wrist circumference.
- Sleeve cap circumference. I have supplied you with a sleeve template to use for building the sleeve with your client's measurements. The circumference of the sleeve cap is 47cm. It is not supposed to be eased in on narrow elastic lace sleeves. In other words, puff sleeves or gathered sleeves are not a suitable choice. The circumference of the sleeve cap must fully coincide with the armscye circumference on the dress. My client's armscye circumference is 38cm and it needs to be the same for the sleeve cap. I write 38cm in table 2 (column 1, line 17).
Column 1 contains all client’s measurements and column 2 – all measurements taken off the pattern.
Let us begin.
Sleeve cap circumference: my client’s measurement is 38cm and it is 47cm on the pattern.
38cm – 47cm = -9cm
The sleeve cap circumference needs to be 9cm smaller. I write -9cm in the table (column 5, line 17).
Front width: it is 33cm on the client and 33cm on the pattern. The measurements coincide. I write a zero in line 1 of column 3.
Back width: my client’s measurement is 31cm and it is 38cm on the pattern.
31cm– 38cm= -7cm
I divide it between the two halves of the back. As the result, I need to narrow each half by 3.5cm. I write -3.5cm into line 2 of column 4.
Front shoulder width: my client’s measurement is 36cm and it is 37cm on the pattern.
36cm – 37cm = -1cm
I divide it between the two halves of the front. As the result, I need to narrow either half of the pattern by 0.5cm in the shoulders. I write -0.5cm in line 3 of column 3.
Back shoulder width: it is 38cm on the client and 38cm on the pattern. The measurements coincide. I write a zero in line 4 of column 4.
Shoulder: it is 10cm on the client and 9cm on the pattern.
Let me explain how to take this measurement correctly. Since the sleeves will be very narrow, basically clinging to the body, it makes sense to take this measurement as if the sleeve were supposed to fall off the shoulder by some 0.5-1.0cm. It will allow the wearer to move her arms freely enough.
10cm – 9cm = 1cm
I need to add 1cm to the shoulder at the front and at the back of the dress. I write 1cm in line 5 of columns 3 and 4.
Armscye circumference: my client’s measurement is 38cm and it is 39cm on the pattern.
38cm – 39cm = -1cm
The armscye circumference of the pattern needs to be 1cm smaller. I write -1cm in line 6 of column 3.
Upper arm circumference: my client’s measurement is 77cm and it is 33cm on the pattern.
27cm – 33cm = -6cm
I divide the value in half because the sleeve is made of two halves. Thus I need to remove 3cm from the upper arm circumference on the pattern. I write -3cm in line 7 of column 5.
Nape to waist: it is 38cm on the client and 38cm on the pattern. The measurements coincide. I write a zero in line 8 of column 4.
Back shoulder slope: my client’s measurement is 43cm and it is 41.5cm on the pattern.
43cm – 41.5cm = 1.5cm
I need to prolong the back shoulder slope of the pattern by 1.5cm. I write 1.5cm in line 9 of column 4.
Shoulder to waist (back): it is 44cm on the client and 40cm on the pattern.
44cm – 40cm = 4cm
I need to remove 4cm from the shoulder to waist measurement on the back half of the pattern. I write -4cm in line 10 of column 4.
Neck base to bust point: my client’s measurement is 23cm and it is 27.5cm on the pattern.
23cm – 27.5cm = -4.5cm
The neck base to bust point measurement needs to be made 4.5cm smaller. I write -4.5cm in the table (column 3, line 11).
Shoulder tip to bust point: my client’s measurement is 21cm and it is 26.5cm on the pattern.
21cm – 26.5cm = -5.5cm
I need to remove 5.5cm from the initial shoulder tip to bust middle measurement. I write -5.5cm in line 12 of column 3.
Next, I simply record the elbow circumference, shoulder to wrist, shoulder to elbow, and wrist circumference measurements in the table to use them when building the sleeve on paper or on fabric.
Let me add a few words about sewing a mock-up. You don't have to sew a mock-up for your strap dress if you have already sewn the halter-neck dress from the previous chapter because, as I have mentioned before, their initial patterns are identical. Of course, you could do it out of pure curiosity, put it on the dress-form, and check how well the strap settles upon the shoulder. If you haven't sewn the halter-neck dress and therefore haven't sewn any mock-up based on the first pattern, then I highly recommend you should do so, take all measurements off it, and write them in the pattern measurements column of table 2. Sewing a mock-up is compulsory. What concerns the lace part of the dress that features shoulder seams, it is enough to lay the pattern flat on the table and measure it. However, I still recommend that you sew a mock-up, put it on the dress-form, and apply all adjustments right on it.
I will adjust the standard pattern in accordance with the values from table 1.