Tutorial 3. Customizing the Size of the Pattern.
I print out another set of standard pieces to work on their shape. For the sake of your convenience, there is a thumbnail on every sheet. I take a glue stick and assemble the central front piece and the side front piece and the same parts of the back half of the dress.
I start customizing the pattern by altering the side front piece. I draw the major circumference lines and apply adjustments based on the calculated values from the Adjusted Side Seam Front column: I remove 1cm at the bust line level, leave it as is at the under-bust level, and remove 1cm in the waist, in the stomach, and in the hips.
I re-draw the side seam line using the side front piece of the pattern after which I made the first mock-up: first I draw the section from the bust line to the under-bust line, then from the under-bust line to the waistline, and finally from the waistline to the hip line. You can also transfer the pieces onto cardboard or plastic if you want.
According to the calculations, the side seam needs to be made 1cm shorter. First I bring the newly drawn side seam line to its initial length and then shorten it by 1cm (point C).
I move to the clip-toward-armscye measurement. I need to shorten the clip by 0.5cm or mark the adjusted clip toward the armscye (10cm). I mark 1.2cm (seam allowance) and find the apex of the breast (point A). I measure 10 cm (clip) and another 1.2cm (seam allowance) from the apex of the breast and mark point B.
I re-draw the top edge by connecting points C and B using the standard piece as a template.
Next I need to alter the princess seam of the front. There are no changes in the area above the waistline. According to the calculations, I need to shift it 0.6cm inwards in the waist, 0.5cm inwards in the stomach, and 0.1cm inwards in the hips. You can safely leave that 1mm in the hips because a slightly looser fit will only ensure better freedom of movement. As for me, I will account for it though. There will be no side seam on the final version of the pattern and so the newly made pattern needs to be very precise.
I re-draw the front princess seam. I connect the points on the hip line, the stomach line, and the waistline, and carefully bring it to the under-bust line. You can use the standard pattern as a template.
I have applied all alterations to the side front piece. Make sure to transfer the notches onto the new side seam and princess seam.
Now I need to customize the central front piece.
For a start, I shift the entire central fold line 1cm inwards in keeping with the bust middle measurement. And then I apply adjustments to the princess seam: shift it 0.6cm inwards in the waist, 0.5cm inwards in the stomach, and 0.1cm inwards in the hips.
I re-draw the front princess seam and transfer all notches.
The length of the princess seam is supposed to be the same on the side front piece as on the central front piece. I check how much shorter the princess seam has become on the side front piece (I got 2cm) and shorten it by the same value on the central front piece.
I mark a seam allowance of 1.2cm and mark the adjusted clip toward the center of the neckline (6cm, point D).
I draw a smooth transition to the shoulder strap from the princess seam and the neckline.
And I work on the shape of the neckline to make it more graceful. Remember: the smaller the breasts are, the more the neckline should reveal. I try to make it agree with my client's clip measurement. Sometimes though, it may make sense to slightly prolong the clip just to achieve a beautiful neckline.
I can always adjust the shape or the depth of the neckline after sewing a mock-up based on the customized pattern and examining it on the dress-form.
I adjust the width of the shoulder strap: it should be even along its full length. My shoulder strap has ended up 4.5cm wide.
The central front piece adjusted after my client's measurements looks like this:
I cut the adjusted side front piece along the side seam line. I will use it to restore the same length and configuration of the side seam line on the back half of the dress.
I take the side back piece. I need to change the configuration and the length of the side seam and apply alterations to the princess seam.
I shift the side seam in correspondence with the calculations: 2.5cm inwards at the bust line level, in the stomach, and in the ships, and 1.5cm inwards at the under-bust level.
I put the side front piece over the side back piece, align the notches, and re-draw the side seam line of the back piece using the front piece as a template.
I shift the princess seam of the side back piece 0.3cm outwards at the under-bust level, 0.6cm inwards in the waist, 0.5cm inwards in the stomach, and 0.1cm inwards in the hips.
I re-draw the princess seam using the side back piece from the standard set of patterns.
I draw the top edge. You can lower the back depending on the style preferred.
I have applied all alterations to the side back piece.
I need to customize the central back piece after my client's measurements by applying changes to the princess seams at the back.
To make things easier, I cut the side back piece along the princess seam line to use it as a template.
I take the central back piece and shift the princess seam line 0.6cm inwards in the waist, 0.5cm in the stomach, and 0.1cm in the hips. I put the side back piece over it, align the princess seam line with the control points on the central piece, and re-draw it.
The central back piece is ready.
I cut out all customized patterns after double-checking the adjustments. In the next tutorial, I will cut and sew a mock-up and put it on the dress-form.