Tuesday, September 7, 2010

waistcoat pattern alterations

Continuing on with the waistcoat at hand.

Let's look at the back.
When I measured him I made note of the fact that he had a fuller upper back. If the person has significant figure issues it is best to deal with them at the first stage of pattern making. In this case I didn't make the changes in the pattern first because the difference was not huge and I thought it would be interesting to illustrate the process.
Again, a list of issues from the fitting.
The CF did not close exactly on the line from the pattern. It was off by 1/8" at the waist area.
a) If you look at the fitting photo, you can see that in profile the front of his waist is forward from the front of his chest. Not unusual- he is young and has yet to fill out, and he cycles a lot.
Men's back and neck muscles are easily developed, especially if the person weight trains, or participates in a sport like swimming or biking.
b) if the back is being distorted by not having enough length, it can cause issues with the front closure.

I noted as well that the back seemed a bit short overall, and there was an excess of fabric being drawn in by the back belt. This points to an area of fullness (upper back) that the pattern has not compensated for. I will usually draw on the toile and here you can see (sorry, rather faintly) that I have circled the fullest areas of his back. I also marked a very small pinch out of the right back armhole.

This is where tape is my/your friend= pattern alterations!

So I need to allow for some more length in the upper back area of the pattern. I have cut my pattern straight across and added a fat 1/4" evenly in length. This will cause a couple of things to happen.- it will allow the back to drop into the waist a bit and release the tension on the CF line a bit. It has increased the back armhole line but has not controlled the fullness over the prominent area of the back.

I need a dart basically. Right where the fullness is.

I cut along from the armhole towards the blade and make another cut from the shoulder line toward the first cut. I have then overlapped most but not all of that fat 1/4"which then opens out the shoulder line. This has to be enough to ease in rather than be sewn as a dart, so there is a limit on how much easing can be done. This amount is easily accomplished.

I wasn't going to get a chance to see or fit this in the fabric because of my schedule- it was going to be made up and finished, so I did a few more things to the pattern. I slashed the pattern parallel to the CF and I added a miniscule amount at the waist to nothing at the top (just in case dropping the back wasn't quite enough). I took out a tiny wedge of fabric from the outside edge of the neck strap, as it rippled in the toile and I didn't think that the chosen fabric would respond well to shrinking and stretching there. I increased the dart take up in the back darts slightly. I made the changes to the style that we decided on.
I cut it all out, delivered it and then I worried whether I could/should have solved the problem some other way- I like to torture myself obviously- but in the end, I did see it finished before he was off home and it was all good. Just waiting now for pictures from their end since I was not prepared when I did see him wearing it.

A postscript.
If you have a judy to drape on, you can play with how this works. With difficult figures you can use what you've drawn on your toile, pad the judy to make the same problems happen. If you don't have the correct sized judy, you can approximate the changes by cutting a correct piece to fit the judy at hand, then pad the judy in the problem areas, create the same problems and explore the best way to fix them.

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