2-in-1 Sewalong: Alteration Resources

When I initially started thinking about doing another sewalong, this is the post I was most concerned about. This is the part in every sewing experience that kind of makes or breaks the sewist. It’s that dreaded word alteration. Seriously. Like, its not enough that you just measured yourself in your underwear, or that you cut out your pattern size according to your upper bust measurement which is a full 8 inches different than your full bust measurement and that you’ve now mocked up a muslin and tried it on only to find that no, it doesn’t fit. It’s kind of tough times as you stand there in front of the mirror, ready to cry or laugh and wondering whether or not this is really that good of a pattern/style for you because that muslin color is doing nothing for your coloring.

Let’s all say it together then. Honey, we’ve all been there. Don’t worry. I mean it. And, ps, nobody looks good in muslin.

So if you’ve come to this part in the sewalong and you are just about ready to give it up, don’t. Don’t be afraid to cut and slash your pattern to bits – well it might be good if you trace off the pattern pieces you’re going to cut and slash and then cut and slash the traced off pieces. Also, if you’re relatively new to pattern altering, don’t worry if everything doesn’t work out just perfectly in the first round. I’ve been sewing for years and there are still alterations that I tackle and try because there are days I feel I have found perfect fit and then all of sudden there are days when I know I haven’t. Here’s some great online resources for a few of the more common alterations that you might need for Simplicity 1880:

click on the image for the source

For the Wrap Bodice version:
Adjusting for a Full Bust on a Wrap Top
Small Bust Adjustments
Raising a Neckline
Removing Neck Gape

For the Shirt Bodice version:
Full Bust Adjustment
My Cup Does Not Runneth Over (Small bust adjustment)

For Both versions:
Problem Areas: The Back

In addition, tomorrow & Friday’s scheduled posts will be a couple more alteration type posts that are for everyone, so don’t go cutting out your fabric just yet. If you’ve found more alteration type posts around the interwebs that have helped you, please don’t hesitate to share in the comments! We could all use a hand when it comes to getting a perfect fit! And if you are terrified to death of alterations, pick up Fit For Real People or The Perfect Fit – both are excellent books on fit and give you a great intro to how to fit yourself and make alterations with confidence.



16 thoughts on “2-in-1 Sewalong: Alteration Resources

  1. Hi Sunni – I gt a few tute’s to add to your list that people might find interesting reading :)!

    “Adjusting for a Full Bust—from VPM April/May 2010”.A PDF Article from ‘Vogue Patterns Magazine’ (the same magazine is called ‘SEW TODAY’ in the UK). Direct download link here: http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/filebin/pdf/Articles/VPMAM10_Adjusting_Full_Bust.pdf

    “Measuring Up: What’s Your Correct Pattern Size??—from VPM” August/September 2008 A PDF Article from ‘Vogue Patterns Magazine Direct download link here: http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/filebin/pdf/Articles/VPMAS08_Measuring_Up.pdf

    Checking and measuring sewing pattern pieces – to ensure that they will fit: http://tanitisis.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/measuring-patterns/ from Tanit-Isis’s blog.

    To Get the Right Armhole, Fit the Bodice’: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4483/to-get-the-right-armhole-fit-the-bodice/page/all , From Threads Magazine:

    ‘On Fitting Sleeves’: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/5052/on-fitting-sleeves/page/all – article from Threads Magazine. “Your favorite off-the-rack fashions hold the secret to perfectly shaped sleeve caps and armholes.”

    Master list of sewing tutorials from all over the web: http://sewingtutorials.blogspot.co.uk/ Pattern Alterations are the top-left section.

    Claire 🙂 x

  2. I read your blog daily and truly enjoy reading and learning. I wanted to join the simplicity 1880, but didn’t get my pattern yet. I missed the sale at Joann’s and hate to pay full price for the pattern. Is it too late to start if I can get my pattern?

  3. Hey Sunni! I love your site and read it daily! I am going to attempt to keep up with the sewalong and maybe blog about it sometime in the future. Working full time with a two year old and 6 month at home make free time scarce! Any way, I was wondering if you or your readers might suggest how to do the FBA on this bodice. I am new to altering patterns and I notice that this bodice has pleats and gathers instead of darts. I plan to toile the bodice but I wondered if anyone has already made it that far in the construction for suggestions. Thanks!

      1. Thanks Jessica, this was exactly what I needed! That is, I need the SBA version which is also covered via that link 🙂 (she calls it the ABC Bust Adjustment)

      2. Thanks so much for adding your link! I’ve never actually had to do a bust adjustment (lucky me!) so I really don’t know where the best resources really are!

  4. Sunni, just wanted to say how much I LOVE your teaching “voice” in your sewalong posts! It’s all so clear and reassuring. Thank you! (I’m not organized enough to be sewing along, but I’m enjoying reading along instead!)

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