Video: Altering sewing patterns for a petite body

September 23, 2018 3 Comments

Video: Altering sewing patterns for a petite body

September 23, 2018 3 Comments

So what to do when parts of your body are shorter than the body type the sewing pattern is drafted for? In this video, I go through all the things one needs to consider when shortening a pattern, including the steps I take myself when doing petite alterations.

Some key petite altering takeaways

  • Don’t shorten at the hem, unless the garment has straight side seams.
  • Find out exactly where you are shorter, don’t just rely on the fold-lines on the pattern.
  • Being short is also about proportions, so you might consider altering things like pockets, cuffs and collars too.
  • Remember that altering by folding can throw off things like buttonhole placements, sleeve depth and seam lines.
  • Even if you are not technically short, you might still have areas where you are shorter than what the pattern stipulates.
  • Check out the pattern company size chart to find out what measurements are used for drafting the patterns and adjust accordingly.

I’ll explain all this more in-depth in the video, plus a lot more!

Johanna Lundström

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  • Karey September 24, 2018 at 2:37 am

    This is very helpful introduction to the basics for petite adjustments. I am both short and large busted (F cup), with wide back and large biceps. My large bust disguises need to shorten between shoulder and bust, so I measure from base of armhole not bust apex to shoulder, as this length is same on pattern before and after FBA. I need to add length over bust but remove it between shoulder and bust and at waist. Illustrating your point about knowing where you are short, I have no gap between ribs and hip bones (accounting for most of the 3″ difference between my height and regular height), so get better fit for my shape removing length at waistline than in the usual mid midriff line. Joi Mahoney’s Craftsy class was very helpful for working out where my variations were, as she shows you where to do lots of extra measurements.

    • Johanna September 24, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Yes understanding the finer details of our bodies are so important, I think there is too much focus on width only (since this is the norm in RTW) but we need to factor in height too. I love hearing that you have figured it out, it really makes such a huge difference doesn’t it? For me understanding my body and how it deviates from standard sizing is one of my biggest sewing “eureka” moments.

  • Wednesday Weekly #143 – Helen's Closet September 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    […] The Last Stitch shares how to adjust patterns for a petite body. […]

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