Skip to main content

In which a size 4 waist, 0 hips Meringue skirt becomes size 4 waist, size 4 hips

I started my adjustments. I have this TnT skirt pattern, a modified Meringue (no scallops) which I had the suspicion no longer fits well. Here are some photos of a skirt I made from this pattern around November:

It doesn't look too bad in these photos, but you will see the grain lines are not particularly straight. The actual problem is somewhat more visible in this photo:

There are slight pull lines across the hips, meaning there is too little fabric somewhere.

I took Lynda Maynard's Craftsy course advice to heart, and cut a muslin that was on proper grain, had 1" seam allowances and, most importantly, followed the grain marks with contrast thread. I even made extra sure these grain lines were on actual grain by removing one woven thread from the muslin before stitching the line:

Then, I enlisted Mr T's help to figure out the problem. The grain markings (both crosswise and lengthwise grains) need to be parallel / perpendicular to the floor. Any distortion indicates an issue with fit. I didn't have any issue with the crosswise grain (parallel to floor), but the lengthwise one was off both in the front and in the back. He was very helpful in telling me exactly what was wrong!

I actually messed up a lot doing this. I thought the problem was not enough fabric between the waist and the hip, but multiple attempts to fix it yesterday did not do anything for fit. The lengthwise grain was still waaay off. This morning I stitched everything back together (zig zag stitch was great for patching everything up!) and started again.

Having re-watched the "Fitting the lower body" part of the class during the morning, I realized I might need to try to get more room at the hips: that proved to be the issue!

I only altered the front (Mr Ts help only goes so far), but ended up with 9/10" extra at the hip level on the left, and 1 6/10" on the right. This adds up to roughly 2.5" together, which I thought was too much because I could pinch the right side seams a bit with the muslin on. Unfortunately I did not actually pin & pinch to see what the difference was...

Because 2 - 2.5" seemed too much, I then pulled out "The perfect fit" to see what they said about broad hips. I never thought I had broad hips, so I couldn't really explain why I needed so much extra. However, the text in the perfect fit said one needs to measure hips, then add 2" to 3" and use that measurement for measuring the pattern. Said and done, my pattern pieces were 38" in total, and with my computed extra on the muslin would match exactly what the book said.

While I was doing that I realized that my pattern pieces said "Size 4 waist, 0 hips". I took my original pattern out and measured - it had in total 2" at the hips (1/2" at each seam).

So I took the book's guidance and made a broad hip adjustment on my pattern:

I toyed with the idea of recopying the pattern piece, but I had made length adjustments and waistband adjustments so I didn't really feel like doing that. Besides, the text in The perfect fit actually says to add at the side seams only if the adjustment is 3/8" each, and mine needed to be bigger. So I went with the "major adjustment" listed in the book, which required me to actually move the pattern in the hip area outwards.

Since my muslin needed more in front than in the back, I added 6/8" to the front and 2/8" to the back. This should result in 2" in total. I also added 3/8" to the stitch line for the waist on each side, because by measuring against the pattern that seemed to be necessary.


Popular posts from this blog

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.

Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker


1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

Pregnancy Pattern Round Up

Whilst I have been sewing these past 9 months, I haven't been posting much because in the past I was not massively keen on reading about people's pregnancy patterns. However, at some point I realized that I'm wrong and having some review out there would be useful, so decided to do a round up post about what I've learnt works and doesn't work in terms of this kind of sewing. This is a very long post :)

I had a fairly easy pregnancy, so I was perfectly positioned to have good results with sewing, which is great since maternity clothing is either decently priced and of bad quality, or expensive. Dime for dime, you get more out of non-maternity ready to wear.

Some lessons I learnt along the way:
Some non-pregnancy patterns will work for pregnancy. Sort of. As bump size increases, in the best case scenario you will get the mother of all pooling at the back, as if a gazillion-inch swayback is required (but isn't!). If that doesn't bother you, you're fine; otherw…

Mending with embroidery

Life with baby is lovely, but there's not much time for sewing. I did manage to make one shirt, and I got started on another one (also a shorts muslin for my dad!), but it's pretty slow going.

This is actually a post about craftiness and mending stuff rather than sewing a garment. I buy ready to wear from time to time, especially for the more flowy/looser style of tops which I like wearing but don't really enjoy sewing as I don't find them challenging enough. Still, buying ready to wear can sometimes have its downfalls, as was with this top: it's a very lightweight viscose, but after wearing it for a while it became a bit threadbare in the front. I kept it on my dress form for months - from June to September, when I finally decided what I wanted to do to mend it.

I always figured embroidery would probably be the best option, and I pinned a lot of stuff that I liked. As an aside, I don't normally use pintrest, since I don't see the purpose in just pinning ra…