But how is a pattern exactly changed to fit, as all we have seen were the candidates measuring up their models, but no explanation as to what to do next?
There are, in the main, two ways to achieve that:
1. You construct your own basic pattern
Have a look at our category "Basic Pattern Constructions". Once you have constructed the basic patterns, you develop it into different styles. It would still be a good idea to cut the final patterns out in fabric (don't use the final fabric - use a cheaper one with the same drape qualities) - this is called a "Toile", by the way, not a "tuile" as mentioned in the program should you have used the subtitles(a "tuile" is something you find on the roof!).
This method would be used by pattern cutters and those who would be interested in learning more about patterns.
2. You take commercial patterns and adjust them.
For that approach you would need to have 3 vital pieces of information:
a. Which type of garment is it?
Is it, for example, a blouse or a jacket - in other words, worn directly on the body or over another piece of garment?
b. Body Measurements
You only need the body measurements which are relevant; for example no bust measurement needed for a pair of trousers. Also, make sure that when you do measure somebody, it is done correctly.
What are tolerances? Do not mix them up with the term "ease", as this is something quite different. Every pattern for woven material includes body measurements plus tolerances, so that the wearer can move in the garment. If you construct your own basic pattern, tolerances will be automatically added to the construction, but for commercial patterns, they are only included for the standard size you are dealing with. For example: a standard size 12 blouse has the bust circumference (body measurement) of, let's say, 88 cm plus a tolerance of 5 cm. So if you measure this area on the commercial pattern, you should measure a total of 93 cm (seam allowances excluded).
Your model has a bust circumference (body measurement) of 92 cm plus 5 cm tolerances, which gives a total of 97 cm. You would have to enlarge the bust area of the blouse pattern by 5 cm, making sure that you do this at front and back pattern (and there are certain techniques to achieve this).
It is also important to mention, I think, that tolerances will vary according to what type of garment you are dealing with - for example, a blouse requires less tolerances than a jacket, because a jacket is often worn over something else and has to be bigger.
Afterwards you should produce, first of all, a toile to see how it fits, and make the necessary alterations on the patterns, before you decide to cut all out in the final fabric.
Let us know about your experiences with the fitting of commercial patterns!
Happy Pattern Cutting and please do not forget our survey!