As you’re aware, my Tailors Gone Wild Joker tailcoat sewing pattern includes ten graded sizing options, and ideally, one of them should be a perfect match to your body measurements.
However, while some costumers may find a perfect fit in one of the “default” pattern sizes (and I sincerely hope you do!), it is somewhat unlikely due to variations in height, weight, build, posture, musculature, and general physique.
Basically, people come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s impossible to make a pattern for something that will perfectly fit everyone – hence this portion of the tutorial, in which I’ll provide you with some fitting tips!
You may also find this free sewing lesson helpful, in which I discuss the two most common fitting issues and how to adjust for them. 🙂
Entire books have been written on the subject of pattern altering, fitting issues, and garment alterations, so I’ll only cover some of the most common fitting issues and how to adjust your sewing pattern for them if needed.
Most necessary pattern alterations can be achieved by using either of the following techniques, or a combination of the two.
The first technique is making use of different pattern sizes in different areas of the body.
The primary areas in which this is likely to be most relevant are the chest and waist.
If one of your body measurements closely matches that of one pattern size, but another part of your body closely matches a different size, an ideal fit could probably be achieved by simply “combining” the two sizes.
This is accomplished by beginning tapering the edge of the pattern piece from one size into another.
A “hip curve” ruler is extremely helpful for this!
TIP: When redrawing the edges of the pattern, a “hip curve” ruler is extremely helpful!
The second fitting technique is in regard to vertical adjustments, rather than horizontal ones – i.e. adjusting for the height of the wearer, and/or the length of the wearer’s torso.
This involves making use of the lengthen/shorten lines on the printed pattern.
To shorten the garment, simply fold the pattern paper upward at the lengthen/shorten lines, then back down again the appropriate distance away, or simply cut along the horizontal lines and overlap the two (upper and lower) portions however much is necessary.
Straighten, curve, or taper the edges if needed.
To lengthen the garment, cut the pattern piece along one of the horizontal lines so it’s separated into two separate pieces.
Draw two parallel lines on a separate sheet of paper, however far apart the garment needs to be lengthened.
Insert the paper underneath the pattern pieces so their cut edges are flush with the two lines you drew, and tape the pieces together.
Using a ruler and pencil, connect the upper and lower edges of the pattern piece across the insert.
Cut along these lines to form your new, lengthened pattern piece.
Obviously, the same adjustment needs to be made on all the corresponding pattern pieces for the coat to go together properly!