Hi Jane! I'm Jane, too!
Still Working

So that's, um, how you do it

I've said it before - I rarely sew for myself.  But I'd like to, I really would.  I see the things Melissa and Julie make and adore them.  I have the patterns, I have plenty of fabric, but I also have fear.  I am not scared of the actual sewing part.  It's the fitting part that stops me cold.

So I am setting out to conquer the unknown.  I actually signed up for a sewing class and we are making a lined jacket.  Yes, you got it right, a lined jacket (I am doing version B with version A pockets).  My first class was on Monday night.  I showed up with my pattern and three yards of muslin.  After being properly measured, I started cutting the muslin using the pattern unaltered.  When it was all sewn up, it was obvious that I needed to add some length (about 3 inches!) and make a bust adjustment.  I get the length thing, but how in the hell you do make a bust adjustment?  I just sat back and watched as my instructor got out her ruler and marker and started drawing lines and then cutting.  Here is what we ended up with...


I completely understood what she did, or at least that is what I thought.  When I took the pattern out today to lengthen it at the waist and adjust the other pattern pieces accordingly, this one was all messed up.  I spent a good half hour trying to put it back together, but, like Humpty Dumpty, I am missing some pieces.

Anyone have any advice?  Books I should look at?  Helpful little websites I should peruse?  Maybe I should just wait until Monday and start over again....


melissa f.

you can do it erin! i put a couple of links on one of the shirt posts-- i think debbie cook's site will be helpful to you. google her :)


I've got links and books - give me some time to gather it for you (baby on lap).


Im bowing in awe! You go you! Cant wait to see the results.


oh erin! you are so adventurous! i can make kids clothes and such, but i am so bad at sewing for myself! i know you can do it!


erm. gulp. Can't say as I know too much about bust alterations because I am built like a little boy. a wee little boy.

But I always go straight to my mama's Vogue sewing book when I have questions. (the version I use is from the 70's but I think they just came out with a shiny new edition)

If you find good links though please do post them--I know I have much much to learn.

good luck! like Melissa said--you can do it!!


oh my! i'm no help--but I'm so excited for you...keep going! you can do it!


I'm super impressed, Erin. It's so great of you to challenge yourself with... a lined coat (whoa)! Sorry I can't help at all with tips, but I look forward to seeing what you learn and produce. Good luck!


Good for you! One option--I once had a question about altering a Simplicity pattern and emailed their customer support before cutting into my fabric. The response I got was a very long, detailed email as to how to go about changing the measurements, etc., and I remember that the woman even said I could contact her again with more questions if I needed to. Good luck.


So I'm sure you've figured it out by now, but I took a sewing class where we learned pattern alterations as well. We also did a jacket, unlined, but in plaid. I'm a busty girl, so I got very familiar with bust alterations. The text book we had for the class was Readers Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing. It's a huge resource for all kinds of sewing questions. Sandra Betzina's book Fast Fit has lots of helpful alterations for all kinds of body quirks as well.

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