If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you might remember that I’ve been lucky enough to have been given some vintage patterns. They are all too small, so learning how to grade a pattern up has been high on my ‘must do’ list for a while.
The pattern I chose to try first is view 2 (the yellow dress) of this 1960s Simplicity pattern, and I am using Casey’s excellent tutorial.
If you haven’t tried it, the method (very briefly – see the link for more) is to trace the pattern pieces, cut them lengthwise into three, then insert strips between the segments to increase the size. Doing this in three places maintains the shape of the pattern.
The bodice grading went very well, and I produced a muslin which fitted first try. Not so with the skirt! I was tired, and forgot the seams and darts needed to match up with the bodice so got some of the measurements wrong. I also double counted some of the increases and decided to cut off the extra – and then had to sew back on some of the bits I’d cut off! So there are a couple of extra seams on the front sides of the skirt.
Half way through this I gave up and started looking at my other patterns for something else to make, but in the end I left it for a couple of days and I’m glad I persisted.
This is the back, showing the lovely scoop back which is my favourite part of the dress. I need to move the long darts so they match up with the skirt seams.
And here is the front.
I wrote ‘front’ and ‘back’ on the skirt and bodice pieces, which really helped when I was altering the muslin.
I’m going to use the muslin skirt pieces as the pattern, as I’ve lost track of the changes I made. I’m also going to line the bodice instead of making the neck bands as I’d like to keep this as simple as I can.
So… next step is to cut out my fashion fabric (gulp!). But first, I need to make some of Lorraine Pascale’s fudge brownies as we’ve got friends coming tomorrow. I’ll try not to eat too many – don’t want to have to expand the dress further!