Wednesday 26 March 2014

The Winifred sew-along # 3 - Collar, Neckline and Sleeve Adjustments

Hello Sew-a-long participants, today I'm going to cover a few more alterations you may need for Winifred.  The combo of a cut on collar and kimono sleeves makes for easy sewing, but they can make one scratch their head when it comes to alterations. I'll be demonstrating how to increase the size of the back neck and collar, how to lower the neckline point and how to increase the diameter of the sleeves.

A common problem I have with cut on collars is finding the collar/neckline too tight. The collar area will pull against the back of the neck, and the shoulder seams of the garment will be pull toward the back. On the muslin cut the garment at the CB collar and neckline. Measure how much it spreads to get an idea of how much width needs to be added.  Then adjust your flat pattern in the following way....

Increasing the Back Neck and Collar

1. Starting with the back, tape on extra paper to the CB.

2. At the neckline edge measure out how much additional width needs to be added.  I've marked out 5/8".
3. Blend the line down into the back waist.  *Alternate method.  If you don't mind extra ease in the waist and skirt you can add paper to the entire CB and keep that line straight.*
4. Cut off the extra paper and the back pattern piece is done.
5. Now move to the front and tape paper to the CB of the collar area.
6. Add the same amount of width here that was added to the back neckline. So in my example the collar is extended another 5/8". Trim off the extra paper.
7.  Repeat steps 5 and 6 to the facing pattern piece.
Sew another muslin to check your collar change. If there is enough width then the collar area should feel comfortable and not show any drag lines.

If you want to lower the neckline area because it's too tight or for aesthetic reasons then make the following change to your flat pattern....
Lowering the Neckline
1. On the front pattern piece mark a new stopping point on the CF seam.  I've dropped mine about 2" down from the original.
2. If you place the facing on top of the front piece you'll see that it is now too short. We'll add to the bottom to fix this.
3. Tape paper to the bottom of the facing piece and mark the additional length needed with a horizontal line. Since I moved my neckline down 2", I also added 2" to the bottom of the facing.
4. Place the facing on top of the front pattern and trace off the CF line.
5. You don't want the facing to get too skinny or else it will want to flip out of the neckline.  Measure the edge for the original bottom and make sure the new bottom edge is the same.
6. Place your ruler on the outside shoulder edge and your new bottom edge and draw a new line.  Cut off the extra paper and your facing adjustment is finished.

If you have muscular arms or like more ease through your sleeves, then you might need to widen the kimono sleeve.  This is also the alteration to use if you have to regularly drop armholes on your bodice because sleeves dig into your underarms.  Adjust your flat pattern in the following way....
Widening the Sleeves/Dropping the Armhole
1. Starting with the back, we will drop the armhole curve to it's new location. Measure down from the underarm curve and mark the additional width you want to add to the sleeve.  I've marked 1/2".
2. Use a french curve to draw a new curve at your lowered point. Blend the curve into the side seam.
3. If you need extra width through the sleeve, then bump out the entire underarm seam all the way down it's length  In my example 1/2" width has been added to this sleeve half.
4. If you only need more width through the upper part of the sleeve, then blend the new sleeve edge into the original one before reaching the cuff.  1/2" added to the upper sleeve area only.
5. Repeat all of these steps on the front armhole dropping the armhole and increasing the sleeve the same amount. So in my example the finished sleeve would have an increased diameter of an 1".

Happy pattern adjusting!


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