It’s been really fun to show you the RiFFs that have been in progress behind the scenes here at Cake Central and chatting about invisibility cloaks and lady pirates. Thanks for taking a look, and I’m really really pleased y’all like the new designs.
Of Petite and Plus…
For the sake of this post I’m using these terms as a shorthand while I talk about patterns. I don’t use terms like this in my notes or my own patternwork, I use numbers.
…and the Patternmaker
Human beings come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with all kinds of quirks and topographies. It’s unfair to expect a pattern to fit perfectly right out of the envelope because of this variety. If you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t ever alter a pattern, then enjoy it! I’ve met three of you unicorns in years of working with sewists in a classroom setting. (That’s a straight-up, no-alteration size 10 in the Big 4. They were all 10’s.)
Everyone else has to shift a side seam here, blend between two sizes there, maybe lengthen/shorten sleeves. I think that’s reasonable, don’t you?
How many plus women reading perform one or more of these pattern alterations on every single new pattern you want to sew?
- narrow shoulders
- narrow back
- FBA (Full bust alteration)
I am going to guess based on observation- most. That’s the problem, as I see it. If the majority of the women working with plus sized patterns have to do these kinds of adjustments, then the pattern is inadequate. It’s not the bodies, it’s not that larger women should have to work harder than the rest of us for a good fit. It indicates a problem with the grading.
Have you seen this Tiramisu post by Susan at Moonthirty? I only recently discovered her blog but I really like her writing and just look at this twin-needle post. This is the way her Tira fit out of the envelope. Her post made my Tuesday this week! I don’t expect my patterns to fit everyone without alteration, that’s crazy, but… one can dream?
…and Tiramisus that don’t fit immediately…
After reviewing possibly every Tiramisu Dress posted to the internet (link in comments if you have a blog post!), I decided to change the underbust seamline position on the Second Edition Tiramisu Dress. Almost every 30 I saw and some 35’s found their bodices were longer than their bodice areas.
I say this as someone who fears not the seam ripper, the quick scissors, and a little bit of fit-as-you-sew: it’s not difficult to tune up the Tiramisu underbust seam.
Sure, it’s a little fiddly, but it doesn’t require re-cutting the bodice or actually unpicking the seam in the vast majority of cases (I’m serious, cut it off). There’s no crazy-involved patternwork slash n’ spread alteration to perform on the pattern, either.
By my own reasoning regarding plus sizing, the 30’s needed a tweak. For the Second Edition Tiramisu, this is what I did:
- removed the “A” gathering on all but the largest bodice for a smooth and streamlined underbust seam
- raised the underbust seam by 1″ for 30’s
- gently raised the 35 underbust seam
We worked hard on the Second Edition of Tiramisu and the new RiFFs, and I’m so excited to get these into your sewing room. They’ll be shipping in no time and all, and then we can get into some sewing!
A bit of business:
Cabarita ships out next week! The electronic version of Cabarita is available now on Etsy. It’s a little early, but I wanted to be sure I understood their new digital file system before I’m busy with the paper patterns next week.
(For the record, pdf sellers: if you upload revision files to Etsy, your customers will not have access to the revisions. They only have access to the files which were uploaded at time of purchase.)
I mention this in case anyone wants to change their order and in the interests of transparency, because I said last week that the paper and pdf would be released at the same time.
The pre-sale prices for the two RiFFs and the Second Edition Tiramisu will only last until the 10th, when they’ll go to RRP. I have a few posts for the end of this week, and then I’ll need to go quiet on the blogging front again while I pull together the next round of visual references for Hummingbird!