You adjust the front or back of your garment pattern differently than the corresponding piece resulting in uneven side seams. Joi says “Don’t Panic! This is a normal expected temporary change that is corrected after you scale your pattern to fit your body. Let’s learn more . . .
WHY THIS HAPPENS
According to Designer Joi, the goal of altering a pattern is to make it match the overall shape, scale, and proportion of the wearer. To achieve the best fit you should always treat the front of any pattern separate from the back because pattern alterations are not always symmetrical from the front to back. Sometimes vertical adjustments result in a length discrepancy at the side seams. However, this is a temporary issue. Joi always says, ”The bulk of fit is in the body of the pattern, not the edges. The edges are just polishing.” Most people try to adjust fit in the edges which is not addressing the scale of the overall pattern.
HOW TO FIX IT
Keep it simple is Joi’s Motto. You are not making an art project so don’t overthink the process at this point. Here are a few tricks to evening out the sides and you will do the final polishing during the fit sample. These steps assume you have adjusted the front lower body pattern for any full hip or abdomen and the full hip on the back of the pattern before you match the side seams. On the lower body, it is especially important to treat them separately because the hip lines do not always match at the side seams. Yes, they need to be parallel to the floor, but they do not need to touch at the sides for example: when the upper tummy/abdomen replaces the full hip in the front, and the full hip in the back is much lower.
This pattern illustrates different adjustments applied to the front and back of a pattern. The front pattern ended up being shorter in length at the side seam so a wedge was added in the flat pattern and blended toward the center of the pattern piece. This allows the flat pattern to technically match the back. A fit sample will be made and the official shape of the waistline will be determined. NOTE: The lower pink pattern adjustment on the front pieces looks like it is at an angle. This is because the dart was folded so the side seams could be walked and compared.
By placing elastic or ribbon around the waist you can determine the final shape of the waist seam of the final garment. Doing this is similar to measuring the waist.
Step 1: The easiest method is to walk the side seams starting at the underarm and then simply add a wedge to the bottom side seam of the shorter piece and blend. This will give you the missing space on the flat pattern. At this point, this solves the flat pattern issue, but there is a little more to the final refinement of the waist seam.
Step 2: Sew your fit sample. Take a piece of narrow elastic or a ribbon and tie it around your natural waistline or the desired waistline placement. Mark with chalk or fabric marker the official waistline on the muslin. It is possible that the natural waistline dips down toward the middle on the longer piece and even arcs upwards on the shorter piece. It is ok if your waistline is not a perfect parallel circle. Many times they are not due to the contour of the body.
Step 3: If you have a “natural” waistline that is not perfectly parallel to the floor or has a drastic angle to it, the fit sample is where you can trace in a new waistline to create illusion such as making your waist appear more level, higher, lower or slimmer by changing the shape.
Don’t be afraid to modify your sewing patterns and make them custom to your body. Blend the edges of the pattern to correct temporary changes that occur and determine the final lines in the muslin fitting sample. It’s that easy. Coming up next: what happens when you have uneven skirt or pant lengths?