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I am just getting back to sewing and purchased a dress pattern. I took my measurements but can’t figure out what to do. I fall within 1/2" to 1" on most of the measurements for an 18 but when it comes to the waist I am a good 3" too big and that is pulling it snug.

I am pretty straight up and down but when I go into stores and purchase clothes I can generally wear a 12 (I do understand that store clothes and patterns are different) and I don’t run into the problem of everything fitting except the waist. I even checked my daughters measurements and she is a couple inches larger in the waist.

Any advice on what to do? Can a pattern even be enlarged by 3" in spot?


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  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Jul 7, 2012, 04.15 PMby katexxxxxx

    You need to trace off and cut out the pattern that best fits your size over all, and then alter the element that doesn’t fit to suit. In this case that would be the waist. You’ll need to add to both the bodice section and the skirt section. Try to add the extra where you need it., and remember that for the front and back, you add HALF what you need on that part of the body to the pattern pieces as they are doubled to make a whole front or back.

    For example, look at your figure carefull, from the side in a mirrir. If uoi have a prominent tummy, you might want to add only asn inch to the back and the other two inches to the front. You would add HALF of this to the pattern, so half an inch to the back waist and 1" to the front. Don’t just add it to the center front seam or fold, either. You may find you get better results cutting the pattern up the middle and adding a wedge between waist and hip and then truing up the side seams…

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