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Reply To: Butterick 5880

Reply To: Butterick 5880

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you don’t know how relieved I am to hear that you haven’t started the process yet and don’t have to rip out a million stitches. Ok, shortening the skirt portion is simple just fold up the amount you want shortened. The overlay is the trickiest part, as you and I both know. The pattern itself suggest to short from the bottom of the overlay. What I would do is mark up the amount you want shortened on the side that has the multisize lines. This is the side that’s going to match the hem of the main skirt so I think it’s the most important to mark where it needs to come up. Then from this point I would hand draw a new curve to blend into the curve on the other side. I know it’s not technical but sewing isn’t always technical and sometimes you just have to make your own art. But do it in pencil so you can redraw until it looks like a smooth curve to you. I would make a copy of your new overlay pattern instead of just chopping it off but if you do chop off the bottom, keep it so you can always tape it on again, if you need to.
Now for the fba. First, make sure you take a look at the finished bustline measurements printed on the front bodice piece. It’s meant to fit a little looser. Doing an fba on this pattern is a little tricky because it’s not a traditional looking bodice like the one I use in my example. The reason is because those short sleeves are built into the bodice so the side you’re looking at has no visible armhole curve which is where you normally pivot from. What you can do is if you own a normal looking bodice (same size), you can lay it over the front of this bodice. It should kind of give you an idea of where the armhole sits. (don’t expect the side seams and neckline to match up, it’s just to use as a guideline.) Draw your own armhole and at the top of the shoulder and new armhole line this is where you start your pivot. You’ll still place your mark of where you’re extending to above that double notch. After you pivot, you’ll even trace around the whole sleeve area just as you would if it was an armhole. Now your pin goes to the area above the double notch and you pivot back to meet the bottom of the side seam.
And now for those tricky, tricky darts. So you put your pattern back to its original position but the jagged part of the side seam goes at a completely different angle than the original. I hate that. If it was me, I’d just go ahead and extend out the lines of where the darts currently are in the original and reshape the end. If you close the darts on the pattern, you’ll notice that you end up with one smooth side seam curve. This is what you want. You can see me do an example of shaping my dart in this tutorial around the 14 minute mark. If this sounds confusing, just remember that the goal is to have a nice smooth line on the side seam once your darts are sewn close. So your darts don’t have to move, you’re just reshaping the side seam line to fit the darts.
And, of course, I always recommend that you make a trial run with a muslin to test your alterations. Sorry if this seems like a lot. I don’t want you to feel discouraged and it may be some trial and error but it’ll be a good learning experience and perhaps, in the end, you’ll feel more comfortable with altering patterns.