Today, I’ll show you how to narrow the hip width on the Pendrell Blouse. It’s ironic, don’t you think, that I’m showing you how to un-pear-shape the blouse? That’s the great thing about sewing – you can adjust anything to fit your body no matter what your shape!
What we’ll be doing today is the reverse of what I do on just about every pattern. I always have to add to the hips on regular sewing patterns!
WARNING: Today’s post involves math. Simple math, but math nonetheless. It can be a little confusing so I hope having the photos to go with the calculations make it clear and easy!
Catch up on the first four sew-along posts here!
- Pendrell Sew-Along: Supply List, Schedule & Sew-Along Badge
- Pendrell Sew-Along #2: Prewashing your Fabric
- Pendrell Sew-Along #3: Measuring and Choosing Your Size
- Pendrell Sew-Along #4: Shortening the Blouse Length
First, start with the traced pattern, like we did in the Shortening the Blouse adjustment post.
You’ll be happy to hear we’re being kind to the environment for this demonstration! This is the same piece of paper from the last demo, with the pencil marks erased.
Now, let’s determine how much we want to take out of the hip measurement. In our Size Chart, a size 4 has a 32″ bust, 26″ waist and a 38″ hip. Compare that to the Vogue/McCalls/Butterick standard, where the closest comparable size is a 10 at 32.5″ bust, 25″ waist and 34.5″ hip. For today’s demo, I’ll show you how to reduce the hip back to standard proportions – from a 38″ hip to a 35″ hip.
For your adjustment – measure your hips, and compare that to the hip measurement on your chosen size. If you’re a 32″ bust, 26″ waist and a 35″ hip – then you’ll reduce the hip measurement by 3 inches. Determine what the difference amount is for you, before proceeding to the next step.
Ok! We have three inches to remove, so let’s see where we can take this amount from. Look at the pattern pieces and see how many seamlines we have to work with:
We have a total of three seams on each side of the body: front seamline, side seam, and back seamline. Now, that onlycovers half of our body! We have two sides to our body, so we’ll double the three seams for a total of six places to reduce.
Let’s divide our three-inch amount into six equal amounts. That gives us half an inch to take away from each seam.
Remember, for each seam there are two sides of the body to account for, so divide this amount in half again. Now we know exactly what we’re doing – reducing each side of each seam by a quarter of an inch.
Let’s start with the front princess seam. At the hipline (which is the hem of the blouse, unless you’ve drastically shortened yours) make a mark 1/4″ inside the cutting line.
Repeat with the same marking on the other side of the seamline – in this case, the side front piece.
Now, we’ll blend this line into the waistline. You can see where the pattern dips in at the waist, that’s where we’re going to blend to. It’s not a lot, in this case, once you break down the 3″ into quarter-inch segments.
Draw a straight line for a couple of inches up from the hemline. Once the seam starts to curve in, that’s where you stop drawing your line.
Now, pivot your ruler inwards so it lines up with the waistline AND with the line you just drew. Draw the rest of your line. If you have a curved ruler, you’ll be able to draw a much nicer line. I’m demonstrating with a straight ruler as I’m guessing that’s what most people have at home!
Repeat on the other side of the seamline, on the Side Front.
You can see the piece is much straighter than before. It looks more standard, for a slim-hipped figure. Repeat with all of the pattern pieces: the other side of side front, both sides of side back, and one side of the Back piece.
You’re done! Now, your pieces will narrow at the hips evenly around the body. If you add up all of our decreases, they will add to our 3″ difference. Do the math quickly to make sure that all of your little seamline decreases add up to the total amount of decrease.
Now that you’ve seen how it’s done, the same theory applies to increasing the hips. If your hips are larger than the pattern sizing, simply figure out how much to add and add it the same way, evenly to each pattern piece.
The same theory also works for adding or reducing the waistline. Compare your body measurements to the pattern’s body measurements, and add or reduce following the steps above.
Any questions? Have a specific question about your own body measurements and how to alter or cut different sizes? Let me know!
I’m going to take the weekend off but I’ll be back on Monday with more, I promise. Have a great weekend everyone!