Oliver + S

Reducing width of bodice

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    T5 @Tami5

    My daughter approximately fits the size 12 building block dress. I made a muslin and it is a bit baggy on the sides. I gradually tapered the bodice starting at the arm hole down to the bottom of the side where it is taken in 1/2 inch. Is that an acceptable alteration? I am planning on reducing width of skirt by 1/2 inch as well so the bodice and skirt won’t be off.

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by  T5.
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    Liesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    If you’re not taking in at the armholes this should be fine. You could also consider adding waist darts similar to the Fairy Tale Dress for a closer fit. But yes, tapering to the waist is perfectly fine!

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    T5 @Tami5

    Thank you! You are a talented teacher!

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    T5 @Tami5

    Referring to my previous question, do I cut 1/2 inch off each side of the skirt from the waist all the way to the bottom? Or do I slash the skirt pattern somewhere in the middle and reduce the width there by 1/2 inch?

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    T5 @Tami5

    Sleeve Cuff Facing:
    I am not sure how to create a new thread, but I am in the Building Block book, page 45. I just completed #25. The sleeve cuff facing cut on the bias is only 1 inch wide, so after stitching the layers with a 1/2 inch seam in #25 it doesn’t seem like there is enough of the facing to wrap to the inside and sew in place with 1/4 inch folded over (steps 26-27 on page 46). Step 26 says to grade the seam allowances, but the shortest grading is 1/4 inch and then it says to grade the other seam allowances longer than this. How can a one inch facing sewed with 1/2 inch seam do this?

    Thanks!

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    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    For your first question about adjusting the skirt: if you took the bodice in at the side seams I would do the same with the skirt. Simply because it makes the maths simpler.

    The cuff question: you’re on the right track with your stitching but you’re imagining the next step differently to where the pattern is taking you. 🙂
    The raw, unstitched edge of the cuff facing should be pressed to the wrong side by 1/4″. That leaves three quarters of an inch between your stitching and the folded edge.
    Trim the seam allowances to lengths of 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″.
    The facing isn’t going to “wrap around” those seam allowances like a binding would, it’s going to cover them like a lid.
    The pictures on page 46 might help you now.
    So long as your trimmed seam allowances fit between the stitching and the folded edge, it’s all fine.

    Soldier on!

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  Lightning McStitch. Reason: Edited to correct my maths! ;)
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    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    To save modifying my comment again I’ll leave the error there for posterity 🙂
    I was adding up to a strip of some width other than 1″ (1&1/2″ would be the sum of 1/2″+3/4″+1/4″)
    Anyway, the short answer is: trim those seam allowances aggressively and maybe fold your raw edge over by slightly less than 1/4″
    Apologies for the brain fade.

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    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    Looking at the instructions and pictures again, and checking the true 1″ wide facing strip, I can only conclude there’s an error…
    @liesl ? It works perfectly with the instructions and illustrations if the strip were even 1/4″ wider…
    Currently you sew 1/2″ inch, fold over 1/4″ and that only leaves 1/4″ to cover the seam allowances. Yet the instructions say to grade the seam allowances starting at 1/4″….
    Wider strip, or narrower grading, but the OP is right, it doesn’t work as is.

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    Liesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    Sorry, not ignoring you. I’ll reply just as soon as I get a chance to look into this, ok? Wearing too many hats right now…

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    Liesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    Ok, sorry for the delay. I’m finally getting a chance to look at this. I recall changing the width of this piece several times during the development of the book, and it’s been so long now I forget exactly why I changed it. But it does indeed seem like the facing should be a little wider or the seam allowances should be trimmed a bit narrower. I think at this point, since you’ve already sewn it, it would probably be best to trim the seam allowances more, like Shelley says. And the more I think about it the more I seem to recall that I made the facing this narrow so it wouldn’t show at the dip of the sleeve cuff. I’ll think about this a little more and issue an errata for the book–thanks for pointing it out and my apologies for the confusion!

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    T5 @Tami5

    Thank you @liesl!

    I unpicked the 1/2 inch seam and sewed it with a 1/4 inch seam and it worked perfectly!

    I found your Building Block dress book at our library a few weeks ago and have ordered my own copy because I like it so much! It led me to your website and I also found a copy of Little Things to Sew at Joann fabric store this week!

    I have a 12-year old daughter that I am sewing a dress for using the Building Block book pattern. I only wish I had discovered your kids’ patterns when she was younger, but I am still planning on buying more of your patterns to sew for her while she still fits in size 12. I did lengthen the bodice by one inch and lengthen the skirt by a couple of inches. I have never felt confident at altering patterns or even sewing clothes until I studied your book. I love how you can customize the dress too. My daughter picked out the fabric, collar and sleeve style of her dress.

    I also have a one-year old granddaughter and several nieces I will be sewing for. And I purchased Lisette B6482 to sew for myself! Thank you for your inspiring patterns and teaching sewing and alteration skills! Keep up the good work!

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    Liesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    I’m glad it worked out, and my apologies again for the silence! Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m glad you’re happy with the book and you might be interested in our first tween/teen pattern, the Girl on the Go Dress and Top for your 12-year-old daughter? Very happy you found us, and welcome to our little community!

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