I’ve really had a hard time sleeping this week. My butch project, the outdoor shower, has been WAY more difficult than I imagined. I’ve been physically beat by the end of the day and my hands ache so during the night that I just can’t ever feel rested. Ok. enough with my personal problems. I’m so disappointed (but not defeated) by the fit of the muslin that I’ve decided to just jump into the alterations. I’ve found some good internet sites on the topic. One of the best has to be The Great Coat Sew Along blog by Marji. This blog is a wealth of information. I just wish I had been starting my project while it was active. Still it’s an inspiring resource for anyone who wants to kick their skills up a notch. In my case, that’s several notches!
All the alteration sites I’ve found say to start at the top and work your way down. Because I think the shoulders are a little narrow I’m going to add an extra 1/2″ to each side. I may potentially line this coat with thinsulate, so I think a little extra room will be necessary. I cut the pattern perpendicular to the shoulder line and then changed the angle and cut parallel to the grain line down the whole length. My Swedish tracing paper made it very easy to separate the two pieces and then tape strips of paper to connect it all back together. Easy! To maintain the grain line, alterations have to be made at the side seams. This coat has a very straight vertical look to the back. The front piece actually comes around under the arm and onto the back before it connects to the narrow back panel. I guess this is supposed to be slimming?? Right now it’s a disaster. To make more room at the sides I’m going to use the “seam allowance” method. This is a pretty slick trick. Starting at the bottom hem I cut the 5/8″ seam allowance up to the arm pit, stopping 5/8″ away. The strip is then pivoted over the amount I want to gain. In my case I’m adding another 1/2″. This way I’ve added a slight flair to the back without screwing up the armhole (which is WAY beyond my ability to change). So far I’ve added 2″ to the width of the coat. On to the front where I repeat the process. Because I stick out more in the front than the back, I’ve added an inch to each side. Hopefully this will stop the material from pulling across the back when the coat is pulled closed on the front. These steps have added 5″ around the coat. Will it be enough? I hope.