Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Altering the trousers

My first thought in applying the alterations to the trousers was to mimic what we did at the fitting, keeping the work the same at the top of the waistband and bringing up the legs. However, although this method had seemed passable at the fitting, in practice it was not really viable as at this point in the trouser block, there was not enough cloth to form the fork which fits round the inside leg. So the trousers would not fit or hang properly.

Mandy suggested just re-cutting the trousers, as the cloth was free (so it wouldn't affect the budget) and there was enough available. However I was loath to do this as it seemed like a waste, and additionally I felt that this would be a luxury, unavailable in a professional workroom. So in order to to rectify the problem of the excess length in the trousers I first located the area where there was too much cloth. The trousers fit well around the waist and below the seat, so really the problem was above the seat line.

In order to find out how much to take out of the patterns, I measured the front and back fork lines of the pattern draft in the tailoring system that I had used to construct my draft. I worked out that the ratio of the back fork to front fork was 5:4. This seemed a logical ratio, as more cloth is needed in the back fork to allow for the curve of the seat. I then worked out how much excess height there was in the old pattern by comparing the measurements used to the new measurements I had taken at the fitting. Finally I divided these up and applied them to the pattern above the seat line, making sure that the measurement was the same at the side seam (where the two pieces must meet). I then took a pleat in the pattern to take out this amount. This will move down the top part of the pattern. I smoothed out the jogs in the lines when I traced out the altered pattern. On the back pattern, there was a large gap between the lines at the fork. So I measured the amount of the gap and re-drew the fork line accordingly.

Even though making such a mistake was slightly disheartening, ultimately I truly feel that doing this exercise in altering the pattern has greatly aided my personal development as a maker and pattern cutter. Had I not done so, I might well make a similar mistake in the future when I am not surrounded by the tutors to advise and guide me in correcting the error. It has also been an apt demonstration of the importance of accurate measurements, for it has taught me to always take a tight girth measurement, and to beware of drop-crotch baggy jeans!

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