TUTORIAL- Refine the Lines...Making a Shirt look "Custom" - REVISED
But I can demonstrate how to refine the lines of a commercial pattern that has been drafted with a "straight-line" Yoke and a "straight-line" Back. The commercial pattern used to make these changes should be one that has regular ease, rather than a "fitted" style.
You will need a copy of Yoke, the Back (without the Center-back pleat...fold it out of the way before making the copy), and the Sleeve...ALL OF THEM WITHOUT THEIR SEAM ALLOWANCES. Please note that with the exception of the sleeve, working with 1/2-width pieces is easier when making these changes, and will take less time and paper than making full-width copies of the pattern pieces.
The brown paper pattern pieces that you see in this demonstration purposely do NOT have notch markings...because I want you to see how the SHAPES change without extraneous marks.
Let's begin with refining the YOKE.
As shown below, Mark a point that is approximately at the mid-point along the bottom of the yoke pattern piece. Make a second mark at the side that is a very scant 1/4-inch up above the corner. Then using a ruler with a gentle curve, draw a line connecting the marks. If my written directions are not clear, the photo below should be. Please remember this is not rocket science, I have just drawn a gently curved line on the Yoke piece. The key to this entire process is to make small gentle changes to the existing pattern. The goal is to "refine" the pattern in a subtle way, not to make big design changes...we'll do that another time.
Next, cut along the curved line that was drawn, trimming off the excess, to finish making the new Curved Yoke--
Next, just as we did with the Yoke...trim off the excess (by cutting along the curved line that was drawn) to finish making the new Curved Back.
And there we have it! Two pattern pieces that once were straight are now curved--
BUT WAIT! There has been a total of a scant 1/2" removed from the pattern pieces at the armscye edge...making the Back armscye a little smaller. You may be thinking, "OMGosh! What about the SLEEVE ?" Luckily it is as easy an adjustment as the others.
Here is how to change the SLEEVE pattern to fit the new Back-armscye--
Take the copy of the sleeve pattern that you prepared (I am showing you a shortened version for this demonstration), and mark the shoulder dot by comparing it to the original pattern. Then draw a straight line from the shoulder dot to the bottom (hem or cuff-edge), as shown below.
Then cut along the line, starting at the top (shoulder point) and ending about 3" from the bottom. You are not cutting it totally apart, just about 3/4 of the way down--
To finish, lap the Sleeve BACK over the Sleeve front...by a scant 1/2" as shown below, and tape to hold. (note- I have folded the Top edge of the Back ONLY so you can see how it was overlapped).
Because we ONLY changed the BACK armsyce of the shirt Body, we ONLY need to change the BACK of the Sleeve. The front of the sleeve stays the same, and the shoulder point has NOT been moved.
Remember what I said about Small Gentle Changes? If the Yoke and Back are changed by more than a scant 1/4" each, a total re-drafting avalanche will break loose!
About the notches on the Sleeve--the only one I care about is the shoulder point, and I also make marks indicating the front and back of the sleeve. Why don't I care about the sleeve "ease dots"? Because I do not use them. I match the Shoulder point of the Yoke to the Shoulder Point of the sleeve, then distribute whatever ease there is as I stitch and approach the rounded sleeve cap.
You may be wondering, "Good Heavens, does Pam do this to every shirt pattern she uses?" Umm..NO. I do prefer curved yokes and curved backs, so I draft my original shirt designs by hand, and include those features as I render the draft. When I use commercial patterns, I usually choose vintage patterns because many of them already have shaped yokes and backs. And yes there are times when I use a vintage or other pattern that has a "straight-line" yoke and back...when I want a more casual shirt silhouette.
(THE COLOR OF THE LINKS below may be light, BUT THEY DO WORK...the Blogger editor is often uncooperative...sigh)