How to Blend Sizes in a Pattern for a Fuller Tummy

Greetings to all my fabulous sew’ist friends from around the world and thank you for joining me here for Day 6 in the series of Clara Dress blog posts.

I hope that you enjoyed reading the last 5 days of blog posts and if you have missed them here are your links. They make great reading.
Day 1 – Clara Dress Inspiration and Influences Post.
Day 2 – Clara Dress Tester Roundup Part 1
Day 3 – Clara Dress Tester Roundup Part 2 
Day 4 – Pattern Alteration for a Sway Back
Day 5 – Pattern Alteration for a Gaping Neck.

How to Blend Sizes in a Pattern for a Fuller Tummy.

One of my lovely students – Karen McD – has to always blend between her sizes as she is a Designer Stitch – Size 3 Bust – Size 6 Waist – and a Size 3 Hip.
So I have written this post with her in mind. Love to you Karen .xx

The above is an image of the nested size range for the Clara Dress.
I have outlined in dark red the Size 3 and the blue in Size 6. Karen would trace and blend her size from a 3 at the bustline – through to a 6 at her waistline – and then back to a 3 at her hipline.

The key to knowing where to blend is knowing that not all your shaping is done at the side seam.
We are all like a fine bottle of wine – we have curves going right around and through our body – by only manipulating your shaping on the side seam will cause strain lines in other parts of the garment.

While the blending of sizes is relatively okay on the 2 front pattern pieces as the above image shows, the back side seam becomes very skewed and abnormal.
So lets talk about manipulating our blend lines.

The above image shows the blending lines for the side front pattern piece.
When blending for the side seam try to keep the side seam blend line as straight as possible until it hits the hip line.
Any difference between this drawn line and the size needed at the side seam can be added to the other side of the side front pattern piece.

When blending for the front pattern piece you blend from the upper edge through the waistline down into the hipline.
From the waistline down to the hipline try again to keep this line relatively straight and vertical – if there is still a small amount remaining at waistline between what is needed and what the straight line gives you, add this extra on to the side panel as you did in the previous step.

Now lets look at the back pattern piece to see what happens when we blend from size 3 through to size 6 and back to size 3.
You can see in the above image how skewed the side seam becomes.
The back pattern piece has a fitting dart at the waistline so we are going to use some of its value to compensate for the skewed side seam.

Draw a straight line from bustline at side seam down to the hipline at the side seam.
You will now be able to see the difference between this drawn line and what size is actually needed at the waistline.

This difference can now be shaved off the waistline dart.
Whatever the total difference is – halve this amount – and reduce the darts at each side by this amount.

Here is a closer view of the dart manipulation. The difference between drawn side seam and what actual size you need is used to reduce the width of the dart.  What you have lost in the side seam you are gaining back in the darted area.

That was quite easy wasn’t it.

All pattern pieces can be manipulated for blending of sizes – you just have to think where you need the shaping and on what part of the perimeter of the pattern piece you can do this.

And darts are a wonderful thing as they can change size dependant on what you have to do.

And keep in mind darts can be split into pairs to maintain the hour glass shape all of our bodies have.

And tomorrow keep your eyes out for the next blog post –
The Journey of Kendel W fitting her Clara Dress.

Love to you all xx
Ann at Designer Stitch.

Oh – ps !!!….
The finer details : On Sale for a limited time only – $8.95 (US)
multi-sized pattern – including Cup Size B thru DD (E) :
(AU/UK) 6 – 26
(US) 2 – 22
(EU) 34 – 54
Intermediate Sewing Level.

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