The image to the left is the front pattern piece for Burda 8110. Pattern sizing is a tricky thing. I often pick patterns that don’t seem to go up to my size. My top size is based on my shoulders and neck, and I’ve found the best way to get that size is to use my high bust. Being a member of the big ol’ dart club, my high bust is much smaller than my full bust, and I usually fit in size 18 or 20 in the Big 4, New Look, and Burda. My bottom size, however, is usually bigger than the patterns in the envelope. So when I make a pattern that isn’t from Sandra Betzina’s Today’s Fit line or Burda Plus, I start by tracing the largest size. I’ve tried to pin fit with tissue, but I shred the tissue.
After I’ve trace the biggest size, I sew the sides of my half pattern, grab some elastic and put the half pattern on. I have my husband measure the gap to center back, and I measure the gap to center front. I also measure how much excess I have in the front rise, and my husband measure how much is missing from the back rise. Unfortunately, you can’t figure out the wedgie factor at this point.
In the front pattern piece above, you can see the vertical slash that I used to add 1/2″ to the fronts. I also slashed the legs to add another 1.25 inches to the length. You might also notice that the vertical slant is tilted on the top half, and that side seam is incomplete. This pattern has a separate pocket piece that completes the side seam.
So much for consistency, what? Instead of slashing the back vertically, I decided to trace the side seam and move it out a half inch. Check out the grain line(s). My back rise is usually greater than the patterns, my side rise (or whatever it is) is usually about the same as the patterns, and my front rise is usually less. I have a protruding rear and a tilted waist. The tilted waist is very common in plus sized women. The protruding rear is a genetic gift that my mother gave to me and I have passed on to my daughter. To get enough fabric to cover my awesome ass, I slash from the center to the side seam and spread. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but the first time I was altering the pattern, I thought I needed more length to the side waist so I slashed vertically all the way across, and then slashed from the center back to the side seam and spread. Perhaps it is because I’ve lost weight, but I don’t need that much extra any more, so I folded it out (the opposite of slashing all the way across and inserting … oh … 2 inches of pattern paper). And it turns out that I don’t need so much rise to cover my ass. Or maybe I’ve gotten more comfortable with a lower rise waist level. So after folding out some of the rise, I slashed and overlapped (opposite of spread). That’s why there are 3 tops to the grainline line and 3 darts: the original grain line, the one from the slash & spread version, and the one from the folded back and overlapped version.
If you take a look at the front pattern piece, the tilted slash section (could be a grain line) is a result of my slashing from the side to the center to overlap out the same amount as I did to the side back.
Because I’m an optimist, I put the fly in. Alas, the shorts have a serious case of camel-toe & wedgie. My crotch curve must be more square (or U shaped) than Burda’s (V shaped?). Not that I’m saying Burda’s crotch curve is V shaped, just more V-shaped than me. Because I put the fly in, scooping out the front crotch didn’t really work. The shorts are tight across the back, but pretty good in front. The back tightness surprised me because the pattern pieces have the same circumference as the ones I made when I was 20 pounds heavier. Perhaps it is because this fabric has zero give.
I could wear these. They really aren’t any worse than RTW. However, I was also playing around with pattern placement. I thought I might play up the border print at the side seams. I didn’t like it. I might still use it behind the pockets, but maybe not. It also occurred to me that I am easing the wrong piece at the pocket. I think what I am doing is adding to pocket gap.
I didn’t hem this version, and I like the length. I decided to lengthen the shorts another 1.25 inches so that I can hem the next version.
Stay tuned for the next version.