Doris skirt | How to blend between sizes

April 05, 2018

When you're used to sewing more fitted garments, you're probably already familiar with the concept of blending sizes. All patterns are drafted using a standard set of measurements, but most bodies aren't standard at all! Yay for versatility! Maybe that's the reason you started sewing to begin with, to make your own garments that embrace your body shape. Or you have a skinny tall kid who has trouble finding fitting clothes in regular confection stores.

In general, most Misusu Patterns have a more relaxed fit where you can get away without blending in width. But during testing the Doris Skirt, the challenge of getting the fit just right became apparent. The base sizes are thoroughly tested and spot on. But because of the many body shapes out there (the difference in the waist and hip width ratio) to achieve a perfect fitted skirt, blending between sizes is highly recommended. For example, during testing one of our testers had a child with a size 92 in waist, 104 in hip and a size 122 in length! 

The good news is, blending between sizes is not hard at all! And a fitting end result will make the extra effort all worthwhile! Next to the extensive illustrated tutorial on how to blend between sizes, within the sewing tutorial accompanying the Doris Skirt pattern, I'm hoping this photo tutorial will provide some extra guidance and hopefully take some of the fear away. 

For this tutorial I'm going to blend in width and add some length. When adjusting your pattern, always start by adjusting the length first. In this case I've traced the front and back pattern in size 98 & 104 from the Doris skirt pattern. Make sure to transfer the blending lines! You can also use the layers function, to only print the sizes you need for blending.

Adding length is pretty easy - just lengthen the pattern the desired amount (when making the hemmed skirt version, keep in mind that a 2,5cm (1") hem will be folded up from the entire length) and elongate the side seams until you hit the new length. This method on adding length at the bottom of the pattern is recommended when adding 5cm (2") or less. When adding more than 5 cm, please follow the instructions in the Doris Skirt sewing tutorial.

Make sure to take away the little triangle from your new side seam, like in the original pattern. You can take the measurements from the original line. Make sure to make the same adjustments to the bottom band cutting line when you want to add a bottom band later on. The same method for adding length applies when shortening. For more info on shortening, check the blending instructions in the Doris Skirt sewing tutorial.

At this point, you can either trace the back side pocket on the same piece of paper overlapping the front pattern, or trace the back side pocket separately, cut it out and tape it behind the front pattern. I prefer tracing it overlapping the front pattern. After making the final adjustments, you have to retrace the inside and back side pocket and cut it out separately.  

So in this case I'm going to blend the waist from the smaller size (green line) towards the hip in the bigger size (black line). This can also be the other way around, blending the waist from the bigger size towards the hip in the smaller sizes. You can also blend between multiple sizes. The most important thing to remember is to make sure you've blended into the other size when hitting the blending line. The upper yellow arrows indicate the starting point and the lower yellow arrows indicate the point where you should have blended into the other size, at the blending line. The pink line - starting from the waist in the smaller size, following the curve and hitting the blending line towards the bigger size - shows the new side seam.

When you're finished adjusting the side seam, make sure to also adjust the back yoke (if you're going to use it) and the front and back side pocket, to match the new side seam. 

Now, the final step is to trace the new outline of your pattern (and from there trace the inside and back side pocket separately). In this case, I started with the smaller size for the waist, blended towards the bigger size when hitting the blending line and kept following the bigger size towards the adjusted length. And that's it! 

That wasn't so hard was it?
If you have any additional questions, please drop me a line at elles@misusu.co. 
I'm looking forward to seeing all the Doris skirts! Please share them in our Misusu Patterns Sew & Tell Facebook group!
 




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