Coco Pattern Adjustments

Pattern Fitting Adventures

My knit fabrics from Girl Charlee arrived yesterday, and they’re ready to turn into some new Coco dresses! I got the fabric washed and dried tonight, but before I grabbed the scissors, I decided to trace out and modify one more version of Coco. My current modified version is super comfy, but it’s just a little too big to retain the original shape of the design. One more try can’t hurt!

This time, I attempted to do less of a butcher job on the pattern. I started out by tracing a size 7 in the upper bodice instead of an 8, to match my upper bust instead of my full bust measurement. The neckline on the 8 is a little too big on me, which leads me to believe that measuring to my upper bust and doing a full bust adjustment will probably result in a better fit in the neck/shoulders. Then, I graded out to the size 8 at the waist and lower half of the pattern.

The Coco size 8 waist is 38″ and I fall around 41 1/2″ right now, so I rounded to 42″. I used the pin-and-pivot method to trace out a 1″ addition at the waistline (x4 verticals = 4″). Since the pattern flares, that covers my hip adjustment as well. I did this on the front and back pieces.

Next, I did a full bust adjustment to add 1″ to the front bodice. I’ve seen quite a few conflicting ideas on how much to spread an FBA slice to accommodate different cup sizes or differences between high and full bust, and ultimately decided to go with the “half inch per cup size” rule – so, 2 x 1/2″ = 1″ to go from B to D. (Logically, adding 1″ per side = 2″ total, and my difference between high and full is 4″, so that seems to also make sense if there was already a 2″ allowance for a B cup built into the pattern). I used Vicky Kate’s example from her knit Renfrew Top FBA.

Lastly, I lengthened both the front and back pieces by 3″. I’m still a bit confused on lengthening this pattern, as the cut line to lengthen it is after the flare starts – so lengthening either requires adding width to the bottom half of the dress or doing an odd sort of straight-line manipulation at the cut point (which ruins some of the tapering of the waist). It will have to do for now!

All told, it took about 2 hours to redraw and adjust the pattern, start to finish. This weekend, I will sew up a new Coco with this pattern and let you know how it goes!

Are there any routine pattern adjustments in your arsenal?

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