Creating the perfect dress can be the best feeling in the entire world – especially when it’s on trend and fits your figure perfectly! What more could you ask for? As I’m sure you know, getting a great fit doesn’t always come easily. You may have started sewing together a lovely summer dress with, say, a smooth woven linen, and upon trying it on, you realize (in horror!) that it’s a little more roomy than anticipated. But, don’t let this stump you! You may have simply overestimated the amount of fabric you used in your pattern, and need to adjust your hips to take it in a bit. At other times, you may find yourself in the predicament where you need more room in your pattern – because, believe me, that happens too. And that’s okay, everything takes practice! Mistakes will happen, but with our guide, you’ll be able to breeze through your hip adjustments – in no time at all – and finally get the perfect dress (every time)!
In order to begin the process of adjusting your hips in your pattern, be sure to measure yourself beforehand. To get the correct measurement of your hips, place your measuring tape along the fullest area of your buttocks. For those who have a hard time finding where that is exactly, it’s generally 7 inches below your natural waistline (your belly button)! With these measurements, you’ll discover if you have narrow, or wide set hips. Use these measurements to compare against your pattern, and plan your pattern adjustment accordingly, following the steps below!
To adjust a pattern for narrow hips, you will need to take in the pattern to reduce the amount of fabric that will be used. Instead of slashing and spreading, we’ll be pinning and tucking exactly where we need to, to get the desired look of a well fitted garment! So begin by adding dart legs by your armholes, and another extending to the bottom hem of your bodice. Additionally, mark another line going from the top of your skirt, to the hem as well. Pin and tuck, and sew with ample seam allowance. Simple right? Tape down the tucks in your paper pattern, and use this going forward if you have narrow hips! Problem solved.
If you happen to have wide set hips, you will need to slash and spread the pattern for more room. Simply follow the same lines as indicated above for the narrow hip section, and spread the pattern to pivot at the end of their points. Add your additional pattern drafting paper beneath it, and pin and tape the the additional sections where more room is needed in your garment. Use this wide set hip pattern for all of your creations going forward!
I hope this guide helped you figure out what to do if you ever found yourself in this kind of predicament! What will you be planning on making for this summer? Let me know in the comment section below!