There are a ton of reasons why you might need to shorten, or lengthen a waistline. You may have a favorite cotton shirting dress shirt that could use a little bit of updating, or you’d just prefer to tailor it to your body better! Because, let’s be totally honest, no one really fits into commercially produced patterns anyway. So what you can do is take matters into your own hands, grab some muslin for practice, and make the best of what you’ve got! If you understand the dynamics of basic patternmaking, you may be able to skillfully master the art of shortening, or lengthening your waist in no time at all. Read on to demystify the challenges in tailoring your waist!
First, you should have your measurements taken again. You may believe you’re a set number, but if it has been a while since you’ve last measured, your number can fluctuate. You definitely want to make sure your project fits! Once you have your measurements, you should compare them to the pattern you’d like to adjust to figure out where the majority of changes or edits need to happen.
To shorten your waist, grab the ‘too long’ pattern and fold up to your desired length. Be sure to create the fold in the middle of your pattern, as to not disrupt the natural line down any side seams. No jagged edges here! Some patterns may have helpful lines indicating where to fold up, but you can always draft your own pattern using Mood’s pattern rulers for help.
To lengthen your waist is a little bit more tricky, but doable! You will have to split your pattern into two pieces, and get pattern paper to draft the space between. Adjust to the desired length, and cut the draft paper to the shape of your center front. Again, it’s probably a smart idea to use pattern rulers, or more specifically the curved ruler for this job!
Please note, you should include seam allowance when cutting these patterns out and sewing! Will you be using this guide to create more tailored looks for yourself? Let me know in the comment section below!