I received a question about how to adjust the fit of the Magic Bias Dress from Fashion In Harmony, and I was asked if there are side seams for adjusting. I decided to do a special post to answer the question as I thought an explanation might be helpful to many of you who are making the dress.
Just as a review, there are 3 main pieces to the dress. 2 sleeve patterns are included, but of course the sleeves is optional, the 3 main pattern pieces of the dress are not.
There are no side seams in the dress. Look closely at the picture below. The largest pattern piece is the main body of the dress. You see the armholes and the back neck which are angled to the side. The smaller pattern piece in the top right hand corner is the front inset and includes the front neckline. Then there is a long triangular pattern piece. The long triangular piece is your key piece for adjusting the fit of the pattern.
A few notes on bias garments;
Remember that the bias grainline has the most stretch of the 3 grainlines in a piece of fabric. Typically, when a garment hangs on the bias, due to the stretchy nature of the bias grainline, it is not necessary to adjust the fit. With that said, bias garments look best if there are 4" to 7" of ease at the hips, at the VERY minimum, 3" of ease. Remember, we want the garment to skim the body and not cling or appear tight.
If your shoulders are quite narrow compared to your bust and hip measurements, then it would be best to adjust the pattern. If your shoulders are quite narrow, choose your pattern size based on your upper bust measurement and then make adjustments to the pattern.
The key to adjusting the Magic Bias Dress is the triangular pattern piece. Simply draw a line down the center of the pattern piece. Cut down the center of the pattern piece. If you need to adjust for a larger bust measurement, spread the top portion of the pattern piece the amount needed to obtain the desired ease for the bust. Also spread for the hips. If you need to adjust for an even larger hip measurement, the spread may angle out at the hip area.
If the bust is fine, but you need more in the hips, cut down the center of the pattern and then keep the top portion of the triangle pattern piece together but spread for the hips.
So now you see more of the "magic" of this pattern. A bias garment that's cut on the straight of grain is revolutionary. The fact that you can adjust the pattern by simply spreading what seems like a rather non-important pattern piece is ingenious!
If you have any other questions about the pattern, please ask and I will do my best to answer.