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Can’t decide

I find it very difficult to decide what pattern to use. The Kwik Sew jacket is very boxy and the size I used definitely is too large in some areas. Linda a special thanks for your comment on their sizing and your experience with KS patterns.

Therefor I decided to try another pattern, this time a Knip Mode pattern from the January 2013 issue. With its princess seams both in the front and the back this pattern is easier to change than the KS pattern.

The fit in the back is better than the first one, the style less boxy which is good for me. But a pattern fitting right away…. no, of course not ;)

On the front a bit more ease is needed at bust height. The back might be ok in the firmer fabric that I plan to use, just a little extra at the hem line. The center front pattern pieced were cut without hem allowances. I prefer the longer length of the side and back part, so will have to add length to the pattern pieces.


As you can see clearly the sleeves need improvement. I can’t lift my arm properly and the pleat too tells that changes are needed. I changed the one piece sleeve from the pattern to a two piece sleeve from another Knip Mode jacket’. I kept the circumference of the sleeve and the line of the top of the sleeve. Will check the fitting books on how to solve this.

Apart from the issue with the sleeve I can’t decide whether I prefer this collar to the more classic motorcycle jacket collar. Any thoughts to share?


  1. I think this collar works but I also really like the traditional biker jacket look - with unconventional fabric choice.

  2. Hi Sigrid,
    First of all I want to thank you for your wonderful blog. I learn a lot from you, especially about bra making.
    About this posting and your pattern. Your problem is not the sleeve, at least not of a first emergency, but the back. It is too wide. You can see the folds (folds mean too much fabric, more than your body needs; pulls - too tight).
    This is a well known problem for people with a D cup and higher. Even if you make a full bust alteration, the back can be too big. A bigger bust than the B-cup for the same frame takes width from the back, too. It is because patterns for the B-cup are calculated with a specific formula: 1/4 Bust + 5,5 cm (Mueller & Son, German pattern drafting). You could calculate and measure your back width (between the armholes creases on the back) and compare those measurements. As you see this is about the bust girth, but this measurement is distributed differently for a specific bust cup. A-cup has a larger back for the same bust measurement, compared with a D or E-cup.
    I notice this in most of all bodices you make. If the fit is not perfect, I say IF, it has to do with your back and shoulders and how they fit.
    In the pictures you posted here you can see that the fabric pulls in the front where the sleeve sits and folds in the back.
    Try a smaller back alteration in your muslin. I hope it helps.

    Carmen in the Netherlands

  3. I think I prefer the traditional collar but either are good. Carmen's comments are interesting. I can see what she means. Perhaps more space in the front and less in the back. Good luck.

  4. Very interesting ananlysis by Carmen. I like this collar.

  5. I am sorry Sigrid, I gave you the wrong formula. It must be 1/4 of half Bust + 5,5 cm( 1/8 Bust + 5,5 cm). Otherwise you will get something gigantic.
    I am trying to understand why a pattern drafted with my own measurenet will not fit. I started being banned from Bernina My Label group, because I questioned the way My Label (drafting system: Mueller and Son,) equally devides the bust girth in back length and front length, I was not convinced that my questions were Bernina-bashing, so I started to read about different systems of pattern drafting, from Mueller & Son to the Japanese Bunka system. I think I started understand how it works. It is something like the Omega brust shape, you wrote about, which does not fit in the classical system.
    During my 'journey' I discovered the theory about proportions (proportieleer in Dutch).
    It seems that you can draft correctly a pattern, only if the difference beteen the Back Length and the Front Length (measured from shoulder point to the waist line, parallel to the floor and over the Bust Point) is 3,5 cm for busts under 90 cm, 4 cm for busts between 90 to 99 and 4,5 cm plus 1/10 of (Bust minus 100). Thius is called BALANCE.
    If your balance is bigger or smaller than that, you are in trouble.
    In that case you draft the patter, as if you had a Shoulder point to bust length equal with your Back Length plus your required Balance (Calculated Front Length) and make after that a full bust alteration, using a princess dart. You have to do this:
    FRONT. Cut the front part along the bust line, thus perpendicular on the Centre Front line, and raise it with the difference between your real Front `length and the calculated front Length. Say amount X cm. You move the whole side part away from the front part with 1/4 of X. Then you draw on the side part a line from the Bust Point to 1-2 cm above the front notch under the arm. You cut the side part along this line and rotate the upper part until the BP on the side part meets the BP on the center part, wich was raised. True the armhole.
    BACK. Move the side part of the back with the same amount you enlarged the frong (1/4 X) to keep the measurement of the bust girth unchanged. How to do that? You draw a horizontal line half way the back length and a perpendicular (vertical) line from the first line to the hem. This line must start 2-3 cm from the armhole on the first horizontal line. Cut on the vertical line and the small part of the horizontal line (that part near the armhole) and move the lateral back side towards the Centre Back with 1/4 of X. True the armhole.
    This is pattern drafting, but I am sure you will adapt it to what you are doing. I saw some nice FBafdjustment on your blog (Sandra Betzina's method, but better explained).
    I shall wirite about this alteration on my blog (Romanian) but in two languages. I am considering making it bilingual, because Dutch is my cherished second language. I shall let you know when.
    I take thsi opportunity to tell once again how much I admire your passion for sewing and your talent to make wonderful clothing and bras.
    I hope I shalll ever achieve what you do now.

  6. I forgot to mention that the (German) method I am talking about, uses your own bust measurement, but only a different (calculated) Front length over the Bust Point. That's why they do not adjust the cup width as Marta Alto and Sandra Betzina do.
    The width alteration occurs only when you enlarge the front (moving it with 1/4 of X and narrow the back with the same amount.
    Sorry for the mistakes, typing or not typing, I made in my previous long messages. I love talking about this subject.

  7. I forgot to mention that the (German) method I am talking about, uses your own bust measurement, but only a different (calculated) Front length over the Bust Point. That's why they do not adjust the cup width as Marta Alto and Sandra Betzina do.
    The width alteration occurs only when you enlarge the front (moving it with 1/4 of X and narrow the back with the same amount.
    Sorry for the mistakes, typing or not typing, I made in my previous long messages. I love talking about this subject.

  8. I agree that the shoulders are too wide which would make it difficult to raise your arms. It also seems that the sleeve needs to be rotated though I never know which direction to solve the wrinkle without fooling with it.

  9. Hi Sigrid. First time posting a comment here. I believe the Kwik Sew jacket does nothing to highlight your tiny waist so I would go with the Knip Mode pattern which does so nicely. The January Burda pattern looks awesome, though, so perhaps a combination of patterns?

  10. I am in awe of your patience to work out a modification for both of these. I too like the Knip Mode one and I like their collar but yes, the other version is more the moto jacket look. Your Burda measurements are close to mine so I'm going to check out m back width as well.


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