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Add Subtle Shaping to Straight Garments

Contoured seams, darts, or tucks can help improve fit

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Many of us who make clothing usually follow the pattern based on the size needed. After we complete a garment, we often want to tweak the fit but aren’t sure how to go about it or where to start. This can also be an issue with ready-to-wear garments we purchase. Using fit devices, such as contoured seams, darts, or tucks, for subtle shaping may help.

One of my customers needed her pants altered. The pants’ original seam had a curvy hip shape, but her hip is straight.

Closeup of a pants side seam, from the pants interior

Everything was fine at the waist of the pants, so I started the shaping below that point. This process is straightforward.

1. Pin vertically to follow the shape of the wearer’s hip and down the leg until the desired shape is achieved. 2. Chalk-mark along the pin line so that you can sew on the marks. 3. Sew on the chalk-marked line.…

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