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Kim Dress Sewalong - Alterations - Full tummy adjustment (Variation 1 only)

Aloha Sewists, and welcome to the Alterations section of the Kim Dress Sewalong! Throughout these posts we will be going through as many pattern alteration tutorials as we can physically crush in, relevant to the Kim Dress. But it doesn't end there - the extra great news is that a lot of these tutorials will be applicable not only to the Kim, but to a huge amount of other patterns too as we tackle most of the common issues surrounding pattern fitting. 

*To be taken to all the posts in the Kim Dress Sewalong, please click here!*

Continuing with our alterations to the wrap skirt of Variation 1, today we address full tummies and show you a quick & nifty way to create a little extra space in the skirt front.

What you'll need:

  • Your toile of the Kim Dress
  • A measuring tape
  • Your traced skirt front pieces of the Kim Dress (Variation 1 only, cut out in the size dictated by your waistline measurement)
  • Paper scissors (not the fabric shears!)
  • Extra paper
  • Tape
  • A pen

If you naturally have a prominent "pot-belly", or you find that your wrap skirt is more "open" rather than "wrap", then a full tummy adjustment is probably for you! To diagnose a full tum, and figure out by how much you'll need to open up your skirt front pieces by, we already have a great full tummy adjustment tutorial for our Charlotte Skirt pattern, and you can find that here.

Please note: We are using itty bitty replica's of the pattern pieces to illustrate the alterations as simply and clearly as possible - please make sure that you alter your real-life pattern pieces, complete with notches, pattern info and grainlines!

Step 1

Take your skirt front pieces and mark out the seam allowance at the side seams and waistline (shown in blue). 

Step 2

We now need to mark out our slash lines and pivot points. 

First, draw one straight vertical line from the waistline through the dart and stopping a couple of inches below the dart. This vertical line needs to be about 8-10" long, and will have a pivot point at the the end of it.

Next, draw a horizontal line from the wrap, past the where the vertical line ends and then up diagonally to the corner where the side seam and waistline meet. We need another pivot point here at this corner.

(Slash lines shown in pink; pivot points shown as little circles)

Step 3

Cut the vertical slash line from the waistline and down to the pivot point.

Cut the horizontal slash line from the wrap and up to the pivot point at the corner. Snip into the seam allowance at the corner to allow that pivot point to really hinge.

Step 4

Now that it's all slashed, we can now spread it to create a little more room in the tummy area.

Slip a piece of scrap paper behind your skirt front piece and open up the pattern piece by however much you need. Remember to keep the horizontal opening parallel. When you're happy, tape it down.

Step 5

To finish our full tummy adjustment, we just need to redraw the dart and the now broken and uneven wrap edge.

To redraw the dart, simply place a dot bang in the middle of where the original dart was split in half, and join that to the dart notches at the waistline:

And smooth out the wrap edge of the skirt by continuing the now extended line and rejoining it to the original curve of the wrap just before you get to the hem:

You'll now see that in doing a full tummy adjustment to the skirt front, we've increased the width of the skirt around the fullest part of the tummy, without making any changes to the skirt back, and we've increased the length at the front of the skirt, without adding to the length at the side seam.

All that remains to be done is to cut your newly altered pattern piece out and repeat this exact process for the other skirt front piece. Done!

Tip from the top: Always check your adjustment by making another toile to check the fit. Once you're happy with your newly adjusted pattern, copy it out onto some card for extra safe keeping! Although this is a straightforward adjustment to make, no one wants to have to do it twice...

Comments on this post (4)

  • Mar 10, 2020

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I love a wrap skirt but the tummy never seems right, this was just the information I needed to adjust my pattern.

    — Anne Westgate

  • Sep 03, 2015

    Yes, it works ! I made a toile and it works ! Thank you very much!!!

    — serena

  • Sep 01, 2015

    Hi Serena, yes indeedy this will work just as well on a straight pencil skirt pattern also. Enjoy!

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Aug 31, 2015

    hi, thanks for this wonderful sw along. I have a question : I badly need it for my basic pencil skirts. is it ok for plain straight skirt patterns? thank you very much!

    — serena

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