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Orsola Dress & Skirt Sewalong - Full Tummy Alteration

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

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

What you'll need:

  • Your toile of the Orsola Dress
  • A measuring tape
  • Your traced skirt front pieces of the Orsola Dress (cut out in the size dictated by your waistline measurement)
  • Paper scissors (not the fabric shears!)
  • Extra paper
  • Tape / glue stick
  • A pen

Before you begin, have you read our posts on how to take accurate body measurements, and how to download, print & assemble a PDF sewing pattern

*Click here to be taken to all the posts in the Orsola Dress & Skirt Sewalong*

If you naturally have a prominent "pot-belly", or you find that your wrap is slightly straining at the back, 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.

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 centre front, 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 red; 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 centre front 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 centre front line.

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 redraw the centre front line by continuing the now extended line all the way down 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.

We have, however, increased the width at the front hem, so you will need to reflect this change in the front hem facing pieces also. 

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...

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