14 March 2019

Fitting the Eden Coat or Jacket

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

Making the Eden coat or jacket and need a helping hand on fitting and choosing a size? It's Nikki here with some hints and tips on what you will need to know.

The good news is Eden's casual, boxy and easy-fitting style means it doesn't require much, well, fitting. Hooray! Having said that, you're probably going to be investing in some lovely fabric, not to mention the time it takes to make it, so it's worth planning a few fitting adjustments if you need them.

When you're choosing your size and fitting the Eden coat or jacket, bear in mind that it's an outerwear garment and is designed to be roomy. Don't over-fit it as you'll most likely be wearing layers underneath, which makes fitting Eden a lot easier (yay!).

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

We're going to cover:
  • Choosing your size
  • Combining pattern sizes
  • Lengthening the bodice, sleeve or hood
  • Shortening the bodice, sleeve or hood
  • Making a toile

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

Choosing your size

Using a flexible tape measure, find the circumference of your:
- bust - take the measurement at the fullest point i.e. around your nipples
- hips - fullest part

As the pattern is almost the same size at the waist and hips, save around 4cm (1 5/8in), you'll only need to record your bust and hip measurement when choosing your size.

Check the tape measure is sitting level with the floor - it can help to turn to the side and look in a mirror to check.

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

Circle your measurements on the ‘Body Measurements’ chart in the pattern instructions. If your measurement falls between a size (for example, if your bust is 35in rather than 34in or 36in), it’s usually better to choose the larger size. Also, as this is an outerwear garment, you'll most likely be wearing it over tops and jumpers, so a little extra room is best.

Combining pattern sizes

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

If your bust, waist and hip measurements fall into the same size, refer to the key on the pattern sheets that shows the solid or dashed line for your size – that’s the one to follow when you cut out your pattern.

If your measurements fall into different sizes - that's totally normal! For this pattern, choose the size that best matches your bust measurement and re-draw the side seams to join up with your hip measurements. Draw a line from your bust to your hip measurement, making sure to curve it a little with a french curve, or by eye, to avoid any hard edges.

Lengthening the bodice, sleeve or hood

If you know your torso or arms are particularly long, or if you usually find a hood too tight on your head (or if you have particularly fabulous hair!), you can lengthen the sleeve, bodice, and hood to fit you better.

Get a piece of paper, a little longer than the width of the pattern piece you are lenghtening. Draw two parallel lines, the distance between them being the amount you want to lengthen the coat or jacket by. Cut along one of the "lengthen or shorten here" lines marked on the pattern piece(s).

Place the paper strip with the set of lines on underneath the top pattern piece, aligning the newly cut edge with the upper horizontal line, and stick it down with tape or a glue stick.

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

With a ruler, extend the grainline arrow from the top pattern piece right down through the paper you just attached. Now align the lengthen/shorten line on the bottom piece with the lower horizontal line, and match up the grainline arrows. Repeat these steps for both the front and back bodices if those are the pieces you are lengthening. If you are lengthening the hood, remember to make the same adjustments to the hood lining piece.

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

Join the side seam lines and the centre front/centre back lines through the new extension and cut away the excess paper.

Shortening the bodice, sleeve or hood

Conversely, you can shorten the sleeve, bodice or hood if you usually find garments to have too much length in these areas.

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

To shorten a pattern piece, draw a parallel line below the lower of the "lengthen or shorten here" lines on the front and back coat or jacket pieces - the distance between the two lines should be how much you want to shorten it by. In the picture above I'm shortening the sleeve by 25mm (1in).

Cut along the lower of the "lengthen or shorten here" lines and move the lower pattern piece straight up until it meets the line you drew in the previous step. Align the grainlines on each to make sure the pieces don’t shift to either side. Tape or glue the pieces together. Redraw the side seams so they're smooth.

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

If you're planning on turning the cuffs back to show off your lining on the jacket version, it doesn't matter so much if the sleeves are a little long so you won't have to necessarily alter the sleeves if they are a bit too long on you. My sleeves are a little long on my Eden but I haven't shortened them as I like them rolled up. Lazy sewists unite!

Making a toile

Fitting the Eden coat or jacket

As mentioned above, you're going to be investing some time and money in making your Eden coat or jacket, so I wholeheartedly advise making a quick toile.

By making a toile, you can check out the fit and length of the sleeves, bodice and hood and make any necessary adjustments to the pattern before you cut into your nice fabric for real. I like to get creative when making a toile and use old sheets or sizeable scraps from other projects to cut down on waste.

For making the Eden, at a minimum I'd advise sewing the front bodices, back bodices, and sleeves together. Mark the poppers and centre front line so you know where to do it up, and turn up the sleeve and bodice hems to check the length. Pin it in place along the poppers or centre front markings and make sure you wear a jumper underneath, as you'll most likely be wearing layers underneath when taking your Eden coat or jacket for a spin in the wild.

Check out Tilly's very helpful blog post for more info on making a toile or muslin if you fancy.

And that's everything! I hope this post has helped you feel more confident in fitting and making your Eden coat or jacket. Please don't get too bogged down with adjustments though - you'll feel so much pride when wearing it out and about you won't even notice if it's not the 'perfect' fit. Don't forget, you can do it!