Thanks for reading Colette Sewalongs!  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

Basic Fit Adjustments

In this post we will cover basic fitting adjustments. These adjustments include blending between sizes, lengthening, and shortening.

Though making flat pattern adjustments can improve the overall fit of your garment, nothing can do the job quite like a sewing a muslin (we will be covering this next Monday). If you want a predictable outcome when it comes to fit, always make a muslin!

Blending Sizes

Bodies are diverse, and for this reason you may often find that you fall into different sizes—for example, your waist might measure at a different size than your hips.

Sorbetto is drafted for a relaxed fit. Blending between sizes is ideal if your hip falls into a larger size than your waist, or if your waist falls into a larger size than your hip.

If you have a protruding abdomen, stay tuned for the full abdomen adjustment coming up next Friday.

1) Start by adjusting the front bodice. The waist of Sorbetto is marked by a notch at the side seam. You can use this notch as a starting point when blending between sizes.

2) Refer to the size chart to determine the sizes you need to blend. Use a hip curve to gently blend out (or in) to the new size line.

3) Repeat this process on the back bodice.

Shortening and Lengthening

Versions 1 and 3 of Sorbetto are designed to hit at mid-hip. Version 2 is designed to hit around mid-thigh. Of course, sewing offers us the opportunity to create customized garments, so feel free to shorten or lengthen to your personal preference.


1) To shorten, draw a line below and parallel to the lengthen/shorten line. The distance between these two lines should be the amount you would like to shorten.

2) Crease the lengthen/shorten line and fold it down toward the line drawn in step 1.

3) Tape and blend jagged edges, using a hip curve.

4) Repeat this process on the back bodice.


Lengthening your Sorbetto is just as easy!

1) To lengthen a pattern piece, cut along the lengthen/shorten lines.

2) On a separate piece of pattern paper, draw two parallel lines. The distance between these two lines should be the amount you would like to lengthen. Draw a third line that is perpendicular to the previous lines. This will act as a continuation of your grainline/center front.

3) Align your slashed pattern pieces with your lengthening guide and grainline. Tape to secure. Blend jagged edges and trim.

4) Repeat this process on the back bodice.


On Friday we will cover full and small bust adjustments.

The Sorbetto Sewalong

  1. Welcome to the Sorbetto Sewalong (25 Comments)
  2. Gather Fabric and Supplies (24 Comments)
  3. Basic Fit Adjustments (17 Comments)
  4. Bust Adjustments (41 Comments)
  5. Making a Muslin (35 Comments)
  6. Shoulder and Sleeve Adjustments (12 Comments)
  7. Front Bodice Adjustments (12 Comments)
  8. Cutting and Prep (2 Comments)
  9. Assemble Bodice (5 Comments)
  10. Sleeves and Bias Finishing (10 Comments)
  11. Hems (11 Comments)
  12. Your Sorbettos! (5 Comments)



I traced and cut out my pattern today, and I know I want to lengthen it a couple of inches. But, the bust point is also a little high for me. Do you cover this adjustment in the sew-a-long? Thanks.

Haley Glenn

Hi Lois! Thank you for joining. I will be covering raising and lowering the dart on the 24th, so stay tuned!


It looks like there is over 10 inches of ease built in at the waist. Do you really need to blend sizes if you’re between sizes? What’s the downside of just making the smaller size?


It would all depend on the fit you want. Do you like a loose fit around your waist? Or do you like it to show off your curves a bit more? Also when a pattern is graded between sized, it is usually because a larger size is needed for the hips.
I personally prefer a bit of waist shaping and am always taking the waist in, but I also have a smaller waist. Waist seams are really easy to take in after the garment side seams are sewn, if you want to play it safe and make a larger size. I always find it helpful to measure a favorite shirt in similar fabric too. That way you can determine the amount of ease you are comfortable with.


If you take in the waist you won’t be able to get it on, since this is a pull-on top. The waist not only has to be bigger than your waist, it also has to be bigger than your bust. But if your waist is just a couple inches larger than the size, you probably don’t have to do any grading because there is plenty of ease.


to get the proper fit for the design, should i measure from the bust to the hip line? this way I can make sure the length is right? And when i measure this line, should i do it on the front of my body, or the side?

Haley Glenn

Hi Erin, you could definitely do that. I would measure along the front, from the bust point toward the hem.


How do you blend jagged edges? Do you draw a line from the waist point to the bottom corner of the pattern, using the hip curve? Also, I don’t have a hip curve. I have a french curve. Can I use that instead?

Haley Glenn

Hi Maria, that is exactly how you blend jagged edges. On a smaller project like Sorbetto, a french curve should do the trick!

karina millanao

What is the difference in length between view 1 and 2? how much longer is the tunic length?

Haley Glenn

Hi Karina, version 2 is 7″ longer.


Hi. If my bust is size 6 and my waist and hips size 14, do I make the adjestment under the dart on the side seam?

Haley Glenn

Hi Sue, I would recommend grading out about 2″ below the bust dart. Happy sewing!


My sewing skills are left to be desired but today I made the muslin. I’ve never made one before and have had endless sewing fails because of it. This project has made me a believer in the muslin and I can’t wait to buy some cute fabric now that the darts have been raised and the sides taken in. I wouldn’t let myself buy fabric until I got this right. Thank you so much for hosting this sew along. I’ve learned a ton.


I’ve made a size ten and it seems to fit fairly well over my boobs (apart from the darts being far too low). But there is a bit of excess fabric around my neck and the shoulders are probably two inches longer than I’d like them to be. I’m worried about doing a shoulder adjustment and having to take as much as 2 inches out. Do I try and work with my size ten or try and do an 8 and make the bust bigger if I need to.

My measurements are 38,34,38 (upper bust about 36 i think) roughly but I have a v narrow upper chest/shoulders. What’s my best option?! Thanks!!

Haley Glenn

Hi Fiona, based on your measurements and your fit observations, it seems like a 10 is the right place to start. I would try a narrow shoulder adjustment to reduce the shoulder width.


I find it hard to get my pattern to lie flat when I’m taking so much out doing a narrow shoulder adjustment. Is that normal? Thanks for all your help!