So… I’m tall… I mean… I’m TALLLLL 🙂
5’10” no shoes ha ha ha See me towering over my tiny mom?
It makes finding RTW clothes a CHALLENGE to say the least… yes, I can pay an arm and a leg for “talls” but I want young trendy clothes!! So making my wardrobe is so rewarding for me!
Here are some tips for adding, or taking away length to a pattern for an adult… I’ve already posted how I like to do it for children here. But this method doesn’t work well for adult patterns because all the sizes are made to fit an average height adult– for women, most patterns are drafted to 5’5″. The “rule of thumb” is to add/take away 1/2″ for every 1″ that you are “off” the avg height drafted for. For example, at 5’10” there is a 5″ difference so I would need to add 2.5″ throughout the pattern. If I were 5’1″ then I would remove 2″ of length since there is a 4″ difference.
Just like children’s patterns I DO NOT recommend only adding to the bottom hemline… it will make the overall garment longer… but it will not give you a great fit. If you are shorter or taller you need to add/take away length throughout the whole pattern!
Knit patterns are much more forgiving in fit… with that being said, the four places I recommend adjusting are: at the shoulder/armscye… just under the bust line… and just under the waistline… and at the bottom hemline.
Adding throughout the pattern helps keep the bust, waist, and hip where they actually hit you 🙂 P4P uses a standard side waist length of 8″ and a waist to hip length of 8.25″ (not sure where to measure? check out our post here.) so if you know your specific length measurements between those points, you will want to add/remove the exact amount in those areas.
I have made myself enough clothing to know how much I need to add to MOST patterns designed for average height– I add about 2 1/8″ to every shirt I make myself… 2 5/8″ to tunics…I even know how much I like in each spot– shoulders a scant 1/8-1/4″, chest and waist area 3/4-1″, and bottom hem 1/2-1″.
The shoulder/armscye can be done a couple ways– I like to take a smaller seam allowance there to add some length… You can also splice your pattern straight across where the armsyce is and spread your pattern… I only add about 1/8-1/4″ to mine, but that tiny difference makes SUCH A HUGE difference in how a shirt fits me!
For the chest and waist, you can only do with overlap patterns like mine, I simply untapped it, and moved them down, adding what I needed, and retaped that section.
Or you can (with any pattern)… splice it straight across and measure what you’d like to add.
Shortening is the same method, you would just be overlapping instead of adding.
Now all you need to do it cut out and “true up” the sides… since you’re adding or taking away length the sides will not line up perfectly… you will just match them up and straighten them out with your new length.
Repeat process for the other pattern pieces 🙂
Pants, like our Peg Legs, Mama Bear Joggers or Linen Loungers should also be shortened or lengthened throughout. Each of the patterns included a finished inseam length. Measure your inseam and compare to the pattern to make your length adjustments.
Ta-Da!!!! Now you have shirts and pants that will FIT you! ALL over! 🙂
THANK YOU for this blog post! I see so many tips and tricks for tailoring to take things in and make them smaller but not so much how to deal with being tall. I really appreciate your post and your explanation makes complete sense to me.
Ashley S. says
Thank you for this post!!! I am a woman and 6’0 also tiny and can never find clothing that fits me ever!
Cheri Taylor-Quinn says
Thank you so very much. 6′ tall, all torso. Now I can start with the essential tee maxi, and not be nervous about future projects.