Apparently people don't sew clothes for pre-teens to wear anymore, judging by the dearth of patterns. I ended up with the only thing we could find that was close. And it was in a woman's size. Definitely not designed for a 9-year-old, but it was a starting point.
Princess seams? Check. Set-in sleeves? Check. Four-gore skirt? Easy fix. We were on our way.
The first thing I did was compare Sweet Daughter's measurements to those on the pattern. I noted the "ease" allowed - 4". Since the bodice was to be snug, I had to eliminate those 4". And since this was designed for a "mature" figure (meaning a waist much smaller than the bust line) I had to make some changes. Since I needed to remove 4" from the chest, but none from the waist, I decided to remove an inch each from the center front and back, and a half inch from the side front and side back pieces. So, I made a quarter inch fold in each of the side pieces at the top, tapering down to nothing at the bottom. I made two of those on the center front and back pieces - one down the center, and one through the shoulder. I also compared the back-waist length from the pattern to SD, and remembering fitting issues I've had in the past, removed the excess from the armseye. I also managed to make these same alterations to the sleeve. It went something like this:
I put some gridded pattern making stuff over the pattern origami, traced my new cutting lines and had new pattern pieces.
|Notice the difference in the curve of the back piece.|
|And I continued to sketch out the necklines and alter as necessary.|
The bottom half had to be drafted. I started with a rectangle as wide as the measurement of the bottom of the sleeve. I looked at the picture of Lucy, and made a SWAG that the bottom of the sleeve was 1 1/2 times the width of the top of the sleeve. I also guessed on the length, as SD wasn't around, so I couldn't measure her. I then drew lines every inch, vertically across the paper.
I cut on the lines, and put the slashed piece on another piece of paper. I spread the bottom of each piece a half inch from the next in order to widen the bottom by 50%.
I traced the new outline on the bottom piece of paper and made a new pattern piece.
|I could not get this to rotate properly for love nor money.|
And ... it worked. Well, it was about an inch short, but that was an easy fix when it came time to cut things out for real.
The skirts were much easier. I taped the center and side pieces together, and cut both the center front and center back so they were on the selvage, not a fold. I forgot to remove those extra 4" of ease (D'OH!), so there's some extra overlap in the back, and a bit of puckering on the waistband, but that's all hidden by the bodice, so I resisted the urge to take it all apart and recut it. It's just a costume, right?