From The Workroom / MN2302 Hovea / Sewalongs

Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations

Megan Nielsen Patterns | Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations

Now that we have been thoroughly inspired by all of our amazing guest makers, it’s time to begin the sewalong section of the Hovea release! I hope you’re as raring to go as we are! Before we can cut anything out though, we are going to run through a few common pattern alterations that you might need to get the perfect fit to your Hovea or Hovea Curve jacket. They might be adjustments you need to make all the time because you know your body and how things fit, or they might be things you only realise you need after you’ve made your first version. Either way, they’re all quite quick & simple and might be just what you need!

Megan Nielsen Patterns | Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations

Sleeve Length Adjustment

If, when you compare the finished garment measurements for sleeve length to your own body, you can tell that the Hovea sleeves will be too long or short, simply cut along the lengthen/shorten line provided, then spread or overlap to make the necessary adjustment! You’ll need to redraw the edge of the sleeve to smooth out their disrupted curves and if you’re lengthening, just place & attach a piece of scrap paper underneath to fill the gap.

Lengthening or shortening the sleeve doesn’t have to just be for fit though, you may simply like a longer sleeve to have a larger cuff turn back! If you’d like to shorten the sleeves so they are a cropped style though, you can simply fold the cuff end of the pattern piece back and out of the way instead of slashing & overlapping, as you will want the sleeve end to be wider for the wider part of your arm that it will end at.

Megan Nielsen Patterns | Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations | Sleeve Length Adjustment

Bodice Length Adjustment

If you would like your jacket or coat to be longer or shorter, draw and cut a lengthen/shorten line underneath the curve of the underarm of your jacket front & back to then overlap or spread your pieces at. If you are lining your jacket, the line you draw should also be above the lining cut line so you are altering the lining length at the same time. If you are sewing a collar band jacket, don’t forget to cut and adjust it by the same amount so it still aligns with your jacket pieces!

It is not strictly necessary to alter the pocket length, as you can simply align the original pocket with the adjusted pieces, but if you do wish to change it, just draw your lengthen/shorten line on the pocket piece (and pocket lining if needed) to match the one on your jacket front. If you are shortening the pocket significantly, you may need to to trim some overhang along the top edge.

Megan Nielsen Patterns | Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations | Bodice Length Adjustment

Grading Between Sizes

Hovea has a generous amount of ease which will accommodate for some variation in size between your bust & hips. If however, you have a significant difference in sizes between your upper & lower body or when consulting the finished garment measurements you feel you would like a different amount of ease, you may wish to grade between sizes. Starting your grade below the armscye, draw a curve line between the desired sizes, making the transition as smooth and natural as possible.

If you are using a collar band, don’t forget to think about how your adjustments will affect the size you need to cut. If you’re unsure, just cut the larger size and trim any excess from the hem after you have sewn it to the jacket.

Megan Nielsen Patterns | Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations | Grading Between Sizes

Lowering The Armscye

If you have larger biceps and found your toile to be too clingy on your upper arm, you can increase the amount of ease by adding a small amount to the bottom of the armscye to lower it slightly. You’ll then need to add the same amount to either side of your sleeve head so it will match, continuing down the sleeve edges as far as you would like to add extra ease.

Megan Nielsen Patterns | Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations | Lowering The Armscye

Rounded Shoulder Adjustment

The shoulder seam on Hovea should be running along the top of your shoulders. If you find the seam is sitting further back, or you feel like your jacket is slipping back on your shoulders when you’re moving about, you may need a round shoulder adjustment. A simple way of doing this is to measure the distance between where the seam should be sitting and where it is actually sitting and then take that amount from the jacket front to then add onto the back.

This may be an even amount along the whole seam, your seam may only be angled back towards the sleeve, or the seam may warp in the middle before returning to the correct position. In each case, you will simply need to take whatever shape necessary to correct the seam position from the front, to then add onto the back. If you’re having the reverse issue and the shoulder seam is sitting too far forward, then the opposite method will apply – take from the back shoulder edge of the jacket to give to the front.

Megan Nielsen Patterns | Hovea Sewalong: Common Pattern Alterations | Round Shoulder Adjustment

And that’s a wrap on our common Hovea alts! If you have any questions about what we’ve covered today or any other alterations that you’re needing help with, don’t forget to post them in the comment section below!

Naomi xx


Here’s the full list of Hovea inspiration and ideas:

Here’s the full list of Hovea tutorials & Hacks:

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About Author

Naomi is the Design Assistant here at Megan Nielsen Patterns, and our resident helping hand. She stays busy assisting Meg with pattern development leg work, getting super excited about good instructional diagrams and making green coloured fabric suggestions for every sample we make. She’s a problem solver, a fabric addict, a serial tea-forgetter and a passionate maker.

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2 years ago

You mention making a toile of the jacket first, and normally when I make a toile it’s just a shell. But with this being a quilted jacket, do you recommend toiling it with similar batting to get the full fit? Or would the toile without the quilting give a similar enough fit?

2 years ago

Does anyone have a hack for an added hood? I’m so excited about this pattern. The fit is great. But I want a second with a hood for ultimate quilty coziness. I’m too new to garment making to attempt that on my own. Would love any tips, recommendations, advice. Thanks!

Mayre Perez
Mayre Perez
2 years ago
Reply to  Naomi

Thanks. I really like the detachable hood idea. I might need to finish some other garments before I feel brave enough to try this! But thanks for all the tips!!

1 year ago

Hi, after doing the rounded shoulder alteration what happens to the sleeve please in terms of matching the seam and shoulder notches? Thanks