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The first step toward making a well-fitting dress is a pattern that fits properly. If you are careful to choose a style and the size best suited to your figure, you may not have to make any alterations in your pattern. But most women have some figure irregularity which requires that some change be made, either in the pattern or the dress, for a perfect fit.
The best way to make changes is to alter the pattern, since it is impossible to make some alterations as well once the dress is cut and basted together. Originally published in the 1940s by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, this booklet deals with the problems of altering a pattern -- how to measure the figure and take corresponding pattern measurements, and how to alter the pattern pieces to correspond to your measurements.