Saw a question on one of the discussion boards today about the pivot-and-slide method of alterations; started to make a comment but then I decided it was good blog material and I'll throw my opinions around on my own page. ;-)
Pivot and slide was the first real pattern alteration method I learned, so I may be partial to it. I'll admit that I use a mishmash of alterations now, but P & S is still the core method. I've looked over several other methods and come to the conclusion that they will all give you the same result in the end, so it's not a matter of which one is BEST but which one is EASIEST for YOU to understand and use.
Having said that, though, I will mention that I don't always agree with the P&S method of determining what needs to be added where; it does even adjustments to all seams, when the truth is some of us are not so evenly distributed. So I do a little more measuring and usually find that I need to add more to, say, the front than I do the back. So I will not add evenly...but I will add what I add w/P & S.
I do cut-and-chop for a Full Bust Adjustment, though, as P&S doesn't seem to put the fabric where I need it. Or it may be that when I learned P&S I did not NEED a FBA, so I just didn't get that aspect down and when I figured out I needed it, Debbie Cook's excellent tutes showed so clearly how to do it that I never really worked out how to do it in P & S.
The big pill to swallow here is, for most of us, acknowledging that expecting a pattern to fit right out of the envelope is just not realistic. I've known so many ladies who gave up sewing because they decided the patterns were no good, when in fact they just did not want to take the time to learn how to make them fit...or didn't think themselves capable of learning how to do those adjustments.
It's just a bit of arithmetic and a bit of line drawing. Sure it takes trial and error. Sure you're gonna have wadders. But the real reason to sew is to be able to get clothes that fit. My fitting skills have not quite caught up to my post-menopausal body yet...but I can make some stuff that fits at least as good as I could buy off the rack; most of it is a pinch better than I could buy as the shoulders aren't huge and the sleeves/pants aren't too long. And I will eventually get myself retrained in what I need to do to deal with the extra fluff in my middle.
I could go shopping; shop for a whole day and come home with nothing that fits (and I have done that. Discouraging!). Or I could spend the day at home working on a muslin (or toile, depending on your location). Either way, at the end of the day I still would not have a wearable garment. But I'd be closer to creating one, whereas I would be no closer to buying a garment that fit properly at the end of my shopping trip than I was at the beginning.
The secret is to just not give up. Productivity may drop; mine certainly has, largely because I'm not confident in my fitting right now. But I will keep trying and I will get there and then, when I have some honest TNTs, I'll be buzzing those machines along again.
I don't know if anyone else needed that little pep talk, but I did. :-) Think I'll go trace some more pieces of the jacket I'm determined to turn into a TNT...