In Fitting Fashion

What I Did this Summer and Other Stories

Did you ever have to write a "What I Did this Summer" essay for school?

I always found summing up two months of summer activities challenging and I often felt I had to make those activities a little more exciting than they may have been, but I did enjoy hearing about my classmate's adventures.

Since I'm popping in after a summer absence, I thought you might like to get a glimpse of what I've been up to in the hope that you'll find my discoveries helpful and activities interesting.

A LITTLE SEWING...

I did manage to get in a little sewing last month and made a cozy Merino Wool Cowl Neck sweater. I purchased this cosy fabric from Riverside Textiles. Try as I might to wear less black, this was the only color available in this fabric at the time of my purchase, but I can't say I was disappointed.  I know this one will be in constant rotation as the Canadian West Coast weather cools.

I created the pattern from my Custom Stretch Knit Bodice block by referencing...

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The Armhole Sleeve Connection

 

Oh those sleeves!

If you've been struggling with fitting sleeves you are in exactly the right place. Today is the day you'll get the guidance and insight you need to make those sleeves fit. In this video you're going to discover what a good fitting armhole looks like and how each part of the sleeve relates to the armhole it is set to.

Before we can even consider the sleeve we must first consider the armhole the sleeve will be set to. For the purpose of this video, I'll be talking specifically about a standard set in sleeve for woven garments and using the Kayla sewing pattern from my Fitting Essentials online course as an example.

A good armhole for a standard set-in sleeve is dependent on getting a lot of things right on the bodice. The shoulder slope, the armhole depth, the across back, the across front and the armhole width all must be correct before you can begin to assess sleeve fit.

Watch the video now to take a look at what a good armhole might look like on your pattern and...

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Three Ways to Determine Your Cup Size

 

What's your cup size? 

I'm sure this isn't a question you get often but the answer is really important if you want to achieve a good fit on the garments you create. Keep watching to discover three ways to determine your cup size and why one method might work better for you than the others.

Cup Size Theory

Before we dive into the three ways to determine your cup size, let's talk about the theory behind cup sizing. The theory goes like this: Each cup size represents a change in breast size or bust projection of 1.25 cm or ½".

In our little sewing world this means that the front bodice width and length must increase or decrease to accommodate the various cup sizes. If your cup size doesn't match that of the sewing pattern you will need to make a bust adjustment. In order to make that adjustment,  you'll need to know your personal cup size. I'd like to share three methods to determine your cup size and provide some insight as to why one method may work better than...

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How to Draft Culottes using a Flared Skirt Pattern

 

Every year in May I offer a Skirt Block Mini Class. When you sign up during the month of May (ending soon!) you get access to the drafting instructions and 5 email lessons that guide you through how to use them.

This mini class is only available during the month of May so if you missed out on the opportunity to sign up, I highly recommend you add your name to my mailing list so you won’t miss out again. You'll get a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and weekly emails that will build your pattern making and fitting skills.

If you followed through with all of the lessons in the mini class you’ll already have a flared skirt pattern that you can use to follow along in this week’s project. If you haven’t created a flared skirt pattern yet, you’ll need to create one or have a commercial pattern you can use as your foundation because this week I’m showing you how to create culottes using a flared skirt pattern.

Watch the video now to...

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How to Draft a Basic Waistband

 

Every year in May I offer a Skirt Block Mini Class. When you sign up during the month of May you get access to the drafting instructions and 5 email lessons that guide you through how to use them.

This mini class is only available during the month of May so if you missed out on the opportunity to sign up, I highly recommend you add your name to my mailing list so you won’t miss out again. You'll get a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and weekly emails that will build your pattern making and fitting skills.

If you were lucky enough to get access to the mini class, you might just be wondering how to finish off the waistline of your skirt. It’s the natural next step so today I’m going to show you how.

Watch the video to learn how to draft a basic waistband for your skirt. Once you know how to create a basic waistband you can use the information to make a waistband for any skirt, short or pant that sits on or near your natural waist.

If...

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Five Tips to Successfully Fit a Skirt Block

 

Every year in May I offer a Skirt Block Mini Class. When you sign up during the month of May you get access to the drafting instructions and 5 email lessons that guide you through how to use them.

This mini class is only available during the month of May so if you missed out on the opportunity to sign up, I highly recommend you add your name to my mailing list so you won’t miss out again. You'll get a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and weekly emails that will build your pattern making and fitting skills. Sign Up Here.

If you were lucky enough to get access, I hope you enjoyed the drafting process and have sewn up a test sample of your draft and are ready to assess the fit because in this video I’m going to share some important tips to help you get the fit you want.


Fit Tip #1

The skirt has been drafted to include 1" (2.5 cm) of ease in the waist and 2" (5 cm) of ease in the low hip. Your draft may have turned out to have more or less ease than this. The difference...

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The Skirt Block Mini Class

Each year in May I offer the Skirt Block Mini Class absolutely free. It's just one way that I say thank you to anyone who follows, shares and supports my work.

When you sign up you will  receive the drafting instructions and 5 written lessons sent to you via email that will show you how to use them. It's the perfect project to start with if you want to explore the idea of drafting your own made to measure sewing patterns.

SIGN UP FOR THE SKIRT BLOCK MINI CLASS

In the past, I taught this class through in-person workshops as an introduction to pattern making because it's the perfect project to learn and practice drafting, refining and fitting techniques. Students learn how to measure themselves, how to apply those measurements to paper and how to draft, refine, check and true a pattern, all of which are foundational skills you need to be a good pattern maker. 

When you've completed all of the email lessons (delivered over 5 days) you will have a...

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February 2021 Live Q&A

 

I'm pleased to bring you the replay of the Live Q&A from February 11, 2021!

In this session I wanted to clarify the concept of garment balance and show you how you can use the balance lines to assess the fit a a garment. I hope you'll join me in thanking Tracy for allowing me to use her fitting photos.

Settle in with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and watch, there are definitely advanced fitting concepts covered in this session.

Here are the links to the extra resources mentioned throughout the session:

Three Advanced Strategies to Achieve the Fit You Want: Register Here

Australian Sewing Guild Event

In-House Patterns Studio Facebook Group

The Lila sewing pattern

How to Prepare Your Pattern for Fitting Part 1 and Part 2

Fitting Sleeves Tutorials

How to Walk a Sleeve

The Armhole Sleeve Connection

How to Eliminate a Bust Dart

Enjoy!

All My Best,
Alexandra

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How to Prepare a Pattern For Fitting: Part 2

 

Last week I showed you how to prepare a commercial sewing pattern for fitting using a fairly straight forward shift style dress. Since the dress I used as an example was very similar to a basic block pattern, it was a pretty straight forward exercise, once you understand how to manage the details. If you missed part 1 of this series be sure to watch it. 

This week we’re going to talk about how to prepare the pattern for a flared jacket with a raglan sleeve which you’ll soon see is not nearly as straight forward. Watch the video now to see how to prepare the sewing pattern and find the balance lines on a not-so-basic style.

I hope this example has helped you understand how you can prepare a stylized commercial pattern for fitting and give you the ability to start using the vertical and horizontal balance lines to assess fit. If you’ve tried or used this method to assess fit, share you comments on this page. 

If you want to learn more about balance...

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How to Prepare a Pattern For Fitting: Part 1

 

Fitting is difficult. No number of fitting books, classes and guides you’ve purchased with the words Fast, Quick or Easy in the title, is going to change that fact. Fitting is a process that takes time to perfect and a skill that is acquired through study and experience.

I’ve studied fitting for a very long time. It wasn’t until I started using vertical and horizontal balance lines on my garments that I truly began to understand how to make sewing patterns fit me. These markings made it so much easier to understand the origin and nature of fitting issues and eliminated the confusion of trying to “read the wrinkles”. Once I started focusing on the balance of the garment on my body the wrinkles would magically disappear.

When you draft a pattern to your personal measurements, these vertical and horizontal balance lines are the foundation of the pattern, but what do you do if you are using a commercial pattern? Well this month I’m going to share...

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