Confidently Create Garments that Fit

Strapless Contour Darts

 

Want to create a beautifully fitted strapless bodice? This video is for you!

If you'd like to learn more about the bust circle and the contour darts used for necklines and armholes, be sure to watch the other videos from this series, you'll find them here:

Video 1: The Bust Circle Defined

Video 2: Neckline Contour Darts

Video 3: Armhole Contour Darts

This week, we're looking at the contour darts used to create strapless styling. Once again, I'm going to show you where they go, what size they usually are and how to use them to create a strapless, princess seamed, torso length bodice.

If you're interested in creating a personal bodice block, I can help you create one in Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block. I'll show you how to draft, refine and fit a hip length bodice and sleeve using your personal measurements. Learn how here.

All My Best,
Alexandra

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Armhole Contour Darts

 

If you want to develop sleeveless garments from your self drafted patterns you'll need to incorporate contour or gape darts. Contour or gape darts are designed to eliminate gape and excess ease in closely fitted garments. In this video I'll show you how to plot the armhole contour darts and how to use them to create a sleeveless garment.

For more information about the bust circle and neckline contour darts see my previous videos, watch them here:

Video 1: The Bust Circle Defined

Video 2: Neckline Contour Darts

This week, we're looking at the contour darts used to eliminate gaping armholes. Once again, I'm going to show you where they go, what size they usually are and how to use them. 

I've recommended a couple of other videos in this mini lesson; these links will get you there is a snap! I hope you enjoy!

Two Essential Skills for Pattern Manipulation

Three Ways to Manage the Back Shoulder Dart

A quick note here:

This method is best used after you've developed a good...

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Neckline Contour Darts

 

If you want to develop lowered necklines or cross over bodices from your self drafted patterns you'll need to incorporate contour or gape darts. Contour or gape darts are designed to eliminate gape and excess ease in closely fitted garments. In this video I'll show you how to plot the neckline contour darts and how to use them to create a lowered neckline and a cross over bodice.

I shared the basic principles of contour darts in a previous video. It's a good idea to watch that video before delving into this one.

The Bust Circle Defined

A quick note here:

This method is best used after you've developed a good fitting basic block pattern. If you find yourself constantly struggling with fitting no matter what pattern company you use, creating a set of personalized pattern blocks may just be the right next step for you. If you'd like more information about that, I'll leave a link for you in the description of this video.

If you're interested in creating a personal bodice block, I can...

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The Bust Circle Defined

 

Do you struggle with gaping necklines and armholes on your self drafted patterns? Would you like to fit your bodice more closely, or perhaps create a strapless bodice pattern? If so, this video is for you because I'm going to define the bust circle and tell you how it's related to achieving a good fit over your body contours.

First of all, what do I mean by body contours? 

Think of the body as a landscape. It has hills, valleys and plains. Some hills are higher, some valleys deeper, and some plains more expansive.  Imagine a flat sheet of muslin lightly draped over this landscape, you'll notice that in some areas the muslin will touch the landscape, in others there will be voids or empty spaces. Where the muslin touches this landscape you'll likely find hills. Where you find voids, will most likely be valleys. 

Now consider the front of the body. You'll easily be able to recognize the most prominent or highest hill; the bust. The highest point of the bust is the bust...

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The Skirt Block Mini Class

 

They say it's too complex.

All that measuring and math! Why bother when there are so many patterns that are inexpensive and ready made?

Well, I'm here to tell you that creating a block pattern is no more complex than what you're already trying to do when you buy a ready made sewing pattern. In fact, you may even find it easier than trying to figure out how to make that ready made pattern fit you.

If you constantly struggle with fitting, no matter what pattern company you use, creating a set of personalized pattern blocks may just be the right next step for you. A basic block drafted to your measurements and refined to fit your shape will mean you get to skip all the fitting issues that arise for you in commercially made patterns.

The process of creating your basic block is exactly like learning how to sew; you'll take it one step at a time. You'll take your body measurements, make a few calculations and follow a sequence of steps that will reveal a made to measure pattern,...

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How to Create Patterns that Fit

 

Recently this question popped into my inbox: "How do I begin creating my own patterns that fit?" I get this question a lot so I thought it would be good to address it. In this video I'll share the answer to this question and give you an opportunity that you'll definitely want to take me up on if you want to get started at no cost to you.

If you're someone with a growing desire to learn more about pattern making for fit and design, you're not alone.  As you gain and master more advanced sewing skills you'll naturally become intellectually and creatively ready to level up. You'll likely become tired of constantly making the same fitting adjustments to commercial sewing patterns and fed up with compromising on styles that are close, but not exactly what you're looking for.

If you constantly struggle with fitting no matter what pattern company you use, creating a set of personalized pattern blocks may just be the right next step for you. A basic block drafted to your measurements...

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How to Draft Culottes

 

 If you followed through with all of the lessons in the Skirt Block 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 begin drafting your personal culotte pattern.

I hope you enjoy this pattern design project. With this easy adaptation to your skirt block you now have infinite possibilities for easy fitting, simple to sew versatile garments. For instructions on how to create a waistband for your culotte pattern get guidance with this video tutorial.

If you’re ready to level up your drafting and pattern making skills, visit Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block and The Custom Stretch Knit Bodice for more advanced...

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How to Create a Balanced Flared Skirt

 

Do you have a skirt block that you don't quite know what to do with? Or perhaps a straight skirt pattern that fits you perfectly that you'd like to use as a base for a new style? If that's the case, watch this video because I'm going to show you how to create and balance a flared skirt pattern. 

In this tutorial I'll be working with some scaled block patterns. If you don't already have a skirt pattern to work from you can download my scaled block patterns or sign up for The Skirt Block Mini Class and create your very own custom sized skirt pattern. I'll leave links to those somewhere on this page.

Let me show you how to manipulate a basic skirt pattern to create flare and then balance the flare so that the hem hangs evenly all the way around. We're also going to talk about grainlines so that you can see how drastically it can change the look and hang of your skirt.

As I mentioned in the video, get your FREE Scaled Block Patterns to practice your pattern work. Click...

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How to Draft a Straight Waistband

 

Did you know that establishing a good fitting waistband is an important part of the fitting process for skirts and pants? Think about it, the waistband holds these garments up and secures them in place at a comfortable level. 

If the waistband is too small, the garment will likely sit too high on the body. If it's too large, the garment will sit too low. In both cases an ill fitting waistband will cause fitting issues below it and will ultimately be quite uncomfortable. 

So today, I'll show you how to draft a basic straight waistband using your personal body measurements.

Watch the video now.

If you're interested in creating your own made to measure skirt block join The Skirt Block Mini Class. It's absolutely free.

When you sign up for the class you'll receive the drafting instructions for a woven skirt block and a series of emails that will give you step-by-step guidance in creating a custom size skirt pattern using your personal body measurements.

 If you're tired...

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Fitting Knits: How to Determine the Negative Ease on the Jenny Tee

 

This month I've turned the focus to fitting knits. I have covered the topic to some extent previously so if you want more information on this topic, just click on the "fitting knits" category in the sidebar of the tutorial section of my website inhousepatternsstudio.com. If you're already on my website, just look to the right and you'll see the topic category there.

As you likely already know, I believe that understanding the balance of a garment on your body is the key to achieving good fit. I've shared this rather extensively in The Perfect Fit Guide as well as in all of my online courses and workshops. While I usually talk about this in relation to woven garments, it is a useful tool in assessing fit in knits as well, so last week I showed you how to find the balance lines on the In-House Patterns Jenny tee in the hope of helping you understand how to assess the fit of the pattern.

Since we've already determined the position of the balance lines on the pattern, I thought we could...

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