In Fitting Fashion

Pattern Design Project: BRIA Part 1

 

'Tis the season for cozy evenings, indoor projects and handmade gifts so let's make your evenings extra cozy, your indoor projects extra fun and your gifts extra special by creating made to measure lounge pants for you, your friends and your family.

New PJ's or lounge pants are always a special treat, especially if they are made to measure in the prints and fabrics you love. They also happen to be a great pattern design project for budding pattern makers because they are easy to draft, forgiving on fit, and quick to sew.  

I'm excited to get started on this fun project with you so when you're ready, download and print the drafting instructions and follow along.

Click the image below to get the Bria drafting instructions sent straight to your inbox.

Watch the video with the drafting instructions in hand, I'll share some guidance on what you'll need to get started and show you the best way to proceed to make the draft go quickly and easily.

If this...

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How to Tweak a Pattern for a Style Refresh

 

In order to make the most of the sewing patterns in your collection, it’s a good idea to review them from time to time and consider styling tweaks that can modernize or refresh them, especially if you have achieved a particularly good fit. All you need is a little creativity and some basic pattern making skills.

This week I am sharing a little styling tweak that I’m making to the Belle sewing pattern. My plan is to remove the pleats from the front and back of the pattern. I think this small styling change will make the top a little more versatile. You might think that this is just a matter of leaving the pleats unstitched but in fact there is a much more effective way that will also increase your pattern intelligence.

Watch the video to see how it's done.

There are definitely other styling changes you can make. You can raise the front neck drop to shorten the collar, change the collar width and shape or remove the collar entirely. These are all ways that you can tweak...

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How to Make a Cup Size Adjustment on a Pattern without Traditional Darts

 

In the last video you got a sneak peek at the cup size adjustment I made on my sewing pattern. This week I’m going to show you exactly how to do it.

Before you make your cup size adjustment make sure you have completed any length adjustments you may need. Pattern adjustments are best approached in this order: length, contour, width, girth. You’ll find that working in this order will help you eliminate fitting issues one step at a time. You can find more details on fitting order and method in The Perfect Fit Guide. Get your copy HERE.

Watch the video to see how to increase the cup size of the Belle sewing pattern.

When you’ve completed the cup size adjustment, be sure to make the corresponding length adjustment to the front facing. Make it a habit to always consider the corresponding pattern pieces that may be affected by any pattern adjustment you make.

If you’d like to see how to reduce the cup size of the pattern, click HERE for a blog post on the topic. I...

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How to Assess and Prepare a Pattern Before You Sew

 

I firmly believe that if you spend some time reviewing the sewing pattern and its sizing chart, you can confidently anticipate the fitting changes you may need to make to the pattern in order for it to fit you. This seemingly extra step will ultimately save you time by improving your chance of achieving a good fit much more quickly.

This week I am sharing an inside look at how I assess and prepare a sewing pattern before I sew. I am featuring the belle blouse pattern in this video but you can use the same pattern assessment principles with any pattern.

The fitting process I use is fully outlined in The Perfect Fit Guide. You can get your copy HERE.
The complete sizing information for the Belle sewing pattern can be found HERE.

Watch the video for details on how I assessed and prepared my sewing pattern for fitting.

It’s important to remember, the goal of the initial pattern adjustments is to align the sewing pattern to your personal body measurements and proportions. The...

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How to Add a Size to a Sewing Pattern

 

We all have a sewing pattern or two in our collection that we would love to make again but doesn’t include the size we currently need. To help you solve that problem I’m going to show you a technique you can use to add a size to an existing pattern.

This week I am featuring the Belle sewing pattern and showing you how to use the existing graded nest to increase the pattern size. If you’d like to follow along using the Belle sewing pattern you can find it HERE. However, this tutorial is applicable to any sewing pattern.

I’m going to show you how to add one size to the Belle pattern which will increase the pattern’s girth measurements by 11/2” or 3.8 cm. If you need to increase the size further, simply follow the same method to increase the pattern by an additional size. If you happen to be using a different pattern, you’ll need to check the measurement gap between the sizes to determine how much you’ll be adding to the pattern using...

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Project Based Tutorials to Build Your Pattern Making and Fitting Skills

 

Have you shopped your existing pattern collection lately? I’ll bet there’s a real gem in there that has stood the test of time. Take a look, pull out the patterns that you’re instantly drawn to and make the most of what you already have. Often you’ll rediscover a favourite pattern that you can update with a styling tweak or a new fabrication.

I recently did this with my own pattern collection and what surfaced for me was the Belle blouse. Looking at it with fresh eyes, I think it’s the perfect example of a classic style that has timeless sophistication. When I first designed this pattern, I was inspired by an elegant 1940’s blouse, but it still feels relevant today. I think it works beautifully with today’s higher waistlines and would look great under a collarless jacket or cardigan. Unfortunately the samples no longer fit me, so I have decided to make up this pattern again and invite you to follow along.

If you have the Belle sewing pattern...

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How to Use Canva to Prepare Your Fitting Photos

 

Since most of us don’t have a reliable fitting buddy available at a moments notice, fitting photos can be an extremely helpful tool for assessing garment fit when you’re sewing solo.

Today’s digital technology definitely makes taking our fitting photos easier. All you need is an inexpensive table top tripod and your smartphone. A smartwatch connected to your phone can even be used as a remote to get the precise shots you need. However, this can leave your phone filled with random individual images of photos that don’t give you the complete fitting picture.

Today I’d like to share a method of formatting and organizing your fitting photos that will allow you to record your fitting progress, help you keep track of the changes you make and make it easier to share your fitting photos with others. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, I’d like to suggest that you prepare your fitting photos in Canva.

Canva is a free-to-use online graphic...

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How to Change the Across Back Width on a Pattern

 

Do you feel your movements are restricted when you're wearing a garment with sleeves? 

Is there excess fabric across the back of your garment that you want to remove?

This tutorial might just be what you're looking for. Take these 6 minutes to watch this video for a straightforward way of alleviating both of these issues.

Enjoy!

All My Best,
Alexandra

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The Kayla Shirtdress

 

I have a little pattern design inspiration for you today.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have already seen this in my stories, but this video is full of little tips that can help you take any shirt sewing pattern and make it into a dress. Watch the video and listen carefully for tips on how to alter the style of a basic shirt into a shirt dress with a waist seam.

I took this styling one step further and also created this tiered and gathered skirt as well.

This is why I truly believe that the time you spend fitting one pattern is never a waste; with a few basic pattern making skills you can transform any pattern into multiple garment styles.

All My Best,
Alexandra

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Top 5 Reasons Garment Makers Struggle with Fitting

 

It's no secret that most of us struggle at one time or another with fitting the garments we make. Fitting information is the number one reason garment makers find my website. So I've been thinking alot lately about the reasons why we struggle so much with fitting.

Here are the top 5 reasons why garment makers struggle with fitting:

1. They are unaware of their current personal fitting landscape.

Fitting is not just about body measurements, it's about body shape and proportion too so I highly recommend you take fitting photos along with your body measurements each sewing season so you are aware of how your body has changed over time. It will make assessing fit much easier and you'll begin to understand the pattern shapes needed to create garments that fit you.

2. They assume that pattern size = pattern fit.

If you've been sewing for a long time, I'm sure this doesn't apply to you but it's an easy assumption to make so I encourage you to review the pattern company's...

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