In Fitting Fashion

Three Tips for Choosing Your Pattern Size

 

It’s a well known fact that most pattern companies provide very limited sizing information on their patterns.  Sewers are asked to choose their pattern size using three main body measurements; bust, waist and hip girth. The assumption is that all of your measurements will land within one size and the choice would be easy. For some of us it is, but what are we to do if our measurements land on two or three size possibilities?

Today I’m going to give you three tips that will help you make a definitive pattern size choice.

#1 Take Your Body Measurements Before You Start a New Sewing Project

The first tip I have for you is to take your body measurements before you start a new sewing project. My body measurements fluctuate by about 1” in circumference as I gain and lose weight throughout the year, so I take my body measurements each time I start a new sewing project. This way I am always aware of my current measurements. I personally use The Pattern...

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Six Steps to Fitting Success

 

Like the majority of sewing enthusiasts, you probably first learned to sew by following a commercial sewing pattern. Along with the step-by-step guidance offered in the pattern’s sewing instructions and a few video tutorials, you probably found it pretty easy to get acceptable results no matter how complicated the garment. You simply executed each step one at a time until the garment was complete. As your sewing skills progressed you likely began to imagine a unique and beautiful handmade wardrobe filling your closet, but you hit the snag that most of us do; getting a good fit became a struggle.

Fitting is generally thought to be a trial and error process and the one thing that impedes sewing progress. There seems to be no road map, no sequence of logical steps to follow and no hope of ever getting a pattern to fit. Today’s video just might help  you change that.

In this week’s video I’m going to share the step by step process I use on all my sewing...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 6

 

Today is big reveal day!

We’ve been diligently working on a little pattern making project that I’ve named Ava. While quite simple in nature, this little project is packed with pattern making tips, tricks and techniques that will help you to understand how to use your personal bodice block. I hope you’ve been working on your own version along with me. If you’re just joining in, not to worry, I’ve got the links to all the previous pattern making tutorials right here:

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 4

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 5

If you don’t have a basic bodice block yet, take a look at my online course Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block. It will walk you through all the steps to create a made to measure bodice block that fits.

If you just want to give pattern making...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 5

 

Designing your own patterns using a personal bodice block is guaranteed to eliminate the fitting frustration that can come along with using commercial patterns. However, having a basic block that fits you is of no use to you if you don’t know what to do with it. So over the entire month of January we’ve been working on a little pattern making project that will help build your pattern making skills and hopefully result in a garment you can wear.

If you’re just catching the pattern making bug be sure to follow along with the entire Ava Design Project series. Here are the links to all the previous videos:

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 4

To follow along all you need is your basic bodice block and a few pattern making supplies. If you don’t have a basic bodice block yet, take a look at my...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 4

 

 We are nearing the finish line for the Ava pattern making project. I hope you’ve been following along and doing the pattern work along with me. If you missed the previous tutorials, click the links below to join in.

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

2020 is the year you pick up some valuable pattern making skills and use them to create something you can actually wear. 

Last week we finished off the back pattern piece so we’re ready to move on to the sleeve and create the neckline facing. Watch the video to get all the details.

For those of you who already have a personal bodice block, I encourage you to try following along with me using your block. You'll gain the most experience and knowledge by doing so.

If you don't have a personal bodice block and want to create one, I have a very comprehensive online course that will walk you through the...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

 

We are smack in the middle of the Ava pattern making project. I hope you’ve been following along and actually doing the pattern work with me. Working on an actual project from start to finish is the best way to learn how to make patterns so I encourage you to jump in and try it.

If you missed the previous tutorials, just follow these links to catch up:

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

This week we continue the pattern work for the Ava top. Today you’ll learn two ways to manipulate the back shoulder dart and how to mimic the styling we created on front bodice on the back. Watch the video to see exactly how it's done.

For those of you who already have a personal bodice block, I encourage you to try following along with me using your block. You'll gain the most experience and knowledge by doing so.

If you don't have a personal bodice block and want to create one, I have a very comprehensive online...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

 

Have you been following along with the Ava design project? If you missed the first video tutorial, you can watch it HERE, it will set you up perfectly to jump right in!

 This week you'll learn how to use the contour neckline dart, rotate and divide darts and change the silhouette of your block. By the end of this tutorial you'll have completed the front bodice pattern and be all set for next weeks lesson.

If you already have a personal bodice block, I encourage you to try following along with me using your block. You'll gain the most experience and knowledge by doing so.

If you don't have a personal bodice block and want to create one, I have a very comprehensive online course that will walk you through the entire process from drafting through fitting.

Here's what one student said about the Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block course:

"Hi Alexandra. I have finished the course, made my toile, tweaked it (only a little needed) and have just completed my second...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part I

 

The start of a new decade always feels pivotal. It seemingly offers an opportunity to start on a new path, break old habits, and get clarity or new insight on the things we may have taken for granted.

And So We Begin Anew

January kicks off a new Pattern Fundamentals series that I hope you'll enjoy. If you follow along, I think you'll discover that you'll awake your inner designer and get your creative juices flowing. I'm offering you that new path and new insight starting today.

In the first tutorial series of 2020 we're going to tackle a little design project together.

While simple in nature, this little woven t-shirt that I've named Ava, is the perfect skill building pattern making project. You'll learn how to rotate and design with darts, use contour darts, alter silhouette, create a neckline facing and much more. Over the next few weeks I'm going to walk you through the pattern development of this very simple sewing pattern from sketch to completed...

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Fine Tuning Fit: Concave vs Convex Darts

 

You’re probably pretty familiar with darts. Darts are the most commonly found fitting elements in a pattern design so you’ve probably stitched many of them over the years. Whether you’ve noticed or not, the legs of the dart on most sewing patterns are straight, but have you ever wondered if you could improve the fit by making them curved? 

This was one of the first questions I got from a member of my new on-line course Fitting Essentials: How to Make Sewing Patterns Fit You.

Ruth asked:

"You’ve  talked about darts and the various ways they can be manipulated for fit and style. I’ve read in a few places that it’s helpful to put a bit of a curve in the stitch line so the dart fits better. Is this a good or bad idea? I keep thinking that it would be a longer seam and that it would throw off the rest of the fitting. And while it sounds plausible, how would you figure out what shape of curve to put in? My biggest issue with darts is that they...

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Three Secrets to Achieving Fitting Success

 

This week I’ve got a really exciting announcement for you! I'm doing my very first online workshop this week and it’s absolutely FREE!

It’s called Three Secrets to Achieving Fitting Success: How to Fit Yourself, By Yourself, Without Frustration and Disappointment.

In this workshop I’m going to share the design details that will make fitting easier for you, what the sizing chart reveals about fit, the three things you must know to make a pattern fit you and the one thing that holds the key to your fitting success.

On top of all that I am going to give you a full introduction to my brand new online course, so if you’ve been waiting to hear about it, now is your chance to get all the details from me and have an opportunity to enrol.

I’m also going to do a live Q&A session at the end of the workshop so you can ask me your burning questions.

I am going to be doing this workshop live on the internet so you can be sitting in your sewing room...

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