Confidently Create Garments that Fit

How to Solve Knit Fitting Issues-Part I


Remember last week when we talked about how to diagnose knit fitting issues? Well this week we’re going to solve them! We’re going to continue on with Robin’s sample and take the fitting assessment to the next step.

Before we continue on with Robin’s fit assessment though, I want to remind you about a free download that I’ve created that will help you with assessing the fit of your own projects. It’s called The Good Fit Checklist. It contains information on how to recognize a good fit, how to diagnose fitting issues and the order you need to work to solve them. Sign up to receive your copy; it’s absolutely free.

Now watch the video for the solutions to the diagnosis we made on Robin's sample last week.

Did you notice that Robin hasn’t added her horizontal and vertical balance lines on her sample?  If she had, it would be so much easier to assess the amount of change required and the location of the change. This is a fitting...

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How to Diagnose Knit Fitting Issues


Welcome to video #2 of the Fitting Knits video series!

Last week you got an inside peak at my online course The Custom Stretch Knit Bodice Block and I showed you how to determine the stretch ratio of your fabric which is an important first step in getting the right fit on your knit garments. This week I’m going to share a few insights on how to diagnose your knit fitting issues.

For this video, I’ve enlisted the help of Robin, who wrote to me in hope of getting some guidance on fitting her knit garment project.

Robin writes:

 Hi Alexandra,

I’ve been having trouble with all the tops I am making and can’t seem to figure out how to resolve them. I have spent hours on Youtube, the internet, books etc. I make my own patterns and have even used a commercial pattern, not to mention that every RTW shirt in my closet has the same fitting problems.

I can’t figure out how to get rid of the diagonal draglines from the back and bottom of the armhole/sleeve. I...

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How to Determine Fabric Stretch Ratio


This week I’ve got a special treat for you. This month we’re covering the topic of fitting knits so I thought you might enjoy a glimpse inside my online course The Custom Stretch Kit Bodice Block. This course teaches you how to draft a custom size t-shirt to your personal body measurements using the stretch ratio of your chosen fabric. It’s loaded with valuable information about knits and custom knit pattern making and I can’t resist sharing a piece of the information I know you can all use.

The stretch ratio of a knit is extremely important when it comes to getting a successful fit. In order to eliminate the darts on a knit garment, you must use negative ease and the stretch ratio of the fabric to force the fabric around your body contours. If you’re not using the fabrics ability to stretch, you will be left with draglines and folds that you must become comfortable with or manage in some other way. Over the next few weeks we’re going cover these...

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How to True a Hem Line and Create a Mitered Corner


Today I’m wrapping up the series on "details count" and have some quick but important pattern truing tips for you that I think you’ll enjoy. These are simple but very effective in helping you create a professional finish on your hand made garments. This week I’m going to share how to true hem allowances and do the pattern work for a mitered corner.

Jump right in a watch the video now!

I hope you’ll find those tips useful in your next sewing project. If you’ve got something to add or share, don’t hesitate to comment below. Next week I’m taking a break from filming to enjoy some time with family but if you’re on my email list, watch out for next week’s email, I’m announcing the next video series topic and have a special offer all lined up for you.  If you’d like to add your name to the email list all you need to do is sign up to receive your copy of The Perfect Fit Guide. Just click the image below and I'll...

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What is Seam Line Ease?


Most sewers are pretty familiar with the term “easing”. You’ll find it in almost all pattern assembly instructions and you’ve probably done it several times if you’ve been sewing for any length of time at all. If you're new or returning to sewing you might be wondering what it is, when you might use it and why it’s even there, so let me clear all of that up for you.

Let’s start with a definition. In essence easing is a sewing technique used to compress a longer seam line length into a shorter one without creating pleats or gathers. There are a few techniques you can use to achieve this but before we get to that I want to explain why the technique even exists.

Simply put, easing adds 3-dimensional shape and replaces darts. As a result, you’ll find that you’ll often be directed to ease is some very specific areas of the pattern.

For Example:

  • Easing in the back shoulder seam or back neckline will replace a back shoulder dart.
  • ...
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How to Correct Seam Line Lengths


This week I’ve got a super quick video for you! Last week I showed you how to true your seam line lengths and check your notch positions after you’ve completed your pattern alterations, but from the feedback I received this was something new to a lot of you, so today I’m going to expand a little on the topic and show you another example of what to do if your seam line lengths don’t match.

Let’s jump right into solving this very common problem. Watch the video now.

I hope I’ve answered some of the questions you may have had about last week’s video. If you need to review that one again, you'll find it HERE.

As always, I’m happy to hear from you so leave your comments, questions and suggestions below.

All My Best,

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How to True Seam Lines


This week we’re continuing on the theme of "details count". Last week we talked about button placement rules that will help you get the perfect button placement on every garment you make. In today’s video I’m going to show you how to check and true your seam lines.

If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that many of you aren’t checking your patterns after you’ve made your fitting alterations. This can be problematic for you when you discover at the sewing stage that your pieces aren’t sewing together easily. So let me show you how you can avoid the frustration of having this happen to you.

Watch the video for all the details.

Resources mentioned in this video can be found by following these links:

Gala Fabrics

Start Here: Your Guide to In-House Patterns Video Tutorials

Button Rules: How to Position Buttons and Button Holes

How to True Darts and Manage Large Dart Volume

So tell me do you walk your seam lines and correct your notch...

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Button Rules: How to Position Buttons and Button Holes


This week I thought we’d start a little series that I’m calling “Details Count”. I often get questions and comments on my videos that indicate that most of you aren’t spending enough time reviewing your pattern after you’ve made your fitting alterations, so over the next few weeks we’re going to cover some of the often missed pattern refinements you need to do after you’ve altered your pattern for fit.

This week we're talking Button Rules.

The placement of the buttons at the center front of the garment is pretty important. When you make changes to the button size or alter the patterns length you need to consider how those changes are going to affect the button placement on the finished garment. In order to have a successful outcome you’re going to need a few guidelines. 

Watch the video to get all the details.

If that all seemed a little complicated I’ve prepared a Button Rules download that summarizes...

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How to Find the Bust, Waist and Hip Position on Your Sewing Pattern


Last week I got a great question from Kimberly in the In-House Patterns Studio private Facebook group.

She asked:

"How do you find the bust, waist and hip position on a sewing pattern that doesn't have any of these markings?"

If you have a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide you probably had this question too so I decided to do a live recording of my answer and post it here for everyone to benefit.

If you don't have your copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and aren't sure why you would even need to know the answer to this question, I encourage you to get the guide. It's absolutely free and sure to answer a lot of your garment fitting questions. Just click on the image below and I'll deliver it straight to your inbox!

I hope you find the information in this week's video useful. Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below! If you want to see the comments on the live video you can see them here  Live with Alexandra

All My Best,

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How to Get a Professional Finish [The Order of Operations]


We’re back on track this week! Last week we did a little side step and I showed you some throw back photos from my trip to Shanghai a few years back. If you’d like to see some photos of the sewing factory I visited and get a behind the scenes look, watch this!

This week’s video is all about what is referred to in the industry as “the order of operations”. The order of operations is essentially a set of garment assembly instructions. It is the step-by-step process of putting a specific garment together in the most efficient way possible.

In the fashion industry these sewing instructions aren’t written out in detail like they are in the home sewing industry. If they are written down at all they will look like a short bullet list of tasks, similar to how you might write a to do list.

Sewing factories divide the garment assembly process into bulk tasks. The workers who are most skilled at that particular task can then complete it quickly and...

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