Confidently Create Garments that Fit

How to Get a Professional Finish on Your Handmade Garments


Welcome to the first video tutorial of 2019!

First of all, thank you for your time and attention to the all the tutorials I created in 2018. It is your insights, comments and questions that keep me motivated to continue, and I truly do hope that what I share is of value to you.

Today I'm answering this customer question:

“Can I actually create a garment that doesn’t look homemade?”

I’m here to tell you that the answer is a resounding YES but achieving this result has very little to do with your level of sewing experience.

You might have the impression that the more experience you have with sewing, the more professional your hand made garments will appear. This is not necessarily the case. While years of sewing experience can be extremely helpful, it is not the only ingredient to achieving a garment that doesn’t look homemade.

There are a three other very important ingredients that will take your final garment to that professional level. The first...

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Plans Make it Happen - 2019

As 2019 begins to shine, I've been thinking about where to best put my time and energy in the New Year. While you may be thinking about the sewing projects you'd like to tackle, I'm planning how I'm going to serve you better this year. Looking back on 2018, there are things that I definitely want to continue to do, things that I'll be happy to give up and things that I planned to do that never got done. With these in mind, here's what I've got in store for you in 2019.



Free Video Tutorials
The video tutorials are my place to experiment with ideas, share my knowledge and connect with you. Your comments and feedback on the videos help me understand what you're struggling with and what you'd like to learn more about. They spark ideas for workshops and classes and new ways to help you make garments that you're proud to wear.

For 2019, you can expect the free...

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Fitting Sleeves: How to Diagnose Sleeve Fitting Issues


Over the past couple of weeks we've been diving deep into sleeve fitting. In the first video of the series we talked about the armhole shape and size and determined how to assess if it will be a good foundation for your sleeve. In the second video of the series we talked about the sleeve itself and determined how to assess if it will fit into the bodice armhole correctly.

This week I want to demonstrate how to asses and trouble shoot the fit of the sleeve in a "real life" sample so I'm sending a big THANK YOU to Jill who has allowed me to use her photos in this video. I have no doubt that this example will help someone else struggling with fitting sleeves.

While this example is a knit sleeve, it represents the same issues that are found commonly in woven sleeves as well. Watch the video for a demonstration on how to assess the sample for fit and direction on how to adjust the pattern to follow.

Here are the links to the resources mentioned in this week's video:


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Fitting Sleeves: The Armhole/Sleeve Connection


Last week we talked about the bodice armhole and how to assess if will be a good foundation for the sleeve. If you missed that video you can watch it HERE.

This week is all about the sleeve and how you can determine if it's a good match for the armhole. Watch the video to get some inside information about bicep ease, sleeve cap ease and optimal cap height for a good fitting set in sleeve.

I'll also show you how to walk your sleeve to the armhole so that you can determine the sleeve cap ease and see the relationship between the armhole and sleeve seam lines. For more on walking the sleeve, watch this video: 

Quick Tips for Patterns That Fit: Take a Walk

After you've watched the video, share your thoughts in the comments below.

Next week you'll see a "real life" example of a sleeve that's not quite right and I'll share my assessment of the issues and suggest some pattern adjustments that will help to improve the fit. I hope you'll tune in.

All My Best,

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Fitting Sleeves: The Bodice Armhole


Fitting sleeves can sometimes be even more challenging than fitting pants.

Most of us have experienced strange draglines, odd twisting and general discomfort on the sleeves of at least one of our sewing projects. Finding the cause and the solution can be frustrating so today I’d like to begin a video series all about sleeves.

I’m starting this series with one of the most important elements of a good fitting sleeve: the bodice armhole. I’m starting here because it is impossible to achieve a good fitting sleeve if the armhole it is sitting on doesn’t fit. The armhole must be the correct size and shape for your body before you can even begin assessing the sleeve. Watch the video to dive a bit deeper into what a good fitting armhole looks like and how to assess if it’s a good base for your sleeve.

After you watch the video, I'd love to know if you had any insights or ah ha moments; I hope you'll share them in the comments!

If you’re...

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How to Measure Yourself


If you've been struggling with getting the accurate body measurements you need to choose the correct size and fit your sewing patterns, this video is for you! Today I'm showing you exactly how I measure myself each time I begin a new sewing project.

I'll be using The Pattern Measurement Worksheet to demonstrate the process so if you don't yet have your copy, download it here:

Once you've got your pattern measurement worksheet in hand, follow along with the video to record your own personal body measurements.

If you enjoyed this video, I'd love to hear it! Share your thoughts in the comments below!

All My Best,

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Ask Alex: Your Questions Answered (The Fitting Ones)


A few weeks ago I sent a survey to my email list. The purpose of the survey was to get an idea about what they were struggling with so that I could be of greater service to them. One of the questions I posed was this:

If you could ask me one question regarding your struggle what would it be?

In my previous email I answered some of the more personal questions, this week I'm answering the five most common questions asked about fitting. The short hand version of the video content is below for your convenience, but if you need elaboration on any of the topics, by all means watch the video!

Here we go:

  1. Where do you start with fitting?

First, choose a simple pattern to experiment with. The Chelsea top by In-House Patterns or the Scout Tee by Grainline Studios (best for small cup sizes) is perfect for your first fitting project. The Montrose top by Cashmerette is also a good choice.

Next, choose the appropriate pattern size. To do this, determine how the...

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Ask Alex: Your Questions Answered (the personal ones)


A short time ago I sent a survey to my email list. The purpose of the survey was to get an idea about what they were struggling with so that I could be of greater service to them. One of the questions I posed was this:

If you could ask me one question regarding your struggle what would it be?

To my surprise there were a lot of personal questions in the mix that were asked several times, so I thought I would share my answers in this weeks video. The short hand version of the video is below for your convenience, but if you need elaboration on any of the topics, by all means watch the video!

Here we go:

  1. How do you make time for your personal sewing?

 It’s difficult, to say the least, especially since my business has grown, but I have made my personal sewing a part of my business because I believe that the time I invest in personal projects ultimately serves you. As I move through a sewing project, I experience the same struggles that you do. I have limitations on...

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Your Guide to the In-House Patterns Video Tutorials


As the video tutorials pile up, watchers and readers are starting to ask, "where do I start?" Well, I've got the answer today. If you're new to the In-House Patterns community, here's your path to navigating the tutorials according to your area of interest. Watch the video for all the details and follow the links below.


The Perfect Fit Guide

If you are an avid garment sewer and struggling with fitting your sewing projects, I want you to start by downloading your free copy of The Perfect Fit Guide. The guide will be sent directly to your inbox so that you can download and print it. The Perfect Fit Guide will be followed up with subsequent emails that will give you additional resources and worksheets to help with fitting your sewing projects.

Fitting Fundamentals

There are a few videos that are directly related to The Perfect Fit Guide so you’ll want to watch them first. You’ll find these videos under Fitting Fundamentals. This...

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Fitting Pants: The Crotch Curve


The most challenging thing about fitting pants is getting the patterns crotch curve to reflect the shape of the body it is being fit to. An ill-fitting crotch curve results in draglines, wrinkles and excess fabric that can make pants uncomfortable and unflattering. The crotch curve needs to accommodate the length, width and depth of the body as well as align to the curves within those parameters. This area of the human body is as individual as your DNA so it’s no wonder we have trouble figuring out what to do when we’re not satisfied with the fit of our pants.

 This week we’re on to video #4 of the Fitting Pants video series. If you’ve missed the previous videos, I encourage you to go back and watch them. They contain important information that will help you understand the concepts I present today.

Fitting Pants: How to Get Started

Fitting Pants: The Tummy Adjustment

Fitting Pants: The Seat Adjustment

 When fitting the crotch curve of pants what you...

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