Confidently Create Garments that Fit

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

Fitting Pants: The Seat Adjustment


Today’s video is a continuation of the Fitting Pants video series. This is the third video in the series so if you missed the first two, follow the links below to catch up.

Fitting Pants: How to Get Started

Fitting Pants: The Tummy Adjustment

This week we’re going to look a little closer at the rear view of our pants and discuss the full and flat seat fitting issues. These are what I like to call companion fit issues because the solutions to each of these are essentially the exact opposite of each other. While one will require and increase in the pattern dimensions, the other will require a decrease, but both use the same alteration lines in the pattern adjustment technique.

Before we jump into solving this week’s issue, once again, there are a few things you need to confirm before you start the fitting process. Make sure you have your balance lines marked on your garment, be sure you’ve chosen the correct pattern size, and use the fitting order as I’ve...

Continue Reading...

Fitting Pants: The Tummy Adjustment


Pants are notoriously difficult to fit. This is considered common knowledge in the garment sewing community and has most likely caused many of you to not even bother trying to sew pants. Even I have avoided making pants for fear of spending countless hours trying to get the fit just right. So let’s see if we can tackle this difficult subject together.

In last week’s video I gave you some basic information and a few resources to get you started with fitting pants. This week I wanted to start with a solution to a fitting issue I’ve often seen with my private clients, the tummy adjustment, but before we get to that there are a few things you need to confirm before you start the fitting process for this fitting issue.

1. Make sure you have your balance lines marked on your garment. You’ll need them to assess the fit.

2. Make sure you’ve chosen the correct pattern size. There is no use to fitting a garment that is too small.

3. Use the fitting order as...

Continue Reading...

Fitting Pants: How to Get Started


If you’ve completely given up on sewing pants, you can be sure you’re not alone. Fitting pants is not easy, fast or fun for most of us, but just in case you want to give it another go, I’ve got a series of videos lined up that will help you understand how to go about fitting pants and hopefully eliminate some of the confusion on your next attempt.

Today we’re going to kick off the video series with some basics so you understand why pants are so difficult to fit and what you can do to make the pant fitting process go a bit more smoothly.

Let’s start with why pants are so difficult to fit. In order to fit, pants must address the crotch length, the crotch depth and the crotch shape as well as the distribution of the measurement around the waist, hip and thighs. The fit of pants are complicated even further by the shape of the legs, the posture of the person wearing them and the dynamic movements our body can make when we’re walking or sitting....

Continue Reading...

Five Essential Pattern Making Skills for Garment Makers


If you had a chance to watch last week’s video, you’ll know that this week I’m going to cover some of the most essential pattern making skills you’ll need when working with existing commercial patterns or designing your own patterns. The skills I highlight today will, without a doubt, give you better results with fitting your garment and simplify your sewing. Follow through with these tips and you’ll finally achieve the professional results you’re looking for. Watch the video to get all the details.

Resources Mentioned in this Video:

#1 Taking Pattern Measurements

The Perfect Fit Guide a free downloadable fitting guide that walks you through a seven step fitting process.

The First Fitting Session: How to Prepare: This video features a demonstration of how to measure a sewing pattern to prepare for the fitting process. (Free downloadable resources included!)

Four Things that will Get You to a Better Fit Faster: This video cover the...

Continue Reading...

What to Do with a Block Pattern


Recently this question popped into my inbox: Once I have a block, what do I do with it? I get this question a lot so I thought it would be good to address it so everyone can get the benefit of my answer.

Before I do, here’s my definition of what a block is:  A block, sometimes referred to as a sloper, is the foundation of all other patterns. A block can come in the form of a bodice block, a skirt block, or a pant block for either woven or knit fabrics, but in essence, it is the most basic form of a pattern drafted to a specific set of body measurements and fit to a specific body shape. In my definition, a block includes wearing ease, which is the minimum amount of ease needed to accommodate regular day-to-day activities like breathing, reaching, sitting, and walking. This wearing easy can be anywhere between 2” and 4” or 5 to 10 cm and depends entirely on what you feel comfortable in.

Once the basic bodice block is drafted and refined to fit, it’s...

Continue Reading...

Fitting and Sewing Tutorial Round Up

OK so, truth be told, I'm taking a little break from filming this week.

You see, I know you may not have been keeping up with the weekly posts, after all you have a life to live and it doesn't always involve your sewing hobby. So I'm declaring this week a catch-up week! 

Here is a list of some of the fitting tutorials you may have missed or simply would like to review again. Everyone needs a refresher now and again.

The Forward Shoulder Adjustment (Two Ways)

The Broad and Narrow Back Adjustment

The Shoulder Width Adjustment (Two Ways)

Now if those don't sound interesting to you and you'd like to work on your sewing techniques instead, I've got these tutorials just waiting for you:

The French Binding Tutorial

How to Construct a Single Welt Pocket

The Front Fly Tutorial

Of course, if you've missed the last few weeks of video tutorials, poke around the blog or try out the search bar in the top corner of this page, you just might discover exactly what you need today.


Continue Reading...

The Prominent Shoulder Blade Adjustment


Over the last couple of weeks, we've been talking about fitting the back.

Last week I demonstrated how to assess the muslin and adjust your pattern for a rounded back fitting issue.

This week I want to show you how to adjust for a prominent shoulder blade. I thought it important to cover this fit issue because it seems most people use the rounded back pattern adjustment to solve a prominent shoulder blade issue. While the rounded back adjustment will work to some extent, you may find it will cause another fitting issue.

Watch the video to find out why and what to do instead.

Resources mentioned in this video:

Three Ways to Manage the Back Shoulder Dart

How to True Darts and Manage Dart Volume

If you are looking for more back fitting tutorials check these out:

The Sway Back Adjustment Three Ways

The Broad and Narrow Back Adjustment

I hope you enjoyed this video! If you found it helpful, let me know in the comments or share it with a friend who might.

All My Best,


Continue Reading...