Pattern Fundamentals: The Bust Circle Defined

pattern fundamentals Jun 19, 2018

In the last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about fitting necklines. As you’ve seen in the previous videos, there are definitely some special considerations when fitting your pattern to this area of the body.

Posture plays an important role in the placement of the neck opening as I demonstrated in the forward neck video and body contours or shape will also impact the way a neckline fits as I showed in the video about neck balance.

This week I wanted to dive even deeper into how the contours of the body affect the fit of the neckline as well as the armhole and introduce you to something called the bust circle.

In this video I'll explain what I mean by body contours and show you how to determine the size of the bust circle and how to draw it on your basic pattern.  All this in preparation for mapping contour or gape darts that will solve issues with gaping necklines and armholes.


All My Best Alexandra

PS If you are interested in developing...

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: Neckline Balance

quick tips Jun 12, 2018

This week I wanted to continue the conversation about neckline fitting so in this video I'm talking about the gaping front neckline and a method of correcting it that you may not have seen before. 

When you start drafting your own patterns or really study a pattern in depth, you begin to notice certain consistencies between all patterns and one of these consistencies I call neck balanceNeck balance is the relationship between the front and back neck width. You see, in order for the front neckline to fit smoothly without gaping and eliminate excess fabric across the front chest, the back neck width needs to be larger (wider) than the front neck width.  If you want to understand more clearly what I mean, simply watch the video, I cover the theory and the practice to correcting this fitting issue.


All My Best,

For more help with your personal fitting issues, join me in the Fitting Fun Workshop! You'll work on a project of...

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: The Forward Neck Adjustment

quick tips Jun 05, 2018

This week's Quick Tip is all about adjusting your pattern for a forward neck position. This adjustment is usually required as we advance in age but as we continue to dedicate a large part of our day to digital devices, it's becoming more prevalent in younger sewing enthusiasts as well. 

If you are finding that the back neckline is too low, the shoulder seam too far back and the front neckline too high, this may just be the fix you need.  Watch the video to get two versions of this very simple but effective pattern adjustment for a forward neck posture.

All My Best,

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News For You: Marjie the Half Scale Alvanon Dress Form

news for you Mar 20, 2018


I've got a bit of news for you this week and it's something I'm really excited about. If you've been following on Facebook, you may have noticed a photo I posted about a week ago.

This is Marjie. She's a new member of the In-House Patterns team and will be serving you soon with some really great fitting and pattern making lessons! Watch the video to learn all about her! (Only I could get this excited about a dress form.)

Mentioned in this video:

Alvanon Measurements and Specs:

All My Best,

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Why the Front Pattern is Wider than the Back

quick tips Mar 01, 2018

For my more advanced sewing enthusiasts, this weeks video may be a little on the obvious side but I find that I get this question a lot so I thought I would cover it for those of you who are new to pattern making and fitting. 

Watch the video now and then come back here to continue reading because there's more to the story...

If you are a bit of a pattern making and fitting veteran the fact that the front pattern is wider than the back isn't new, so to keep you engaged, I've got a puzzle for you to solve instead.

Virtually all pattern drafting systems assume a B cup size which results in a front pattern that is wider than the back by 1/2" on each side. As you increase the bust cup size, the front pattern width increases accordingly so for a D cup you may find that your front pattern is wider by 1" on each side.

So here's something for you to consider. Bust circumference and bust cup size do not necessarily correlate, meaning two people with the same bust...

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: Troubleshooting Your Bicep Girth Adjustment

quick tips Feb 06, 2018

Recently I got an email from Gigi. She shared a lovely compliment, made a very valid comment about a blog post I did some time ago and asked a very good question. She suggested that her struggle with bicep girth adjustments was shared by many so in this week's video I share my reply to her email.

Watch the video now to get the whole story.

If you enjoyed this video, let me know! I'd love to get your feedback. If you've got a question or want to share your experience with this particular fitting adjustment, just comment below.

If you'd like to learn more strategies for recognizing, assessing and solving fit issues, there are just 3 spots left in The Fitting Fundamentals Workshop being held on March 10th right here in beautiful Victoria BC. (The cherry blossoms should be out in full bloom just for you.

All My Best,

If you happen to be a Threads Magazine insider, you might also find this article by Kathleen Cheetham useful: Fitting Plus Size...

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: How Patterns Work

quick tips Jan 30, 2018

This week I have a follow up video to Four Things that Will Get You to a Better Fit Faster. If you didn't catch that one you might want to watch it before diving into this one.

In this week's video I'll show you how to choose your pattern size and a quick way to determine the initial pattern adjustments you'll need to make using information gathered from the sewing pattern. I'll also share how sewing patterns are developed and why the quick fit method I presented in last week's video works so well for me. 

Featured in this video is The Pattern Measurement Worksheet which is a FREE download you get when you sign up for The Perfect Fit Guide. If you would like to get your hands on the worksheet immediately, just click the image below and I'll send it to you.

As I mentioned in the video, I'm currently working on a new online course. It's called Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block. You can take a peek at the course outline and get all the details by clicking...

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: Four Things that Will Get You to a Better Fit Faster

quick tips Jan 23, 2018

If you feel short on sewing time and you've been struggling with fitting your sewing projects, you need a quick start guide. Watch this video to get exactly that. I'll go over four things you can do today to get you to a better fit faster. 

After you've watched the video, I'd love to hear if this method worked for you. You can comment below, share a post in the In-House Patterns Studio Facebook group, or send me an email.

If you want to spend a little bit more time perfecting your pattern before sewing up a sample, get The Perfect Fit Guide. It's a free guide I created that outlines the 7 steps to getting the right fit on any sewing project. When you receive the guide, you'll discover all the key measurements you'll need to assess fit, how these measurements relate to the pattern, and what order to work to keep the fitting process moving forward. You'll also get tips for accurately adjusting and refining patterns for trouble free sewing.  Just click the...

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Quick Tips for Patterns That Fit: The Reason Your T-Shirt May Need a Bust Dart

quick tips Jan 04, 2018

Have you ever wondered why you have those draglines under the bust on all your T-Shirts? No matter how hard you try, you can never seem to be rid of it!

In some cases this is caused by a need for a full bust adjustment, but if you've already completed your bust adjustment and still have this problem, I've got some insight or you.  In this video, I tell you exactly why it's there and what you'll need to do to eliminate it.

After you've watched the video, let me know if you've had this issue and what you did to solve it. Leave your comments below if you've got some insight to share!

If you missed the demonstration on how to make a bust adjustment on a T-Shirt, watch this video now.

If you are interested in creating your own Custom Stretch Knit Bodice Block, you can explore the online course by clicking the image below.

All My Best,

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: Take a Walk

quick tips Sep 28, 2017

Hey there! Today I found a few minutes to record this Quick Tip video while I was preparing for The Fitting Fun Workshop I'll be holding in November.  This video demonstrates how to walk your sleeve pattern to ensure that it fits in the armhole after you have completed all of your pattern adjustments for fit.  This video will show you how to walk your seam lines, transfer your pattern marking and how to determine the amount of ease in your sleeve head.

I hope you enjoy the video and learn a few tips along the way.

You can learn more about The Fitting Fun Workshop by clicking the image below. It's going to be really fun and inspiring to see the patterns and projects attendees bring to work on. I'd love to see you there!

If you don't have your copy of The Perfect Fit Guide, you can get it by clicking on the image below!

 All My Best,

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If you've been struggling to fit your sewing projects you need THE PERFECT FIT GUIDE.
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