Fitting Sleeves: How to Diagnose Sleeve Fitting Issues

fitting fundamentals Dec 18, 2018

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

fitting fundamentals Dec 11, 2018

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 fundamentals Dec 04, 2018

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

fitting fundamentals Nov 20, 2018

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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Fitting Pants: The Crotch Curve

fitting fundamentals Oct 02, 2018

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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Fitting Pants: The Seat Adjustment

fitting fundamentals Sep 25, 2018

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...

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Fitting Pants: The Tummy Adjustment

fitting fundamentals Sep 18, 2018

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...

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Fitting Pants: How to Get Started

fitting fundamentals Sep 11, 2018

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....

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Fitting Fundamentals: Fitting the Back (Understanding Shape)

fitting fundamentals Jul 24, 2018

This week I wanted to concentrate specifically on the fitting of the back bodice. Fitting the back of the body is obviously challenging due to the fact that we simply can’t see what’s going on back there. When you twist to view the back or even move your arms, you automatically change the way the garment hangs. So what are you to do?

Well, I have a couple of suggestions in the video that may help as well as a draping lesson that will clearly show you what fitting elements are needed for a good fitting bodice without a gaping neckline or armhole.

I hope you enjoy!

Here are the links to the resources mentioned in the video:

The Perfect Fit Guide

The Fitting Fundamentals Video Series

How to Take Fitting Photos for Greater Fitting Success

Extra curricular viewing:

Three Ways to Manage the Back Shoulder Dart

Four Things to Get You to a Better Fit Faster

How Patterns Work

The Bust Circle Series: 

The Bust Circle Defined

Neckline Contour Darts

Armhole Contour Darts


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FITTING FUNDAMENTALS: How to Assess Fitting Issues-Some Guidelines to Follow

fitting fundamentals Apr 25, 2017

And here it is! The fourth and final video in the Fitting Fundamentals series.  If you've missed the first few, click the links below to get started.

FITTING FUNDAMENTALS:  Why Fitting is Difficult and How to Make it Easier

FITTING FUNDAMENTALS:  Three Fitting Methods to Improve Your Fitting

FITTING FUNDAMENTALS:  The First Fitting Session-How to Prepare Yourself and the Garment

Today's video is all about fit assessment.  I’m going to show you what good fit looks like, how to recognize fitting issues and the fitting order to follow that will keep everything on track.

Watch now to see it in action!

As I mentioned in the video, you can download The Good Fit Checklist absolutely FREE.  Just click on the image below to get started.

I hope this video and the entire series has given you some idea of how to get a successful start with fitting your sewing projects. If you're new to fitting, start with something simple so you can get a "win"...

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