In Fitting Fashion

Five Tips to Successfully Fit a Skirt Block

 

Every year in May I offer a Skirt Block Mini Class. When you sign up during the month of May you get access to the drafting instructions and 5 email lessons that guide you through how to use them.

This mini class is only available during the month of May so if you missed out on the opportunity to sign up, I highly recommend you add your name to my mailing list so you won’t miss out again. You'll get a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and weekly emails that will build your pattern making and fitting skills. Sign Up Here.

If you were lucky enough to get access, I hope you enjoyed the drafting process and have sewn up a test sample of your draft and are ready to assess the fit because in this video I’m going to share some important tips to help you get the fit you want.


Fit Tip #1

The skirt has been drafted to include 1" (2.5 cm) of ease in the waist and 2" (5 cm) of ease in the low hip. Your draft may have turned out to have more or less ease than this. The difference...

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How to Prepare a Pattern For Fitting: Part 2

 

Last week I showed you how to prepare a commercial sewing pattern for fitting using a fairly straight forward shift style dress. Since the dress I used as an example was very similar to a basic block pattern, it was a pretty straight forward exercise, once you understand how to manage the details. If you missed part 1 of this series be sure to watch it. 

This week we’re going to talk about how to prepare the pattern for a flared jacket with a raglan sleeve which you’ll soon see is not nearly as straight forward. Watch the video now to see how to prepare the sewing pattern and find the balance lines on a not-so-basic style.

I hope this example has helped you understand how you can prepare a stylized commercial pattern for fitting and give you the ability to start using the vertical and horizontal balance lines to assess fit. If you’ve tried or used this method to assess fit, share you comments on this page. 

If you want to learn more about balance...

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How to Prepare a Pattern For Fitting: Part 1

 

Fitting is difficult. No number of fitting books, classes and guides you’ve purchased with the words Fast, Quick or Easy in the title, is going to change that fact. Fitting is a process that takes time to perfect and a skill that is acquired through study and experience.

I’ve studied fitting for a very long time. It wasn’t until I started using vertical and horizontal balance lines on my garments that I truly began to understand how to make sewing patterns fit me. These markings made it so much easier to understand the origin and nature of fitting issues and eliminated the confusion of trying to “read the wrinkles”. Once I started focusing on the balance of the garment on my body the wrinkles would magically disappear.

When you draft a pattern to your personal measurements, these vertical and horizontal balance lines are the foundation of the pattern, but what do you do if you are using a commercial pattern? Well this month I’m going to share...

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How to Find Invisible Darts on Pants

 

Last week we talked about invisible darts on bodice patterns. If you happened to miss that video tutorial, take a moment to go back and watch, I think you’ll find it an interesting perspective on the fitting elements that many sewing patterns contain.

This week, I’m expanding on the topic to share the invisible dart locations you’ll find on pant patterns.

Take a moment and watch the video, you may not have considered the fitting elements that I share inside. 

Get your pant scaled block patterns HERE.

Enjoy!

All My Best,
Alexandra

 

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How to Find Invisible Darts

 

If you’re on my email list, you’ll know that last week I sent out a quick tip on visible and invisible darts. It spiked quite a bit of interest, so I decided to expand on the topic a bit with a supporting video tutorial so today I’m going to share some of the most common invisible dart locations and show you how you can discover their location on any pattern.

Let me show you how to set up your patterns in a way that will reveal even more examples of invisible darts.

Watch the video now for all the details.

Next week, I’ll share the invisible dart locations on pant patterns. Understanding their location might just help you get a better fit on your next pair. To get you started, visit my pant fitting video series and download the scaled pant block pattern.

If I've piqued your interest in the Fitting Essentials online course, you can get all the details HERE. Enrolment only opens once per year so sign up to the waiting list to be sure you don't miss your...

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How to Determine the Shoulder Slope on a Pattern

 

This week I've got a really quick video that I hope you’ll find truly helpful.

It answers a question from Kelly who wanted to know how to measure her shoulder slope. A quick google search will give you several options. You can trace your shoulder line onto a piece of paper taped to the wall or use an iPhone app to determine the degree of slant. I personally haven’t found these to be very accurate because you usually need a helper to work with you, so I rely on the sample fit assessment to tell me what the shoulder slope should be.

Once you have a sample a garment that fits your shoulder angle, you can record that information for future use. So today I’m going to show you how to measure the shoulder slope on a pattern so that you can use the information for future sewing sewing projects.

Once you watch the video and understand how to measure the shoulder slope on a pattern you can convert this information to degrees if needed by using a protractor. To fuel...

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How to Eliminate a Bust Dart

 

This week’s video is a response to a special request from Linda who recently under went a double mastectomy. Since she still wants to sew the vintage patterns she’s collected over the years, she’d like to know how to reduce or eliminate the bust dart on a pattern. I’m going to answer Linda’s query by sharing a tutorial that can reduce or eliminate the dart volume in a way that you’ve likely not seen before. 

Watch the video to learn how.

While the method I shared here resulted in a reduction or removal of the bust dart volume, it does not change the front waist and hip measurement like the regular small bust adjustment which makes it likely to work for people like Linda who have chosen not to wear a prosthesis after their surgery.  As with all adjustments, you may need to experiment to some degree to customize the pattern to your body.

If you enjoyed this video, you might be interesting in joining me in Fitting Essentials. Fitting...

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What You'll Learn from the Pattern Measurements

 

You probably already know that pattern companies usually supply a few finished pattern measurements on the outside of the pattern envelope. These usually include hem widths and total back length. These serve to give you some idea of the basic dimensions of the finished garment but are rarely very helpful in determining how the pattern will fit you.

You might have more luck by looking inside the pattern envelope. Often you’ll find the finished pattern measurements for the bust, waist and hip girth on the sewing pattern pieces themselves. These are the measurements that will actually help you understand how the pattern will fit. 

Let me share just a few things you can  learn if you are willing to spend a little bit more time with the pattern pieces.

We already know finished pattern measurements for the bust waist and hip can often be found on the pattern pieces but I want you to be a little bit cautious here because I have found that often the printed measurements are...

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Three Tips for Choosing Your Pattern Size

 

It’s a well known fact that most pattern companies provide very limited sizing information on their patterns.  Sewers are asked to choose their pattern size using three main body measurements; bust, waist and hip girth. The assumption is that all of your measurements will land within one size and the choice would be easy. For some of us it is, but what are we to do if our measurements land on two or three size possibilities?

Today I’m going to give you three tips that will help you make a definitive pattern size choice.

#1 Take Your Body Measurements Before You Start a New Sewing Project

The first tip I have for you is to take your body measurements before you start a new sewing project. My body measurements fluctuate by about 1” in circumference as I gain and lose weight throughout the year, so I take my body measurements each time I start a new sewing project. This way I am always aware of my current measurements. I personally use The Pattern...

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Six Steps to Fitting Success

 

Like the majority of sewing enthusiasts, you probably first learned to sew by following a commercial sewing pattern. Along with the step-by-step guidance offered in the pattern’s sewing instructions and a few video tutorials, you probably found it pretty easy to get acceptable results no matter how complicated the garment. You simply executed each step one at a time until the garment was complete. As your sewing skills progressed you likely began to imagine a unique and beautiful handmade wardrobe filling your closet, but you hit the snag that most of us do; getting a good fit became a struggle.

Fitting is generally thought to be a trial and error process and the one thing that impedes sewing progress. There seems to be no road map, no sequence of logical steps to follow and no hope of ever getting a pattern to fit. Today’s video just might help  you change that.

In this week’s video I’m going to share the step by step process I use on all my sewing...

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