In Fitting Fashion

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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How to Raise the Neckline of a Cowl Neck


This week I'm putting the spotlight on the Cool Cowl tank.  It's a quick and satisfying project designed specifically for knit fabrics and a D bust cup size. This top features a front cowl neckline and sleeveless styling; perfect for warm summer days or under a jacket for Fall. 

I've made a couple of versions of this top and in some fabrics the neckline hangs pretty low (see the orange rayon jersey version above). This is called "drop" and happens with drapey knit fabrics without a lot of stretch recovery. Basically it means gravity and the weight of the fabric take its toll on the garment and make it longer over time. This week, I'm going to help you pre-empt this issue by giving you the pattern alteration to raise the front neck drop on this style and eliminate the need to wear a cami underneath.

In the video I show you how to establish the balance lines on this pattern and share the secret to knowing how much you can reduce the neck drop on this style...

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How to Adjust Shoulder Width on a Garment with Straps


This week I wanted to revive a video I did a while back on how to adjust the shoulder width on a garment with straps [featuring the In-House Patterns Sophie dress].

I often see and hear comments on how making shoulder adjustments is hard, but it's actually very easy and definitely nothing to be afraid of. I am sure that after you've watched, you won't be intimidated by it any longer.

I made the Sophie dress for myself a while back and thought I'd share a photo. I made view A for it's sophisticated "little black dress" appeal. This pattern is 25% off until July 31, 2019 so if you like what you see, it's a great time to get your copy of the pattern

If you're wondering what the "other" shoulder width adjustment is, you can see it here: How to Adjust Shoulder Width on a Garment with Sleeves.

Just a reminder, if you are making a shoulder width alteration on a style with separate lining patterns (like the Sophie dress), be sure to make the same...

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How to Alter for a Forward Shoulder on a Raglan Sleeve


I’m wrapping up this month’s video series on raglan sleeves today so if you missed any of the previous tutorials, I suggest you watch them. I’m pretty sure you’re going to find some new to you information inside.

How to Create a Raglan Sleeve

How to Alter a Raglan Sleeve for a Square or Sloping Shoulder

How to Alter the Bicep on a Raglan Sleeve

Today I’m going to show you how to alter your raglan sleeve for a forward shoulder.

Dive right in and watch the video now!

I hope you enjoyed the entire series on raglan sleeves and gained some new insight as to how to alter them to fit you. If you try any of these methods, let me know how it worked out. I’m always happy to hear from you.

All My Best,

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How to Alter the Bicep on a Raglan Sleeve


This week we’re continuing on the topic of raglan sleeves. In the first video of the series I showed you how a raglan sleeve is created. In the second video I showed you how to alter for a square or sloping shoulder. This week I’m going to show you how to alter the bicep girth.

Watch the video now!

Let me know in the comments if this method is new to you, better yet, if you’ve tried it, let me know how it worked. I’m always happy to hear from you. Next week is the last video of this series and I think it’s one you’re going to want to bookmark.

All My Best,

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How to Alter for a Square or Sloping Shoulder on a Raglan Sleeve


This month we’re talking all things raglan sleeves. Last week I showed you how a raglan sleeve is created from a basic pattern block so that you can more clearly understand how to make them fit you. This week I’m going to show you the pattern work that solves for a squared or sloping shoulder.

Watch the video now!

I hope you are enjoying this video series. Next week we’ll be covering the bicep girth adjustment for a raglan sleeve. I think the method I’m going to show you will definitely be new to you. I hope you’ll tune in!

All My Best,

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