In Fitting Fashion

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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How to Solve Knit Fitting Issues-Part I


Remember last week when we talked about how to diagnose knit fitting issues? Well this week we’re going to solve them! We’re going to continue on with Robin’s sample and take the fitting assessment to the next step.

Before we continue on with Robin’s fit assessment though, I want to remind you about a free download that I’ve created that will help you with assessing the fit of your own projects. It’s called The Good Fit Checklist. It contains information on how to recognize a good fit, how to diagnose fitting issues and the order you need to work to solve them. Sign up to receive your copy; it’s absolutely free.

Now watch the video for the solutions to the diagnosis we made on Robin's sample last week.

Did you notice that Robin hasn’t added her horizontal and vertical balance lines on her sample?  If she had, it would be so much easier to assess the amount of change required and the location of the change. This is a fitting...

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How to Diagnose Knit Fitting Issues


Welcome to video #2 of the Fitting Knits video series!

Last week you got an inside peak at my online course The Custom Stretch Knit Bodice Block and I showed you how to determine the stretch ratio of your fabric which is an important first step in getting the right fit on your knit garments. This week I’m going to share a few insights on how to diagnose your knit fitting issues.

For this video, I’ve enlisted the help of Robin, who wrote to me in hope of getting some guidance on fitting her knit garment project.

Robin writes:

 Hi Alexandra,

I’ve been having trouble with all the tops I am making and can’t seem to figure out how to resolve them. I have spent hours on Youtube, the internet, books etc. I make my own patterns and have even used a commercial pattern, not to mention that every RTW shirt in my closet has the same fitting problems.

I can’t figure out how to get rid of the diagonal draglines from the back and bottom of the armhole/sleeve. I...

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How to Determine Fabric Stretch Ratio


This week I’ve got a special treat for you. This month we’re covering the topic of fitting knits so I thought you might enjoy a glimpse inside my online course The Custom Stretch Kit Bodice Block. This course teaches you how to draft a custom size t-shirt to your personal body measurements using the stretch ratio of your chosen fabric. It’s loaded with valuable information about knits and custom knit pattern making and I can’t resist sharing a piece of the information I know you can all use.

The stretch ratio of a knit is extremely important when it comes to getting a successful fit. In order to eliminate the darts on a knit garment, you must use negative ease and the stretch ratio of the fabric to force the fabric around your body contours. If you’re not using the fabrics ability to stretch, you will be left with draglines and folds that you must become comfortable with or manage in some other way. Over the next few weeks we’re going cover these...

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How to Find the Bust, Waist and Hip Position on Your Sewing Pattern


Last week I got a great question from Kimberly in the In-House Patterns Studio private Facebook group.

She asked:

"How do you find the bust, waist and hip position on a sewing pattern that doesn't have any of these markings?"

If you have a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide you probably had this question too so I decided to do a live recording of my answer and post it here for everyone to benefit.

If you don't have your copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and aren't sure why you would even need to know the answer to this question, I encourage you to get the guide. It's absolutely free and sure to answer a lot of your garment fitting questions. Just click on the image below and I'll deliver it straight to your inbox!

I hope you find the information in this week's video useful. Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below! If you want to see the comments on the live video you can see them here  Live with Alexandra

All My Best,

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Fitting Sleeves: How to Diagnose Sleeve Fitting Issues


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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