In Fitting Fashion

The Kayla Shirtdress

 

I have a little pattern design inspiration for you today.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have already seen this in my stories, but this video is full of little tips that can help you take any shirt sewing pattern and make it into a dress. Watch the video and listen carefully for tips on how to alter the style of a basic shirt into a shirt dress with a waist seam.

I took this styling one step further and also created this tiered and gathered skirt as well.

This is why I truly believe that the time you spend fitting one pattern is never a waste; with a few basic pattern making skills you can transform any pattern into multiple garment styles.

All My Best,
Alexandra

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Designed to Fit: The Custom Stretch Knit Skirt Block

 

Introducing the recently updated online course Designed to Fit:  The Custom Stretch Knit Skirt Block!

In this course you will learn the foundations of stretch knit pattern making by developing a dartless stretch knit skirt based on your personal body measurements and the stretch ratio of your chosen fabric. Through this exercise you will gain the foundational knowledge and skills needed to successfully design uniquely you stretch knit pattern designs.

Add this online course to your In-House Patterns Studio course library today and get step by step guidance on developing a dartless stretch knit skirt block. You’ll take your body measurements, determine the stretch ratio of your chosen fabric and draft a custom size pattern using that information. I’ll show you how to balance your draft, adjust it for a tilted waist as well as how to check and true your pattern to perfection. You’ll also work through refining the fit of your block, making it the...

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Alexandra's Favourite Tools for Pattern Making and Fitting

 
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Alexandra's Favourite Books for Pattern Making and Fitting

 

I often get asked about the contents of my bookshelf, so I thought today you might be interested to see which books I use the most and would recommend that you add to your library.

Watch the video to get a glimpse inside my 5 favourite pattern making and fitting books. I share what I love about each book as well as some of the areas where the content is (just a little) lacking.

Here are my 5 favourite pattern making and fitting books:

Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear by Winifred Aldrich

 Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Armstrong

 Dress Fitting: Basic Principles and Practice by Natalie Bray

 The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen

 Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration by Elizabeth Liechty, Judith Rasband, Della Pottberg-Steineckert

Put one on your wishlist or send one to a sewing friend, I have no doubt you'll make good use of these books.

I hope you...

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How to Draft Culottes using a Flared Skirt Pattern

 

Every year in May I offer a Skirt Block Mini Class. When you sign up during the month of May (ending soon!) 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.

If you followed through with all of the lessons in the mini class you’ll already have a flared skirt pattern that you can use to follow along in this week’s project. If you haven’t created a flared skirt pattern yet, you’ll need to create one or have a commercial pattern you can use as your foundation because this week I’m showing you how to create culottes using a flared skirt pattern.

Watch the video now to...

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How to Draft a Basic Waistband

 

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.

If you were lucky enough to get access to the mini class, you might just be wondering how to finish off the waistline of your skirt. It’s the natural next step so today I’m going to show you how.

Watch the video to learn how to draft a basic waistband for your skirt. Once you know how to create a basic waistband you can use the information to make a waistband for any skirt, short or pant that sits on or near your natural waist.

If...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 7

 

Early this year I shared a 6 part Pattern Fundamentals video series that walked you through the process of creating a pattern design using your personal basic block pattern.

Did you participate in the Ava design project?

If you did, you may have come upon a bit of a stumbling block that I'd like to help you step over, so this week  I'm adding a Part 7 and answering a question that's come up quite a bit lately.

"What do I do when the bust dart volume isn't enough to create three neckline darts?"

If you stumbled at this stage, I have the answer for you today. Watch the video to learn exactly what to do.

If you missed the series and want to catch up use the links below to follow along!

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part I

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 4

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 5

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project:...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 6

 

Today is big reveal day!

We’ve been diligently working on a little pattern making project that I’ve named Ava. While quite simple in nature, this little project is packed with pattern making tips, tricks and techniques that will help you to understand how to use your personal bodice block. I hope you’ve been working on your own version along with me. If you’re just joining in, not to worry, I’ve got the links to all the previous pattern making tutorials right here:

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 4

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 5

If you don’t have a basic bodice block yet, take a look at my online course Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block. It will walk you through all the steps to create a made to measure bodice block that fits.

If you just want to give pattern making...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 5

 

Designing your own patterns using a personal bodice block is guaranteed to eliminate the fitting frustration that can come along with using commercial patterns. However, having a basic block that fits you is of no use to you if you don’t know what to do with it. So over the entire month of January we’ve been working on a little pattern making project that will help build your pattern making skills and hopefully result in a garment you can wear.

If you’re just catching the pattern making bug be sure to follow along with the entire Ava Design Project series. Here are the links to all the previous videos:

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 4

To follow along all you need is your basic bodice block and a few pattern making supplies. If you don’t have a basic bodice block yet, take a look at my...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 4

 

 We are nearing the finish line for the Ava pattern making project. I hope you’ve been following along and doing the pattern work along with me. If you missed the previous tutorials, click the links below to join in.

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3

2020 is the year you pick up some valuable pattern making skills and use them to create something you can actually wear. 

Last week we finished off the back pattern piece so we’re ready to move on to the sleeve and create the neckline facing. Watch the video to get all the details.

For those of you who already have a personal bodice block, I encourage you to try following along with me using your block. You'll gain the most experience and knowledge by doing so.

If you don't have a personal bodice block and want to create one, I have a very comprehensive online course that will walk you through the...

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