In Fitting Fashion

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 3


We are smack in the middle of the Ava pattern making project. I hope you’ve been following along and actually doing the pattern work with me. Working on an actual project from start to finish is the best way to learn how to make patterns so I encourage you to jump in and try it.

If you missed the previous tutorials, just follow these links to catch up:

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 1

A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2

This week we continue the pattern work for the Ava top. Today you’ll learn two ways to manipulate the back shoulder dart and how to mimic the styling we created on front bodice on the back. Watch the video to see exactly how it's done.

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...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part 2


Have you been following along with the Ava design project? If you missed the first video tutorial, you can watch it HERE, it will set you up perfectly to jump right in!

 This week you'll learn how to use the contour neckline dart, rotate and divide darts and change the silhouette of your block. By the end of this tutorial you'll have completed the front bodice pattern and be all set for next weeks lesson.

If you 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 entire process from drafting through fitting.

Here's what one student said about the Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block course:

"Hi Alexandra. I have finished the course, made my toile, tweaked it (only a little needed) and have just completed my second...

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A Pattern Fundamentals Design Project: Ava Part I


The start of a new decade always feels pivotal. It seemingly offers an opportunity to start on a new path, break old habits, and get clarity or new insight on the things we may have taken for granted.

And So We Begin Anew

January kicks off a new Pattern Fundamentals series that I hope you'll enjoy. If you follow along, I think you'll discover that you'll awake your inner designer and get your creative juices flowing. I'm offering you that new path and new insight starting today.

In the first tutorial series of 2020 we're going to tackle a little design project together.

While simple in nature, this little woven t-shirt that I've named Ava, is the perfect skill building pattern making project. You'll learn how to rotate and design with darts, use contour darts, alter silhouette, create a neckline facing and much more. Over the next few weeks I'm going to walk you through the pattern development of this very simple sewing pattern from sketch to completed...

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How to Create a Raglan Sleeve


Recently I’ve gotten some great questions about how to fit raglan sleeves so I thought I’d put together a video series all about them. This week, I’m going to show you how raglan sleeves are developed because understanding that is going to help you understand how to make them fit.

 Watch the video now to see the demonstration.

Once you understand how raglan sleeves are created, fitting them is going to be so much easier. If you’d like to try this technique for yourself and don’t have a basic bodice block of your own, you can download and print my free scaled block patterns. If you’d like to create your own basic block pattern join me in my online pattern making course Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block. You'll create your own personal block that fits you!

Next week, we’ll talk about how to adjust a raglan sleeve for a squared or sloped shoulder. I hope you’ll tune in.

All My Best,

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How to True a Hem Line and Create a Mitered Corner


Today I’m wrapping up the series on "details count" and have some quick but important pattern truing tips for you that I think you’ll enjoy. These are simple but very effective in helping you create a professional finish on your hand made garments. This week I’m going to share how to true hem allowances and do the pattern work for a mitered corner.

Jump right in a watch the video now!

I hope you’ll find those tips useful in your next sewing project. If you’ve got something to add or share, don’t hesitate to comment below. Next week I’m taking a break from filming to enjoy some time with family but if you’re on my email list, watch out for next week’s email, I’m announcing the next video series topic and have a special offer all lined up for you.  If you’d like to add your name to the email list all you need to do is sign up to receive your copy of The Perfect Fit Guide. Just click the image below and I'll...

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What is Seam Line Ease?


Most sewers are pretty familiar with the term “easing”. You’ll find it in almost all pattern assembly instructions and you’ve probably done it several times if you’ve been sewing for any length of time at all. If you're new or returning to sewing you might be wondering what it is, when you might use it and why it’s even there, so let me clear all of that up for you.

Let’s start with a definition. In essence easing is a sewing technique used to compress a longer seam line length into a shorter one without creating pleats or gathers. There are a few techniques you can use to achieve this but before we get to that I want to explain why the technique even exists.

Simply put, easing adds 3-dimensional shape and replaces darts. As a result, you’ll find that you’ll often be directed to ease is some very specific areas of the pattern.

For Example:

  • Easing in the back shoulder seam or back neckline will replace a back shoulder dart.
  • ...
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How to Correct Seam Line Lengths


This week I’ve got a super quick video for you! Last week I showed you how to true your seam line lengths and check your notch positions after you’ve completed your pattern alterations, but from the feedback I received this was something new to a lot of you, so today I’m going to expand a little on the topic and show you another example of what to do if your seam line lengths don’t match.

Let’s jump right into solving this very common problem. Watch the video now.

I hope I’ve answered some of the questions you may have had about last week’s video. If you need to review that one again, you'll find it HERE.

As always, I’m happy to hear from you so leave your comments, questions and suggestions below.

All My Best,

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How to True Seam Lines


This week we’re continuing on the theme of "details count". Last week we talked about button placement rules that will help you get the perfect button placement on every garment you make. In today’s video I’m going to show you how to check and true your seam lines.

If there is one thing I’m certain of, it’s that many of you aren’t checking your patterns after you’ve made your fitting alterations. This can be problematic for you when you discover at the sewing stage that your pieces aren’t sewing together easily. So let me show you how you can avoid the frustration of having this happen to you.

Watch the video for all the details.

Resources mentioned in this video can be found by following these links:

Gala Fabrics

Start Here: Your Guide to In-House Patterns Video Tutorials

Button Rules: How to Position Buttons and Button Holes

How to True Darts and Manage Large Dart Volume

So tell me do you walk your seam lines and correct your notch...

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Button Rules: How to Position Buttons and Button Holes


This week I thought we’d start a little series that I’m calling “Details Count”. I often get questions and comments on my videos that indicate that most of you aren’t spending enough time reviewing your pattern after you’ve made your fitting alterations, so over the next few weeks we’re going to cover some of the often missed pattern refinements you need to do after you’ve altered your pattern for fit.

This week we're talking Button Rules.

The placement of the buttons at the center front of the garment is pretty important. When you make changes to the button size or alter the patterns length you need to consider how those changes are going to affect the button placement on the finished garment. In order to have a successful outcome you’re going to need a few guidelines. 

Watch the video to get all the details.

If that all seemed a little complicated I’ve prepared a Button Rules download that summarizes...

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How to Get a Professional Finish [Seam Allowances]


Last week we talked about how to get a professional finish on your handmade garments and I introduced you to some fashion industry techniques that you can use at home to help you achieve a high-end ready to wear look.

This week we’re diving a little bit deeper and I’m going to show you how varying your seam allowances can elevate your sewing. 

If you’ve been sewing with commercial patterns for any length of time, you’ll know that the seam allowances are generally a standard 5/8” (1.5 cm) on every pattern piece. This seam allowance definitely has its advantages and can even be a saving grace in many cases. It allows you some leeway for making fitting changes after a garment is cut, is suitable for a wide range of fabrics, and can accommodate several different kinds of seam finishes. This is smart considering pattern companies have very little to do with the type of fabric and seam finishes a sewist might choose to use on their project.

But this seam...

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