In Fitting Fashion

Fine Tuning Fit: Concave vs Convex Darts

 

You’re probably pretty familiar with darts. Darts are the most commonly found fitting elements in a pattern design so you’ve probably stitched many of them over the years. Whether you’ve noticed or not, the legs of the dart on most sewing patterns are straight, but have you ever wondered if you could improve the fit by making them curved? 

This was one of the first questions I got from a member of my new on-line course Fitting Essentials: How to Make Sewing Patterns Fit You.

Ruth asked:

"You’ve  talked about darts and the various ways they can be manipulated for fit and style. I’ve read in a few places that it’s helpful to put a bit of a curve in the stitch line so the dart fits better. Is this a good or bad idea? I keep thinking that it would be a longer seam and that it would throw off the rest of the fitting. And while it sounds plausible, how would you figure out what shape of curve to put in? My biggest issue with darts is that they...

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Here's What You Need to Know About Ease

 

This week I want to start a conversation about ease. It seems there is some confusion about where it goes and how much is needed so I thought I’d share some insight.

Let’s start with this:

There are three kinds of ease. Wearing ease, design ease and negative ease.

Wearing ease is the minimum amount ease over the body measurement needed in a pattern to live in your garment. It allows for just enough room to breath, sit, walk and do your normal daily activities. Each area of the body is assigned a standard amount but depends entirely on the garment and what activities you want to perform in it.

Design ease includes wearing ease and is the additional measurement added to the pattern that creates the style or silhouette of the garment. For example a boxy oversize top has wearing ease, for movement, and design ease to create the boxy look.

Negative ease is most often used for knit or stretch fabric garments that are intended to hug the body. This is the amount of measurement...

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Four Pattern Alteration Mistakes You May Be Making [That Are Affecting the Fit of Your Garment]

 

If you’re on my email list, you’ll already know I sent you something special last week. It was so special in fact, that I got over 40 thank you emails for sending it out. So if you haven’t opened an email from me in a while, you’ll want to check the latest one for sure. I’ve been giving away some of my best stuff lately.

Wondering what it was? Well, let me tell you.

It was my recently updated Perfect Fit Guide. It’s an 8-page guide that outlines the six steps to getting the right fit on your sewing projects and even includes the Pattern Measurement Worksheet which just happens to be the perfect companion to the guide.

GET THE PERFECT FIT GUIDE HERE

Today I want to talk about the 4 pattern alteration mistakes you may be making that are affecting the way your garment ultimately fits. This is covered in step six of the guide, but I’ve got a feeling most of you are glossing over this section, so here we go:

Mistake #1: You make your pattern...

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Fitting and Sewing Tutorial Round Up

OK so, truth be told, I'm taking a little break from filming this week.

You see, I know you may not have been keeping up with the weekly posts, after all you have a life to live and it doesn't always involve your sewing hobby. So I'm declaring this week a catch-up week! 

Here is a list of some of the fitting tutorials you may have missed or simply would like to review again. Everyone needs a refresher now and again.

The Forward Shoulder Adjustment (Two Ways)

The Broad and Narrow Back Adjustment

The Shoulder Width Adjustment (Two Ways)

Now if those don't sound interesting to you and you'd like to work on your sewing techniques instead, I've got these tutorials just waiting for you:

The French Binding Tutorial

How to Construct a Single Welt Pocket

The Front Fly Tutorial

Of course, if you've missed the last few weeks of video tutorials, poke around the blog or try out the search bar in the top corner of this page, you just might discover exactly what you need today.

Oh!...

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The Prominent Shoulder Blade Adjustment

 

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been talking about fitting the back.

Last week I demonstrated how to assess the muslin and adjust your pattern for a rounded back fitting issue.

This week I want to show you how to adjust for a prominent shoulder blade. I thought it important to cover this fit issue because it seems most people use the rounded back pattern adjustment to solve a prominent shoulder blade issue. While the rounded back adjustment will work to some extent, you may find it will cause another fitting issue.

Watch the video to find out why and what to do instead.

Resources mentioned in this video:

Three Ways to Manage the Back Shoulder Dart

How to True Darts and Manage Dart Volume

If you are looking for more back fitting tutorials check these out:

The Sway Back Adjustment Three Ways

The Broad and Narrow Back Adjustment

I hope you enjoyed this video! If you found it helpful, let me know in the comments or share it with a friend who might.

All My Best,
Alexandra

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The Rounded Back Adjustment

 

Last week that we talked about fitting the back and I demonstrated a little draping lesson to show you how important the back shoulder dart is to achieving a good fit.

This week, I want to continue the conversation about fitting the back by talking about what most people call the rounded back adjustment. I’m going to use my lovely assistant Marjie to demonstrate what how to recognize this fit issue in your sample and then how to adjust your pattern to correct it.

Next week I'll cover another common back fitting issue. I hope you'll tune in!

Resources mentioned in this video:

Three Ways to Manage the Back Shoulder Dart

How to True Darts and Manage Dart Volume

If you are looking for more back fitting tutorials check these out:

The Sway Back Adjustment Three Ways

The Broad and Narrow Back Adjustment

Enjoy!

All My Best,
Alexandra

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: Neckline Balance

 

This week I wanted to continue the conversation about neckline fitting so in this video I'm talking about the gaping front neckline and a method of correcting it that you may not have seen before. 

When you start drafting your own patterns or really study a pattern in depth, you begin to notice certain consistencies between all patterns and one of these consistencies I call neck balanceNeck balance is the relationship between the front and back neck width. You see, in order for the front neckline to fit smoothly without gaping and eliminate excess fabric across the front chest, the back neck width needs to be larger (wider) than the front neck width.  If you want to understand more clearly what I mean, simply watch the video, I cover the theory and the practice to correcting this fitting issue.

Enjoy!

All My Best,
Alexandra

PS 
For more help with your personal fitting issues, join me in the Fitting Fun Workshop! You'll work on a project of...

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: The Forward Neck Adjustment

 

This week's Quick Tip is all about adjusting your pattern for a forward neck position. This adjustment is usually required as we advance in age but as we continue to dedicate a large part of our day to digital devices, it's becoming more prevalent in younger sewing enthusiasts as well. 

If you are finding that the back neckline is too low, the shoulder seam too far back and the front neckline too high, this may just be the fix you need.  Watch the video to get two versions of this very simple but effective pattern adjustment for a forward neck posture.

All My Best,
Alexandra 

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Why the Front Pattern is Wider than the Back

 

For my more advanced sewing enthusiasts, this weeks video may be a little on the obvious side but I find that I get this question a lot so I thought I would cover it for those of you who are new to pattern making and fitting. 

Watch the video now and then come back here to continue reading because there's more to the story...

If you are a bit of a pattern making and fitting veteran the fact that the front pattern is wider than the back isn't new, so to keep you engaged, I've got a puzzle for you to solve instead.

Virtually all pattern drafting systems assume a B cup size which results in a front pattern that is wider than the back by 1/2" on each side. As you increase the bust cup size, the front pattern width increases accordingly so for a D cup you may find that your front pattern is wider by 1" on each side.

So here's something for you to consider. Bust circumference and bust cup size do not necessarily correlate, meaning two people with the same bust...

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Quick Tips for Patterns that Fit: Troubleshooting Your Bicep Girth Adjustment

 

Recently I got an email from Gigi. She shared a lovely compliment, made a very valid comment about a blog post I did some time ago and asked a very good question. She suggested that her struggle with bicep girth adjustments was shared by many so in this week's video I share my reply to her email.

Watch the video now to get the whole story.

If you enjoyed this video, let me know! I'd love to get your feedback. If you've got a question or want to share your experience with this particular fitting adjustment, just comment below.

If you'd like to learn more strategies for recognizing, assessing and solving fit issues, there are just 3 spots left in The Fitting Fundamentals Workshop being held on March 10th right here in beautiful Victoria BC. (The cherry blossoms should be out in full bloom just for you.

All My Best,
Alexandra

PS
If you happen to be a Threads Magazine insider, you might also find this article by Kathleen Cheetham useful: Fitting Plus Size...

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