Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fitting is a Journey...

(Click on the graphic for a full screen view.)

Here are a few hints to make your fitting journey more pleasant:
  1. To achieve beautiful fit, figure out how you differ from pattern company standards.  Then your clothes will look good and feel good!
  2. Use a visual scan to see your unique shape and drape fit your pattern as a starting point. Or take your measurements and make a few trial bodices (or skirts) to find the right pattern size for you.  
  3. Check ready to wear for your ease preferences in different kinds of clothes.  Write them down so they become part of your fitting system.
  4. Alter the pattern for your unique shape.  Clothes hang from your shoulders and body's bumps: upper back curve, bust, hips, tummy and so forth.  Fit to your widest points and add or subtract length to conform to your curves.  Remember to add your preferred ease.
  5. Make a muslin and look at reference lines to confirm your garment is hanging parallel and perpendicular to the floor.  Don’t over fit! If you make three (or more) changes to correct a problem, it's likely that you have not addressed the core fitting issue. 
  6. Apply muslin corrections, make your garment and tweak the final fit.  The pattern may be set, but fabrics often behave differently. Slight adjustments can completely change the look of a garment.
  7. Capture your fitting successes by re-using elements of patterns that you’ve fitted.  It takes time to find the best fitting bodice front, armscye and sleeve cap, or hip block.  Overlay new patterns on these tried and true elements, align and trace. 
  8. Smile and enjoy the journey! You're sewing for fun, right?