Tuesday, June 13, 2017

WEEK 2: Getting the Right Start with Fitting Garments

When it comes to fit, I take a simplified practical approach that will get me results fast. I don't do muslins for a professionally produced pattern because this is a consuming and expensive practice. If your pattern is NOT professionally drafted, or if you have doubts that the makers quality is questionable, I recommend that you measure your pattern before you ever start this process. Write the measurement results on your pattern in the measured location for easy reference. Assuming your pattern is well drafted, to get good results every time it helps to get off to a good start with these 10 steps:

1. Before you start, understand  and properly match the relationship between pattern, fabric and your body.
  • The grain and stretch of fabric- or lack of it- as it relates to your pattern. Don't discount the fabric suggestions on your pattern envelope.
  • How much ease does the pattern provide? How is the pattern meant to fit the body? Where are the fitting elements and how can they be used to improve fit?
  •  What kind of fit do you like? Do you understand how your figure differs from the standard?
2. Know your Measurements
  • With a well drafted pattern, you really should be able to get a reasonably good fit with these: 
    • HIGH BUST (I call it the CHEST. This measurement helps gauge/ fit shoulder width)
    • FULL BUST 
Do some math: Full Bust minus High Bust (CHEST) =_____________________inches
This number tells us what cup size you are and how much to add or subtract at the bust point.
If the difference is:
1"= A cup
2"= B cup
3"= C cup
4"= D cup
5''= E cup (also called a DD)
6"= F cup (also called a DDD)
7"= G cup (also called a DDDD)
    • WAIST
    • HIP
This SAL for Simplicity 1061 shows you how to take measurements.

3. Compare your measurements to the Size Chart on your pattern envelope.
  • Most of us are not just one size.  To get a fit that will have the best fit with the least amount of effort, choose the size that will fit each area of your figure.
 4. Choose a size and circle it!
  • The bust is the most troublesome area of the figure because most patterns are made to fit a "B" cup, but this does not always match every woman's figure. What size to choose for the shoulders and bust?  If your full bust NOT 2" more than your CHEST, use the Chest measurement for the size to cut. 
  • If your pattern does not give a chest measurement on the chart, and you know that your pattern is sized for a B cup, subtract 2" from the BUST measurement to find the CHEST measurement for each size offered on your pattern.
5. Vertical changes come first:
  • No "lengthen or shorten here" line? Make your own. I don't have a post to refer you for lengthening, but this one on shortening should help: How to Shorten blog post

6. Horizontal changes come next: Transition between sizes
7. Ready, Set, Trace
  • Trace off your pattern, marks, and labeling in preparation for doing a full bust adjustment. If you do not need to do a full bust adjustment then skip this section.
8. Make Interior Changes last:
 9. Make it True and Walk.
  • Truing is the blending of uneven curves and straightening of lines by blended or equalizing the differences. The adjusted seamlines are blended smoothly between the original cut and seam lines. 
  •  Walking is the process of matching a seamline to the adjoining seam line. Walking a pattern is necessary only for changed seams. It ensures alteration accuracy. Any pattern piece that doesn't walk needs to be investigated for the cause. 
10. Tissue Fit your Pattern to check the accuracy of your pattern fit for your figure: 
  • Patti Palmer did not invent this method, but has perfected and written about it for years.  Though I tissue fit at the end of my alterations, I highly recommend it as a substitute for sewing a muslin. Watch these videos through Fabric Mart that show you how to do it: http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/Fit-Along.html  
Whether bodice or skirt, the process is the same. Once you have checked your fit via tissue fitting, your alterations have been assured, it's time to cut your fabric and sew the shell. The fit is checked again in your fabric.

Are you excited to get started?

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