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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thoughts on Fitting

 I have been thinking a lot about garment fit lately. It is one of the most important aspects of sewing, and one of the most challenging to master. I had a class of new students this week, and I thought of a way to describe the importance of learning pattern alterations.
  If a sewist puts together a garment without checking for fit prior to cutting, then essentially she is investing a lot of time and money to discover that the garment does not fit. At least when shopping for ready-to-wear we learn of poor fit the minute that we see ourselves in the mirror in the fitting room. Making a garment that fits poorly takes a lot of time!
 For people new to sewing the discord between the size they wear in ready-to-wear and the correct  size pattern  is often the first hurdle. I am sure that there are many people who enthusiastically choose a pattern without  comparing their own measurements to that of the pattern. In fact it is likely that the majority of novice sewists don't even know their own measurements.
  A reasonable person would feel safe cutting a size 12 pattern if they usually wear a size 12 in ready-to-wear. I actually usually wear a size 8 in purchased clothing, but I use a size 12 pattern. This is not a huge problem unless we don't understand this discord.
 One of my favorite fitting books is "The Perfect Fit" from the Singer Reference Library.

 The copyright on my copy of this book is 1987, so it is far from current. That however doesn't mean that it isn't a very useful book! The photographs of real women in ill fitting garments accompanied by very clear photographs and written descriptions of flat pattern alterations are the most user friendly of any fitting book I have ever read.

 The dated 1980's  styles should be overlooked as the information is so valuable. Actually for those of us who sewed in the 1980's it is really sort of fun to revisit those styles!
 I have recommended this book for years, and find that it is always available at half.com www.half.com   or from Amazon. I have ordered copies for as little as $.75 plus shipping at half.com.


  1. Fitting sure is so important and as you know I've been learning how to fit and alter patterns to suit my body and it's making a huge outcome to the end results I'm getting and it takes a lot of the "hope and prey" out of the equation. There's nothing more of a turn off then to spend hours cutting out and sewing something that in your mind is going to look great and then at the end to discover it doesn't fit and/or it doesn't suit you.

    I think learning to fit myself and adjust patterns to suit is a journey I'm going to be on for quite some time and the more I'm learning the better the results I'm getting.

    I'll definitely have a look at getting this book and adding it to my sewing library for sure. Thanks for sharing with us my wonderful PinPal Patty :)

  2. Yes Chris, if you are ever looking for another source for really useful fitting info you can track down a copy of the Singer fitting book. It is one of my "bibles"!

  3. Yeh!!! I managed to order a copy of this book online tonight. So hopefully I'll have it in the next couple of weeks or so. It's coming all the way over from America. It was in the early 80's that I started sewing for myself when I was a teenager so I'm sure I'll love taking a trip down memory lane with the graphics. Actually don't tell anyone but I still happen to like some of the styles LOL. I can't wait to add this to my sewing library. Thank you so much for sharing and recommending :)