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  • Caroline Anne Pelliccia

Finding Your Finest Fit

Pattern fitting is an essential skill for anyone who enjoys sewing or wants to create custom-fit clothing. Whether you are a seasoned seamstress or a beginner, understanding the principles of pattern fitting can help you create unique garments that fit perfectly and flatter your body.


As you may already know, I do most of my personal pattern designing using my Sure-Fit Designs Body Blueprint (brought to you by the inimitable Glenda Sparling), which I drafted and perfected some years ago. I also use it to make personalized pattern slopers (or blocks) for others. The system has a really neat join-the-dots method of pattern drafting, and comes with the unique “Designing Stylus”, which has perfect curves for your neck, armhole, hip and crotch curves. Glenda also has way over 400 free articles and videos on her website to help you fine-tune your block.


Every now and then, though, I like to make something from a commercial or indie pattern that has been designed by someone else.


Sure-Fit Designs has a class for that too, but today I’d like to tell you about another fitting course which I just took for the third time. Not because it was incomplete before, but because there is just so much to learn about making sewing patterns fit you.


Alexandra Morgan from In-House Patterns Studio has developed the Kayla shirt pattern, and a corresponding course called Fitting Essentials, which teaches you how take almost any sewing pattern and customize it to your own body. Kayla features design choices like darts or princess seams, short or three-quarter sleeve options, a collar, and a back neck yoke. These are all incorporated to ensure that you learn how each part of the torso pattern can be fully customized.


My Kayla shirt from the In-House Patterns Fitting Essentials course


The path to perfect fitting is clearly laid out, with detailed instruction every step of the way. You learn how to:


- Properly assess your own body

- Take accurate measurements

- Choose the correct pattern size

- Make the needed adjustments in the correct order (length, then contour, then width, then girth)


My second sample of the Kayla shirt from the Fitting Essentials course. The idea is to have your fit as close as possible by the second sample, so that you can move on to making actual garments, and not get stuck in an endless spiral of sample making.


The course is quite intense and takes place once a year over an eight-week period. In addition to course videos which are released weekly, there are two “Live” sessions per week where Alexandra dives into each module more deeply and answers questions from students.


I have quite a collection of comprehensive fitting books, but this course has a couple of never-before-seen adjustments that eliminate all the unhelpful tweaks you may have been making before (sway back, anyone?), and replaces them with adjustments that keep the integrity your pattern on track.


It won’t be running again until the beginning of 2024, but you can get onto the waitlist now. I can’t recommend this course highly enough!


Until next time,

Caroline


P.S. I may not be a Glenda or an Alexandra (yet), but if you’re anywhere in my vicinity and would like some one-to-one help with your sloper, please feel free to complete the contact form.



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