In Fitting Fashion

  • Fit! Fit! Fit! The Great Frustration

    Do you remember a time when you could take any sewing pattern right out of the envelope and it would fit? I do! It was glorious! No measuring, no adjustments…not a thing to do but cut and sew…

    …or… perhaps I didn’t really know any better. Maybe I wasn’t as fussy, maybe the styles of the time were more forgiving, maybe my 8 years as a fit technician make me see things a lot differently now. Whatever the case, those times have disappeared.

    I am fussy about fit.

    Weird pulls, pooling fabric and draglines make me crazy! Even when I see them on someone else! Seriously, I dream about fitting! I want to fix it, make it better, no, make it perfect!

    So, if you feel this way too, what are we to do?

    We know sewing our own clothing gives us the opportunity to create truly unique clothing that fits perfectly. But how do we get there when sewing patterns seem to have the same fitting issues as the clothing you can buy in a shop? Wasn’t it the ill-fitting shop clothing that brought us to sewing in the first place?

    Well, we can continue on our way, making our standard pattern corrections to each of our sewing projects, applying them to each new style, and hoping that the fabric pattern will disguise the issues we didn’t quite know how to fix. After all, it’s not just about looking amazing in our clothing. It’s about craftsmanship, skill building and a sense of pride and accomplishment. We’ll just keep trying and learning and sewing, because sewing is the fun part. Right?

    But is sewing fun if you don’t wear what you made because of poor fit? Is your beautifully sewn, unique garment in that expensive fabric making the closet feel good? Do you pull it out to show your friends every time they come over? Are they begging you to make them a “closet dress” too?

    If you’re anything like me, you probably put that beautifully sewn, unique garment in that expensive fabric on every once in a while, convincing yourself you’ll wear it this time, but always end up changing into something else before you leave the house!

    To change that scenario, change your perspective.

    If you want to feel a really intense sense of accomplishment I challenge you to take time for fitting. Not just a few extra minutes or an hour, a full sewing day. I want you to really look at the pattern, measure it, compare it to your body measurements, put the pieces together as if you were sewing it; really study it.

    Sew up a muslin sample. (By the way, I saw you roll your eyes there! I have to tell you, when I worked as a fit technician, we required three fitting samples for every style!) I know muslins aren’t new to you but I want you to think about them differently, really make a study of the garment, really take the time to assess it. With a new perspective things always look different. Be open to discovering something new. Don’t gloss over that funny wrinkle, this time…try a new fix…then make another sample…and another if necessary.

    This process is not a waste of time, that beautifully sewn, unique garment in that expensive fabric hanging in your closet, unworn, is.

    I can guarantee you won't regret the extra time you take with fitting. Did you know those high end designer garments that we look to for inspiration can take hundreds of hours to complete? That garment is assessed over and over until exactly the right look and fit is achieved.  When you take that extra fitting time and that project is finally complete you will be overcome with pride and joy. You absolutely will!

    If you are interested in accepting this challenge and putting a greater focus on fitting your sewing projects, I’ve put together The Perfect Fit Guide for you. If you don’t have your copy yet, you can get it here. It’s absolutely FREE, so there is really no reason not to have it on hand for reference. It will walk you through the fitting process step by step and may help you see fitting from a completely new perspective.

    The Perfect Fit Guide

    Please share your fitting experiences in the comments below.  What do you think about taking time for fitting?

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