Fitting Fundamentals

Apr 5, 2022     GKFTII

Fitting Fundamentals

All patterns are designed around standard body measurements. You have learned to choose a pattern style that best suits your figure. The knowledge you have gained about your figure and about the illusions you can create with color, line, and design may be the most effective fitting tool.

Your pattern will fit you well in certain areas and not in others. You need to learn how to measure your body, how to select the proper size and how to adjust the pattern so its proportions fit your body exactly.

There are several ways to approach, if the differences between your figure and the pattern measurements are simple ones, you can check the pattern you are working on and simply make the adjustments in the pattern tissue before cutting your fabric.

You would make on the tissue before cutting out the pieces, but they may also involve making further alterations on the fabric itself after the garment is sewn.

If you are uncertain about the cause of your fitting problems and are unsure of how to correct them, you may choose to make a fitting shell. This technique gives you the opportunity to evaluate your figure and solve these problems and you will then have a master pattern for future reference.

Another option is a test garment, reversed for situations that require attention to the details of a specific design.

Pattern Tissue Adjustments
The first stage in fitting involves pattern tissue adjustments – those basic length and circumference changes that are made on the tissue pattern before the garment is cut from your fashion fabric. Minor differences can most often be handled with simple understanding of these fundamental adjustments.

The second stage in fitting involves alterations that are made on the fitting sheel or garment after it is basted together. Certain fabrics and designs may create a need for different alterations  in order to achieve the refined fit for which you are striving.

The fitting Shell
The purpose of a fitting shell is to analyze your fitting problems, determine the cause and establish a solution. If you have already done that without the aid of a fitting shell, then the process becomes unnecessary. If, however, your fitting experiences have been frustrating and unsuccessful, the time invested in making a fitting shell may well be the most rewarding in your sewing experience. In order for a fitting shell to be effective, it must be sewed with care; therefore it is not a project to be undertaken by a novice. If you are a beginning sewer, gain some technical experience first with projects that do not require extensive fitting.

Test Garments
Complicated designs and expensive fabrics, combined with a figure that requires involved modifications, may occasion the need for a test garment. For this purpose, make all the pattern adjustments you would normally make for a specific design, and then sew it first in an inexpensive fabric that is comparable in weight and characteristics to your fashion fabric. This provides an opportunity to perfect the fit before you cut into expensive fabric or make irreparable errors on compiled designs.

Alternative Solutions
A fitting problem is normally solved through adjustments and alterations, but don’t exclude other solutions as well. Perhaps your choice of design needs to be evaluated. If you have continually had unsucessful results with a particular type of design, it may not be appropriate for your figure.

Sometimes a pattern adjustment will accentuate a fitting problem and create an unflattering image.

Consider the alternatives as you evaluate your adjustment needs. The purpose is to avoid unnecessary adjustments and to create the most flattering image possible with what you have.

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