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Message Board > Fitting Woes > AArgh! I can't get anything to fit! ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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AArgh! I can't get anything to fit!
I am ready to give up
idahodogs
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idahodogs
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Date: 7/26/12 12:28 PM

So frustrated!! I don't know where to start making fit adjustments. I am not even sure that I have the right size. I know that I need an FBA, but I don't know how to tell this problem apart from others. I am short (tiny), maybe have narrow shoulders? maybe have a high rounded back? maybe have a broad back? And of course, there're those huge boobs!

I have always struggled with big4 patterns being too big, even in the smallest size. I don't know how to tell if I have fit issues, or if the pattern is just too darn big! I recently got some Jalie shirt patterns, hoping that the wide range of sizes and good drafting would help me figure out what I'm dealing with. But I find I am too overwhelmed to even start tracing... what size shoulder should I trace? What size bust? How will I know what is a grading problem and what is a fit problem?

I SO wish I had a fit buddy nearby to me...

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
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Member since 7/20/08
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In reply to idahodogs <<
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Date: 7/26/12 12:51 PM

I wish we could be fitting buddies (I need one too!) I started sewing for our former housekeeper when she told me she had sewn as a girl. She thinks I just love her (and I do) but I'm on a mission to recruit her as a fitting buddy.

For Jalies - I've been told to start with your full bust measurement. Which ones did you buy?

What size bra do you wear? That will help you get more specific advice with respect to Jalies.

------
Mary


idahodogs
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idahodogs
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Date: 7/26/12 1:09 PM

I bought the Empire Crossover, T-Shirts, Sweetheart Top, and Scoopneck Tops. I'm pretty intimidated by sleeves right now, so I'm planning to start with the Scoopneck sleeveless top (B).

I measure 78cm at my high bust, and 87cm at my full bust. I wear a 30DD bra. By my full bust, I'd cut a Women's S or T, but by my high bust I'd do a Girls' P. I've heard of doing a 'Cheater FBA' in knits by cutting your high bust size and grading out to your full bust size below the armscye (and then back in at the waist), so I thought about doing that, but I don't want to obscure other issues or confuse myself further.

marymary86
marymary86
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Date: 7/26/12 1:35 PM

Do you have some cheapie knit (or even an old DH T shirt) to use to cut out the sleeveless t? Run a gathering thread where indicated and sew the shoulders and sides. Just cut it out according to your full bust.

Pop it on and see how it looks. You'll be out very little time or money (I need to do this - I dove into the Jalies by upper bust, FBA, and it was a fail.) That was the knotted top. Then I did another Jalie (I can look up the pattern number if you want) going by full bust and it fit pretty well.

At least it will give you a starting point. I wouldn't even think about binding the neck/armholes, etc. If it fits well through the shoulders, you'll at least have an idea.

And even before doing that, read the reviews for that pattern (especially from anyone who looks narrow shouldered, full busted).

I wear a 36E (which I think is really a DD isn't it??) so I get some of what you are going through.

Heck I may do this with you!

------
Mary


stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Subject: AArgh! I cant get anything to fit! Date: 7/26/12 2:08 PM

Have you read a lot of the threads here on Fitting Woes? That's one of the ways I've learned to diagnose fitting problems, so that when I see one now (on myself or on other people's posts), I can go, "Oh--that needs a swayback adjustment." Or "You need a deeper dart there," or whatnot. I like reading the posts and then guessing what other people will suggest, to test myself.

As for the shoulders issue--I discovered that I have extremely narrow shoulders (and short arms! Who knew?!) because a commercial pattern I was working with actually called for your shoulder width... and my shoulder measurement was 2" smaller than the smallest size given on the chart! Eek!! I can see it now when working with different patterns--but strangely enough, it's not something I even notice at all in RTW (frex, I don't *look* abnormally pear-shaped, bra straps don't slip off my shoulders, I don't generally have too much trouble getting tops or jackets to fit, etc.)

So I might try a project (maybe a fitting shell?) that calls for a LOT of different measurements. I don't know of one offhand, alas, but the measurements I'm thinking about would be similar to the ones you take here:
http://fabulousfit.com/howto_mearure.html

------
~Gem in the prairie

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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In reply to idahodogs <<


Date: 7/26/12 2:45 PM

I really believe that if you are having trouble fitting yourself and you have no knowledgeable sewing buddy to help you, and do not have the resources to buy a custom fitting session at a place like The Sewing Workshop, the most time- and sanity-saving thing to do is make yourself a dressform like this one, or this one.

You will need someone to help wrap you, but the result will be a view of your own figure all the way around, without twisting and wriggling in front of a mirror. You will be able to see your own asymmetries as they actually are, for a change. You will quite literally be able to sit down (or stand in front of) your 'self' and fit a basic pattern to your shape. You might have to buy or trace your basic in several sizes to narrow the size range.

I have used this fitting shell (bought during a sale, of course) to help me with size choices, and I do recommend it because it helps a beginner sort out fitting issues and learn something about the order of alterations.
-- Edited on 7/26/12 2:46 PM --

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/26/12 3:30 PM

I left you a note on the other thread

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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Date: 7/26/12 4:44 PM

Do you have any fitting books? I recommend either the Palmer Pletsch book or Sarah Veblen's new fitting book, both available on Amazon.com. That said go over to Peggy Sager's website and look at her free webcasts on fitting. I am not saying that I agree with everything she does, but it's a start. Buy a bolt of muslin next time Joann's has a sale or you have a coupon and make some muslins of basic patterns to better understand your body and fitting issues. If even the smallest pattern is too large you are going to have to learn how to grade down. As for your large bust, buy a pattern for your upper body by the upper bust measurement and make an fba. Buy skirts and pants buy your full hip measurement.
Fitting has a learning curve and it's easiest to start with something simple, a skirt is a good place to start. If you have one success you'll start feeling more confident. Good luck

------
www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

idahodogs
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idahodogs
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Date: 7/26/12 9:27 PM

Thanks everyone, for the encouragement

I have several fitting books... I probably look at them too much and get overwhelmed, instead of just finding where it doesn't fit and fixing it. I'm not good at saying 'there's too much fabric here, I'll pinch it out" - I say 'why is there too much fabric here, and will it be here on every pattern, and how much should I pinch out'... etc.

A dressform sounds like a very good idea, unfortunately I am pregnant and changing (lower) body shape very quickly. That's why my sewing has turned towards the bust/shoulder area lately... a place I've always had a problem with and just avoided fitting until now. Maybe I could just make a partial-body-double!

I have a body map that I traced a couple years ago, but didn't have the skill at the time to 'read' it. I think I'll go back and see if I can gain any new insight from looking at it again.

Marec, I'm taking your advice and cutting out a size S Jalie top, I'll see where that leads me... at least if it's huge, the pattern already has smaller sizes.

Thanks again!

ETA: I looked at my body map and had my DH re-do some measurements for me. I do NOT have narrow shoulders, if anything I may have a broad back. I need a petite adjustment, tho I'm not sure how much yet, and I also fit squarely into a size 6 based on my high bust. Oh, and did I mention BIG BOOBIES?! I am going to need to get very, very good at an FBA.
-- Edited on 7/26/12 9:53 PM --

bluefly
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bluefly  Friend of PR
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Subject: AArgh! I cant get anything to fit! Date: 7/27/12 7:52 AM

You might try a Peggy Sagers pattern just because she offers free fitting help by email, phone or sending her a video. Her patterns have different cup sizes. You can view past webcasts on her web site at Silhouette Patterns. Then you could transfer some oof the knowledge to other patterns? Hope this helps.

------
"Let's make the most of this day"
bluefly

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