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Tips & Techniques > "Don't measure yourself, measure what fits"

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Posted by: ryansmumAria

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Member since: 7/29/05
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Posted on: 7/22/10 9:25 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 7 people   Very Helpful by 26 people   
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Read this article by Threads Magazine to learn how to make your sleeves (and anything else) fit by using the measurements of a well fitting sleeve on one of your garments to use as your starting point.

This is hands-down the best sleeve advice one will ever need (this is applicable to all garments/accessories).

I have learned over time that the best way to fit your garments is to refer to your RTW ones for reference points. In addition to fitting, you will also learn about construction techniques from these garments.

I found this article to be one of the most informative and helpful ones I've ever read.

You'll learn how knowing the measurements of what fits you is even more significant than knowing your body measurements!

To help you get the best fit on all clothing, spend a few hours trying on garments that you like the fit of and start measuring. Draw a small basic sketch and write in widths and lengths at significant points.

Use this information when it's time to make pattern alterations on similar garments and you will have far less disappointments ~that I promise you!

Here's an excerpt from Peggy Sager's brilliant article...

"Don't measure yourself, measure what fits"

I've met hundreds of women who can tell me their measurements, but don't know the measurements of garments that fit them the way they like. I propose the following radical but practical notion: It's more useful for a sewer to know what works for her than to know what her own measurements are. (Sleeves are not the only garment details for which this idea is useful.) Once you've located your Holy Grail set-in sleeve or sleeves (a jacket sleeve and a blouse sleeve cover the set-in territory for me), all you need to do is measure it carefully in the relevant areas (including the garment's upper back, which controls the freedom of movement), then make sure that all your future garments with similar sleeves have the same measurements."

You'll find diagrams and more info at Threads Mag.

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persevering said... (3/23/11 12:40 PM) Reply
Thank you for your tip and link to article. Fitting intimidates me and has been a roadblock to my actually sewing - so I especially appreciate the information you have shared.
domesticatedmennonite said... (1/27/11 10:58 PM) Reply
You are so right. I've lived abroad, where tailoring is cheap, and I've told so many people to bring the tailor a garment that fits you well. In fact, don't allow them to measure you. But, do model the item for them before you leave. Much better results. It's a pretty rare 'tailor' who actually tailors from your measurements and does it well. Trust me, their price definitely reflects quality of work. In Thailand, get references from other customers (whom you consider well-dressed), bring in something that fits you and pay only a part of the fee in advance.
cactusflower said... (8/15/10 2:24 PM) Reply
What a wonderful reminder that if it fits, don't try to "reinvent the wheel"! This will save me lots of time, I'm sure! Thanks.
eleanor6666 said... (8/9/10 8:07 PM) Reply
What a great idea. I don't have anyone to measure me. This will greatly help.
tourist said... (7/26/10 9:25 PM) Reply
I have also found this helpful in seeing what in my RTW doesn't actually fit me as well as I thought it did. I would put on what I remembered as a perfect fitting garment and find that - surprise - it fits like RTW! So that's a good reality check. I can probably make clothes that fit as well as my RTW ones, but I want some that fit even better.
RLL said... (7/23/10 1:24 PM) Reply
I too only use finished garment measurements to sew by.
RobinMCPA said... (7/23/10 9:53 AM) Reply
I completely agree with this. The only way I ever pick a size to sew is by the finished measurements.
Nancy Mac said... (7/23/10 9:04 AM) Reply
I have so much trouble fitting these two area's. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm off to my closet now!
Rhoda K said... (7/23/10 8:14 AM) Reply
Definitely makes sense. Thanks for the tip.
elsew said... (7/23/10 7:18 AM) Reply
What an eye-opener. We have these magazines in our stash but how many of us put into practice what is in them? Thanks for jogging my brain....the next garment I sew will certainly fit much better.
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