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Forum > Fitting Woes > Is there a better way to a better fit? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Is there a better way to a better fit?
Too much work to alter every pattern
meesa
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meesa
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 4/8/09
Posts: 276
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Date: 5/7/11 2:31 PM

I need some advice. I am frustrated in how much it takes me to fit anything to my body. I'm a 24 in the shoulders and then as I go down my body, I balloon out in various sizes. Should I invest in a fitting form or a program like Lutterloh? I need clothes badly but I can't get myself up for all the altering!

JeanM

JeanM
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 6/25/05
Posts: 183
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Date: 5/7/11 2:50 PM

What about getting just your "basics" altered - the items that you will wear over and over again (for me, it's a basic tee, pants, a button front shirt, and sweater/light jacket for layering - for example, I've one Jalie tee pattern that I've made up 10 or 12 times, with different necklines, different sleeve lengths, different hems...)?

Then you can use those patterns many times, just altering details (neckline, sleeve style, sleeve length, trims, etc.)...

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 8/18/02
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Date: 5/7/11 4:30 PM

Yes you need some basic patterns that fit you - TNT "Tried and True".

Then change the details or just the fabric for new looks.

Or you can try pattern drafting software like Pattern Master from Wildginger.com. That is the one I use. Still there is a lot to learn and settings to decide on such as ease, armhole depth, sleeve cap height. But you can compare your design to the fitting garment right there on your computer and you can measure garments you like for idea of what other setting should be. (Not affiliated.) I find its a lot of fun and I do get garments to fit better than ready to wear.

Or you can learn pattern drafting or other systems like Lutterhoff

mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Mississippi USA
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Date: 5/7/11 4:56 PM

I get overwhelmed easily with lots of things to do. I have to break it down to smaller amounts that are possible whether it is sewing or life in general. Try to focus on what garment you need the most,forget the rest exist and try to get a basic fitted as a tnt as was suggested and use it a lot fine tuning along the way before taking on a new pattern. Last year I was muslining some tees which I started out making deliberately too large and used these as sleep shirts with my pjs or wearable tanks under shirts all done with cheap thin knits I got to practice binding necks /sometimes armholes so with cheap knits it was win win for me and no waste of fabric as I made them progressively more fitted. I am thinking I need to start over from scratch and retrace when I start sewing again as I feel I know more than I used to and can do a better job with the pattern alterations. I also find it helpful to measure the rtw items I do own and like to get an idea of how much ease I like/need in places and finished lengths of things I like and flat measure patterns to eliminate some of the surprises. Fitting a pattern when you are plus is a lot of effort but even getting one basic to tnt status can really help with the empty closet syndrome. I felt like I won the lottery when I got a sleeveless tank fitted up that didn't show my bra straps or wasn't too low in the neck area. Just that one simple piece in a lot of colors and prints,knits and even some woven tanks under my jackets or worn under open shirts was such a wardrobe extender for me. I envy people who can just do a couple of adjustments to a new pattern and sew it but sadly I am not one of them. It is so worth the work though when you get a pattern even just one fitted up-much better than nothing in the closet.

whirrclunk
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whirrclunk
Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 8/24/08
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Date: 5/7/11 5:56 PM

I agree, a good-fitting 'basic' that can be made in lots of fabrics and with changed details is so worth it (and I'm a beginner, so I need many muslins just to get a 'simple' basic to be passable, never mind fitting well!).

If you really cannot face it, make just one alteration; you'll know which one makes the most difference for you. That way, your garment will still be a better fit than RTW.

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to meesa


Date: 5/7/11 7:31 PM

Quote:
and then as I go down my body, I balloon out in various sizes
Oh do I know this scenario! I'm all over the chart with a Burda pattern...

What I'd suggest you do is buy a fitting shell pattern. This pattern has absolutely no design and is very basic. You fit it to yourself, and from then on, you use those fitting techniques to fit their pattern. This way, you're not in the dark when you start something new.

If what you want is to do away with alterations entirely, that would be very difficult as your body is just for you. The Lutterloh program is nice; I have it, and I don't have to do a multitude of alterations, but I do have to do specific ones that are just for my body alone. If you're a 24 in the shoulder, it might work for you because the shoulder area doesn't change much throughout our lifetimes like our waist and hips do. Lutterloh is based on the principle of "If this (arm, leg, etc.) is a certain size, then that (shoulder, neck, etc.) is a certain size. It's used a lot in proportion and scale. You might want to get their free little pamphlet that has the blouse and shorts patterns in it to try out.

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"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
Intermediate
Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
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Date: 5/7/11 8:58 PM

In addition to finding some "tried and true" (TNT) patterns, try to choose garments that are less fussy about fit in general. A knit top with lots of ease, a drapy cardigan, or a boxy tunic that falls easily from the shoulder, for example, will be more forgiving than a tailored jacket or a blouse with lots of detail. Skirts will be easier than pants, etc. (Of course, you can also think of every seam as an opportunity to tweak the fit! So there are both sides to this! :D)

Good luck!

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~Gem in the prairie

petro
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petro  Friend of PR
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France
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Date: 5/8/11 2:23 AM

The best thing is definitely to concentrate on one garment type that you need to transform your wardrobe, and get as good a fit on that as you can, tweaking the pattern each time you try it until you're happy. Its often tempting to skip noting your alterations on the pattern, but doing that makes such a difference next time around. I'd caution against using patterns with complicated, interesting drapes etc until you've got a good few basics going, unless the pattern is for a fairly baggy unfitted cardigan or similar style. Dresses are usually harder to fit than separates.

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GBK

GBK  Friend of PR
Intermediate
GERMANY
Member since 12/24/07
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Date: 5/8/11 3:12 AM

Echoing what is said already, just to throw in some ideas how to come up with TNT patterns.

The first one would only work if you happen to have one or two RTW items where you like the fit or at least it fits better than what comes out of a pattern: Copy the pattern! There are many descriptions in the internet (even videos on youtube) how to copy a pattern from clothes without taking them apart.

Do you have a sewing buddy? Or attend sewing classes where somebody could help you? If so, you may want to make basic patterns by draping directly on your body. Or you do tissue-fitting with patterns as described in the Palmer-Pletsch books.

Do you wear skirts? Drafting a basic skirt pattern is relatively simple, and making some design changes is also not that difficult.

Good luck!

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Happy Sewing!

lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
Intermediate
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 11/10/06
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Date: 5/8/11 5:27 AM

Oh boy, this sounds familiar!

I have finally cracked the princess seam for my top half (my most challenging part as far as fit goes). Now I have that done, I have a traced copy of what fits around my bust and then just place it on top of whatever pattern pieces I'm using and trace both together onto a new sheet. I trace the neckline and any design aspects from the new pattern and trace my own version for the bustline and waist. It may not end up looking exactly how the designer envisaged, but at least it fits properly!

I do intend to make a fitting shell/sloper but haven't got around to it yet. It's probably a huge time-saver in the long run so procrastination is foolish, but still... !

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