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Pattern Fitting Rant
I am ready to throw out my sewing for good
Mary Heckman
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Mary Heckman  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 5/4/09
Posts: 428
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Date: 10/16/11 9:38 AM

I am so upset. I love to sew but when I try to make anything for myself, it never turns out. I can sew for my daugthers and things fit great. I realize I am a plus size and that is a chanllenge, but really nothing to show for my sewing. I am ready to give up trying. I looked into the Palmer/Pletsch FIT workshop they are holding in Phillidalphia and was consideirng signing up. Has anyone attended and did it help? Was it worth the money? I am grasping for answers. I have tried to find a sewing buddy in my area, but haven't located one to help me with fitting or measuring. I recruited my husband for measuring and fitting help, but that hasn't been successful. I was working with a lady over the internet for help and she was wonderful and helped a lot, but it is just so hard to work via pictures. I guess I want a quicker fix. Ladies/gentlemen have you had this problem? Do I give up and go back to making purses and crafts. I have even thought of giving up garmet sewing and just doing crafts. I am so tired of purchasing material only to give it away. Help!

meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Member since 5/4/11
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Date: 10/16/11 9:58 AM

I've started sewing more for myself recently and it is definatley much harder than sewing for my baby daughter! I learned to sew as a teenager and never learned how to make alterations becaue I didn't need any. 20 years and three babies later and I need all kinds of alterations. I'm finishing a dress right now and I think I sewed the waist darts 12 times before I figured out what shape and size worked! I had to cut a new bodice too. I had done a full bust adjustment before, but not with waist darts too. The whole thing has taken me two weeks so far and has put me way off schedule getting ready for baby's first birthday. All this to say that learning to fit properly is really frustrating for me too. I try to think about the end result because I have a hard time fitting my bust into ready to wear clothes and sewing them myself will give me so many more options.

I've been looking at the Palmer Pletsch workshops too, but with a small baby and two other kids in school, I cant work out that schedule just now. Are you looking at Steve's Vac and Sew in KOP? I'm in Center City, so that is a real hike for me. But maybe one day I'll be able to do a weekend workshop. There are reviews of the classes here on sewing pattern review.

After I finish this dress, I will be sewing some quick easy little girl dresses to balance the frustration with some instant sewing gratification!

------
Melanie

JTink
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JTink
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Posts: 6118
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In reply to Mary Heckman


Date: 10/16/11 9:59 AM

Mary, Don't Give Up!!!! I think most of us have been where you are, at some point. I've been garment sewing for over 35 years and still have those moments What have you been working on? What type of patterns are you using? What is your "shape"(apple, pear, rectangle)? What measurements are you using to choose your pattern size? Perhaps start with something with simple lines...say a cardigan. Give us some details...just don't give up.
About the classes...make sure you know who is teaching and if they are truly qualified. I took a "pants fitting" class locally about a month ago and it was a huge waste of money. If you are looking into a P/P class, make sure it's a P/P certified instructor.
-- Edited on 10/16/11 10:02 AM --

woggy
woggy  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 8/15/04
Posts: 699
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In reply to Mary Heckman


Date: 10/16/11 10:11 AM

Hi Mary,

I have taken a number of classes from Pamela at Steve's Sewing & Vac in King of Prussia.

She is an excellent teacher and really understands how to fit patterns. She also developed her own patterns - t-shirts, skirts, etc. that have been reviewed on this site.

I think you could learn a lot from her.

If you want, send me a private message to discuss more. I live about 20 minutes from KoP in Phoexinville. Is that anywhere near you?

Woggy




-- Edited on 10/16/11 11:17 AM --

Liz92B
Liz92B
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Alberta CANADA
Member since 12/21/09
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Date: 10/16/11 10:11 AM

... and don't believe that hype about buying a dress pattern according to your bust size ... if I did that, I'd have to take in every other dimension make it fit my small frame, then doing two FBA's (bust and belly). In my case, I start with a size 8 and adjust the front only to a size 18 (requires lots of fiddling!!!!!!!!)

------
Liz / Calgary

KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Michigan USA
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Date: 10/16/11 10:19 AM

I feel your pain. I was ready to quit and just make quilts. It is very difficult to fit your own body. I went as far as making a duct tape clone, but I am not happy with it.

I recently took a class at a sewing expo and had a pants pattern fit to me. She did in a few minutes what I had given up on ever achieving after many muslins, pinning, twisting, photos...I just did not know what to do. Now I am sold on getting an expert to help with fit. It is so thrilling to have someone look at you and just list off the adjustments I needed to make.

Anyway, yes, I have not been to a P/P class but go for it. I agree, be sure it is a certified instructor and that you will walk out with complete fitted pattern....not just instructions on how to do it later.

A tip from a plus sized girl....buy good patterns to start out. If your bust is larger than a B, buy tops according to your high bust measurement.

Good luck and come back with questions and photos. PR was a huge help to me.

Kathy

KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Michigan USA
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In reply to woggy


Date: 10/16/11 10:23 AM

Mary, is that Pamela's Patterns? If so, she has a fabulous tee. In fact that is my TNT and start off point for all my knit tops

Marie367
Marie367
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Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
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In reply to Mary Heckman
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Date: 10/16/11 10:29 AM

Mary, don't give up. I too have gotten very frustrated. As a teenager and young adult I made all my clothes. I stopped sewing for myself because I couldn't figure out the fit as my body has changed so much it is hard to know what adjustments I need. It does not help that the big 4 patterns are not right; each pattern seems to be different. When I measure myself, I find that the size the pattern says I need is usually way too big. If I was sewing for someone else, I know I could figure out the problem and the solution but I am alone in this journey too. It is hard to figure the fit issues out when you are by yourself. I have started taking photos of myself. This is helping. There is so much help on here as well for all kinds of fit issues. I am spending alot of time reading these boards-I am learning so much. I would think that lessons would help. I don't know about the Palmer/Pletsch FIT workshops but I have used their patterns and they are helpful. I would think the workshop would be helpful. The other plus to attending one might be that you would meet someone that you could connect with for sewing help. Hang in there!

woggy
woggy  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 8/15/04
Posts: 699
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In reply to KathySews


Date: 10/16/11 11:19 AM

Kathy Sews,

Yes, the same Pamela who teaches P&P classes in PA is the designer and owner of Pamela Patterns.

Woggy

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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British Columbia CANADA
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Date: 10/16/11 11:27 AM

I have yet to make many everyday clothes that work well for me. I would suggest picking one garment and sticking to it until you get a TNT choosing something that is not highly fitted (tailored jacket - NO!) and something that has a bit of lycra but not highly stretchy - probably a t shirt. I did the free fringe festival top and now finally have one good success that I can happily wear in public.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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