Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Evolution of Fit

I've had conversations with folks who used to sew, then quit and were too intimidated to start sewing again because of fit issues they now have that weren't there before...and been asked how I decided what I needed to do to fit the patterns.

That's not such an easy question to answer...I never really quit sewing, so as my body aged/changed I added more fitting adjustments to the repertoire. Like most of us, when I began to sew my own clothes in junior high and high school, I could make the pattern straight out of the envelope and it fit well enough that I wore it...I was pretty oblivious to fitting issues back then anyway. But that's not the case now, and I've been kind of reviewing where/when I learned to make the adjustments...

I suppose the first thing I learned to do was a pivot & slide alteration to change from one size at my shoulders to a size or two greater from the bust downward. For a long time, that was the only real fitting challenge I acknowledged.

The next was a thick waist adjustment...although I kind of fudged that one by learning to do a 'slightly stretchy waistband'. That is, I could fool myself into thinking the added girth was for wearing ease...taken up by the elastic.

Um, right.

Next on the list...a lowered bust point. One princess seam denim jumper made 6 or 7 years ago demonstrated the need for that alteration quite clearly.

Pants fitting was next; I've finally mastered the 'low seat' adjustment, although that one took quite a while to figure out all the details.

The most recently noticed fit issue is square shoulders...this one is an adjustment I just figured out I needed, so I'm at the 'learn it' stage...

The body changes over time; fit is an ever-evolving issue. Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don't. But I almost always learn *something* from trying....


  1. I agree - fit is a ongoing learning process and that the alterations you learn the best are the ones you figure out for your own personal sewing. I think it is hard to admit figure flaws in general, but a properly fitted garment doesn't bring attention to them.

  2. I am able to fit a pattern pretty much out of the envelope most times, but that certainly may change and I hope my sewing skills will improve as that need arises. I must admit that I am quite intimidated by all the fit alterations discussed by more advanced sewing enthusiasts such as yourself. But just as you said, I almost always learn something from trying a new technique. Even when I make errors, I learn something (usually not to ever try THAT again!). Thank you for your kind comments on my blog, dear Lisa!