1. Before you start, understand and properly match the relationship between pattern, fabric and your body.
- The grain and stretch of fabric- or lack of it- as it relates to your pattern. Don't discount the fabric suggestions on your pattern envelope.
- How much ease does the pattern provide? How is the pattern meant to fit the body? Where are the fitting elements and how can they be used to improve fit?
- What kind of fit do you like? Do you understand how your figure differs from the standard?
- With a well drafted pattern, you really should be able to get a reasonably good fit with these:
- HIGH BUST (I call it the CHEST. This measurement helps gauge/ fit shoulder width)
- FULL BUST
This number tells us what cup size you are and how much to add or subtract at the bust point.
If the difference is:
1"= A cup
2"= B cup
3"= C cup
4"= D cup
5''= E cup (also called a DD)
6"= F cup (also called a DDD)
7"= G cup (also called a DDDD)
- BACK WAIST
- SKIRT LENGTH
- ARM LENGTH
3. Compare your measurements to the Size Chart on your pattern envelope.
- Most of us are not just one size. To get a fit that will have the best fit with the least amount of effort, choose the size that will fit each area of your figure.
- The bust is the most troublesome area of the figure because most patterns are made to fit a "B" cup, but this does not always match every woman's figure. What size to choose for the shoulders and bust? If your full bust NOT 2" more than your CHEST, use the Chest measurement for the size to cut.
- If your pattern does not give a chest measurement on the chart, and you know that your pattern is sized for a B cup, subtract 2" from the BUST measurement to find the CHEST measurement for each size offered on your pattern.
- No "lengthen or shorten here" line? Make your own. I don't have a post to refer you for lengthening, but this one on shortening should help: How to Shorten blog post
6. Horizontal changes come next: Transition between sizes
- This SAL for Simplicity 1061 shows you how to transition between sizes and also includes information about the FBA (full/small bust adjustment).
- Hold on! Don't do an FBA yet, just make note of what cup size you are.
- Trace off your pattern, marks, and labeling in preparation for doing a full bust adjustment. If you do not need to do a full bust adjustment then skip this section.
- Time to do the Full/Small bust adjustment. This guide is for the Tia pattern, but the concept and steps are exactly the same for any pattern with a princess seam. For the Fantasia pattern, please use these and follow these steps: http://www.sewchicpatterns.com/images/Sew_Chic_FBA_instructions.pdf
- Truing is the blending of uneven curves and straightening of lines by blended or equalizing the differences. The adjusted seamlines are blended smoothly between the original cut and seam lines.
- Walking is the process of matching a seamline to the adjoining seam line. Walking a pattern is necessary only for changed seams. It ensures alteration accuracy. Any pattern piece that doesn't walk needs to be investigated for the cause.
- Patti Palmer did not invent this method, but has perfected and written about it for years. Though I tissue fit at the end of my alterations, I highly recommend it as a substitute for sewing a muslin. Watch these videos through Fabric Mart that show you how to do it: http://www.fabricmartfabrics.com/Fit-Along.html
Are you excited to get started?