So far this year I've been sewing mostly with knit fabrics because I took the wonderful course from Craftsy – Sewing with Knits (review here with exclusive discount code and free course GIVEAWAY). Fitting a knit garment is a lot easier than a woven garment because the fabric stretches easily and accommodates any dodgy fitting issues. But now I think it is time in my sewing learning curve to move it up a notch (sewing pun intended), and take my fitting issues more seriously. So I have enrolled in my next sewing adventure – Sew the Perfect Fit.
When I looked back at some of the recent patterns I had tried, I found that I had commented on a lot of them that I found it hard to pick the right pattern size, and then still had to make a lot of, sometimes very large, alterations to get the damn thing to fit me even half properly. And I have a stash of some nice non-stretch fabrics, and some good patterns, but I keep getting them out and putting them away again and instead reaching for my knits because I just don't know how to deal with getting a good fit.
Well (stamps foot), no more!
The course comes with a free dress pattern with several different options including with and without sleeves and fitted or gathered skirt. I ‘ummed and ahhed' for a while and decided to go with the sleeveless dress – the blue one bottom left. It's so warm here all year round that I hardly ever wear anything with sleeves, and that gathered skirt would make me look all dumpy. But once I have the pattern correctly sized, those strapless versions look adorable.
It's certainly not the sort of pattern I would have chosen for myself. I am a very straight rectangular shape and anything with an obvious line across the waist and this sort of fit makes me look like a brick in a dress. But to follow the course closely, I will make up this pattern and see what happens.
The course comes in 10 lessons. So far:
1 – Introduction – a short lesson about Lynda Maynard, our instructor, and what we are going to learn in the course.
2 – Getting started. Where and how to measure yourself and how to pick your pattern size.
Straight out it seems I've been doing it all wrong – of course. I usually cross 3 or even 4 different pattern sizes according to the envelope and I've been using my largest size, usually my waist, to pick out the pattern size. My thinking being that I could take it in where it's too big.
Lynda taught me instead when making a dress to use the bust or high bust measurement to get a good fit in the shoulders and neckline, and then adjust from there because these are the most difficult areas to adjust. She says it's actually easier to add in the waist and hips than to take away. In addition, I learned that patterns are developed for a B cup size, and as a C cup I should take a measurement across the high bust area to make sure I get a good fit at the top and then adjust for a bigger cup size lower down.
My measurements are 36.5 bust, 33 waist, 41 hip. So according to the envelope I could be anywhere from a size 14 to a 20! I would have usually picked a large size to make sure there was room for my hips and square waist – and probably made up an 18. Instead I used my high bust measurement of 35 which makes me between a 12 and a 14.
To further complicate matters, I ordered the wrong pattern size which only goes up to a 12 anyway. Oops. So a 12 it is, and then I'll have a LOT of alterations to make the thing fit my cake-filled waist and hips. At least I will really be able to make use of the course and make a lot of alterations.
I'll be reporting back soon with my attempts to get my inflated size 18 behind into a size 12 muslin. Should be interesting! Not looking forward to the photos…
Disclosure – I bought the course myself and am not being compensated in any way from Craftsy for this course review. I really love the Craftsy classes and negotiated this special rate for your benefit. I am an affiliate so will receive a commission if you buy this course using my special discount link.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy
Donut Image courtesy of Sommai/FreeDigitalPhotos.net