2013 is the year of Sew the Perfect Fit

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.

Craftsy - 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!

Vogue v8766.  The free pattern that comes with the Sew the Perfect Fit course from Craftsy.

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.

We are what we eat

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…

20% off Sew the Perfect Fit

Good news for So Sew Easy readers - in return for this class review, Payhip have offered you all an exclusive discount off the Sew the Perfect Fit course - get 20% off using this direct link.

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.

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Donut Image courtesy of Sommai/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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19 Responses to 2013 is the year of Sew the Perfect Fit

  1. Sharon says:

    Thanks for sharing this Deby! I have been thinking about whether to get this class on Craftsy or not and it looks like it is well worth investing in it. I am a beginner sewer though and was wondering if the class is abit too complicated to do at the moment?

    • There certainly is a lot of info in the class, but learning to fit is one of the fundamentals of getting a good result and is just as esential for a new sewer as a lot of other sewing skills. Certainly the dress isn’t a complicated project, a beginner could tackle it. I think if you learn this skill early on, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration. I sewed a lot of clothes before the class and it annoyed me so much that I followed the pattern sizing charts and still everything was such a bad fit. Just take it slowly and you’ll be fine. Good luck!

      • Sharon says:

        Great! Thank you! Appreciate your thoughts and feedback! 🙂 I have recently been looking at alot of the clothes you’ve made on you and they look really great! You have a great figure! 😀

  2. Jemma Tredinnick says:

    The points are some kind of loyalty system which I think started about 6 months or more ago. They are just there at the top of the page when I log in. When you get 10 you get a free class. You get points for things like sharing on facebook( which I do very reluctanly as I hate being bothered by things like that), signing up for a free class etc. I have been dithering for ages about which one to take! I also am going to be doing the sewing on the bias class because Craftsy kindly gave it to me for free after sending me the wrong pattern size twice. I keep thinking that I should be sensible and do something about altering RTW as I do a lot of that – or pattern drafting from your own clothes. These woud be super useful but then I see trouser fitting and get excited! I will decide one day…….
    I sewed a lot (very badly) when I was younger but have only just started getting back into it and I am determined to do it a lot better. You are definitely right about the Danielle dress from Burdastyle. That is one amazing pattern without the weird sleeves! I am trying to make it sleeveless but with slightly wider shoulders for my second try as my work is having a “modesty drive”!! I love your patterns and clothes but will have to put them on hold until I can find some stretch – though I did make a couple of neat pencil skirts with bold and contrasting lining just to make it fun.
    Thanks again for your inspiring blog

  3. Jemma Tredinnick says:

    I have just signed up for your emails after stalking you for a while!! I also bought this class a while ago but it took 3 goes to get the correct pattern size to me so I haven’t started yet. I live in Malawi so I also struggle with finding fabric and notions – especially knits so I use the local brightly coloured cotton prints. I also haunt the local thrift shops for funky fabrics whih are mostly donated clothes from the states. I have actually earnt enough Craftsy points for a free class but I just can’t decide which one to take so I haven’t chosen one at all…. Any reccommendations would be gratefully received.

    • Deby Coles says:

      All stalkers are very much welcome – except in person! I’m intrigued by your post about Crafsy points and classes – I wasn’t even aware there was such a system – where can I find my points and how do I earn them? Sounds like you have a similar problem to me with fabrics. I am lucky that I get a weekend in the US once a year so I just bought some more fabric – it has been a bit quiet around here for new sewing projects but with my new fabric – so many possibilities. I think the class you chose depends on what you need to learn and the current level of your sewing experience. I am very new – just about a year now of sewing so I still have a LOT to learn. I’m enrolled in the Couture Dress class which is amazing – but I don’t have the right fabrics. Damn it. And for a bit of fun – the Sewing with Texture but I’ve not even started that one yet. Good luck with whichever you choose.

  4. Krista says:

    Hi Deby, I have this class on my wishlist as well. If i remember correctly it says you need a fittingpartner. I don’t have anyone nearby to pester with fitting help, so I was wondering if this class can be done without a fitting partner? Kind regards, Krista

    • Deby Coles says:

      It would be helpful but you don’t need one. I managed to do this on my own. In the course, the back of the dress is pinned closed on the model and thats impossible when doing it yourself, so imply baste the zip in place to make it easy to get on and off. Certainly there will be more on and off if it is just you, but it can still be done with some patience. Good luck.

  5. I took a fitting class in college and it was the best thing I did! We made our own perfect slopers from our own weird fitting issues. this class sounds great!

  6. becky says:

    I love the picture comparing our parts to different donuts. So true around here!

  7. ally and Woozle says:

    Last month, I hesitate to buy this class and I chose the fast track something. I didn”t like it and ask to swap for the Sandra Betzina’s class to learn how to make some trousers. May be I should buy this one… Have to ask the hubby ( oops )
    I stopped by from Sew Chatty Linky and shared this post through Facebook. I’m following you via Facebook now. I hope you’ll return the favor. 😉
    See you

    • Deby Coles says:

      At least you can show him that there is a discount off this class…I’m really enjoying it so far and am confident I’ll have a great fit as a result and will take away lots of techniques I can use on all of my future projects. The pants fitting class is much more specialised – I’ve done that one too, but I never really got the hang of it. I’m still too new to sewing and fitting to get a great fit on pants. It’s still on my to-do list to get to grips with this.

  8. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing this information; There’s so much to know when sewing!


    I was “pressing” a jacket this morning, using a press cloth, and I STILL burned a tiny hole. The fabric is some sort of burn-out and it is multi-colored. The burn place is just under the collar in the front so I doubt anyone will ever notice it. I was more careful after that. (I think I had my iron set for cotton, but turned it down after the burn.)

    Deby, I have also been interested in the Sew the Perfect Fit class. It has been in my wishlist for a little while. But I will wait to see how you go with it before I add yet another class to my already full list. Thank you, again, for your fun and enlightening posts.

    • Deby Coles says:

      I’m working my way through slowly. And I’m just at the stage where I am trying to squeeze my behind into that tiny skirt muslin – will I ever make anything wearable and even remotely fitting out of this tiny pattern – only time will tell. I’m certainly giving the course a good test with such big adjustments to be made. Still not sure the pattern is my style, but its a really interesting exercise.

  10. kathleen babbitt says:

    Hint, when ironing knits always put another fabric on top as a pressing sheet. could be a pillow case or some muslin it doesn’t take much for knit to burn it’s all polyester or a blend with a lot of polyester. or you could just put it into the dry on low with something wet and give it a 5 minute spin. that will usually take out the wrinkles very nicely. I loved the top and it fit so well on you! Just a hint from someone else that tried to iron a knit along time ago! lol

    • Deby Coles says:

      Yes, I learned my lesson. I didn’t even think to use a cloth on top. It ironed absolutely fine – right up until the point where it didn’t and it stuck in a big globby mess to the iron. I’m so glad it wasn’t a project I had invested a lot of time in, or a lot of money!

      • kathleen babbitt says:

        I hate it when that happens also.and it always seems to happen with my best efforts! lol live and learn

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