Welcome to part five of the continuing series of tips and techniques on how to avoid the "Home-Made" look in your sewing projects.
by Janet Pray
Fitting may be the most overlooked aspect of making clothes that look and feel comfortable and stylish. For me it's not enough to just make a beautiful garment, it should hang from the body nicely and fit the wearer. So here are two things that will save you from spending hours making something that doesn't look nice or fit well.
1. MAKE A MUSLIN!! I know, I hear the groans already and I understand. I think the biggest objection to making a muslin is, "I don't want to spend the added time". Now if I told you that small amount of added time would not only make your project more successful but add extra joy to the construction, would you change your mind? If you are like so many sewers you fret the whole time you are making the garment, wondering if it will really fit. Now imagine how you will feel knowing as you construct it that it is going fit perfectly!
2. Learn pattern alterations because you MUST. When a pattern is created, the drafter has to start with a specific set of measurements so most women's patterns start with those of the ideal female, 5' 6" with a B cup and an hourglass figure. All other sizes are graded up or down from that model body. There are so many different body types and sizes in our world therefore this is the only efficient method of providing sewing patterns to the public. So we must alter, and it's really no big thing. Once you know how your body and measurements differ from the basic retail pattern you will be making the same changes to nearly every pattern. The excitement builds as you not only make your own wardrobe in the styles, colors and fabric you like, but they look especially great because they fit so well. Better fit also translates to more comfortable garments! Win/Win!