Fitting Patterns

As a follow-on from Taking Body Measurements, this tutorial will help everyone understand garment ease, what it's for and how to use it in pattern making.  Garment ease is the minimum amount of fabric we add to our body measurements so that our woven garments are comfortable in wearing.  That is, enough extra fabric to sit comfortably, bend your elbow, reach forward to grip the steering wheel when you drive your car or use the computer, sit down, eat lunch, bend your knees, etc.  When fitting basics blocks for woven fabrics, you'll always include the full ease allowance and when you cut patterns from these blocks you can alter the ease to suit the design and fabric you're cutting.

My women's fitted block is a tailored, rather formal fit with the side seam sitting towards the back of the body.  The front block is 4cm wider then the back block.  This is a more tailored fitting and entirely appropriate for many garment types.  It's especially fabulous when used to make a a corset block or tailored jacket block.  The PDF download from the website is the original block and ideal for your toile fittings before cutting any dress patterns.  However many designs will work better if you equalise your dress block, in particular drape dress designs.

My women's fitted block is drafted past the waist, down to the hip level.  It's currently available as a pdf download here.  Although most drafting systems for a women's bodice blocks stop at the waist, it's essential for modern or commercial pattern making to have a bodice block that is fitted to the hip line and ready for both shirt and dress pattern making.  The addition of length past the hip line to the knee level renders this basic fitted block into a dress block.  Drop your centre front and centre back line and side seams straight down to your knee level and square across for the hemline.  Check the hip curve of your dress block, at the hipline, to make sure it has a clean curve after you have added the extra length to the knee level.

Back in the land of blogging and I've made a #FirstSample of the Vivienne Drape Dress.  Many of my pattern puzzles start with my Women's Fitted Dress Block (PDF available) and every student builds a pattern plan for the development of this special design.  All-in-all I think it turned out ok.  I will be moving the dip in the waistline a little closer to the centre front (CF) and taking the cut lines for the drape with it.  Checkout the revised pattern plan below.

Fitting Commercial Patterns is a very popular workshop for home sewers and textile teachers.  This week I've been going all-out to improve the workbook materials for this workshop in preparation for some professional development training I'm delivering in Melbourne next week to the Victorian VET textile teachers.  I've decided to share a section of that new workbook in this post, covering the Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) on an existing shirt pattern.

How many times have you experienced this; fabric pooling at the back waist in your dresses and shirts?  Well, I have the Pattern Fix for that!  Unfortunately, there is little we can do to save the sample, but we can do the pattern alteration to make sure it doesn't happen again.
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