Hi Everyone!! Welcome back to Part 6: Cut and Sew a Fitting Sample. Wow, you should be very proud of yourselves if you’ve made it this far with me. It’s been lots of work, I KNOW, but I hope well worth the effort. Fitting is NOT easy, but I feel I’ve set out a series that is doable with your persistence. I hope you agree!! I want to hear from YOU!
Now it’s time to mark your fabric using your newly personalized pattern. I will continue doing my photo illustrations with Butterick 5300. With this method, you will be marking all lines from your pattern. Your waistline, bust line, all darts, cutting lines, seam lines, apex, center front and back and any other lines you feel will be helpful to check your fit. In the last segment, Part 5: Seam Allowance I suggested you leave the seam allowance you felt most comfortable with. Feel free to add extra to any seam that you feel will need adjusting later. Hopefully you will find that your sample will need minimum adjustments. Don’t despair if it needs small adjustments. You made sure the inches are there so you should be fine. We are dimensional beings, so we may need to tweak a little bit here and there to take your curves into consideration. This fitting sample is for you to make marks and notes. We will be using those marks later to apply those corrections to you pattern in Part 7: Fine Tuning the Sample~Making Corrections.
Start with fabric similar to what you will be using for your final garment. I used a simple cotton blend shirting in a light color for my demo. Fold your fabric in half to mark and cut your pieces together by putting carbon paper between the layers. If you have tracing paper that should be fine, but it wasn’t dark enough for me to see well on the second layer.
Lay your pattern pieces out on your fabric and trace your pattern onto your fabric. Please make sure your laying out your piece following the proper grain line. I suggest using a pencil instead of a tracing wheel because we want to see these lines. Sometimes the lines made by a tracing wheel end up being too light which is fine for sewing, however we want to see these lines. I will be tracing over my lines with pen and ruler later for accuracy and for you to see better. I suggest you do the same. They are permanent markings, not to be removed later. Please keep in mind this is a “working fitting sample”. We are going to be using this sample to perfect your fit.
After you mark your fabric, cut it out. Once again, since taken the time to have yourself measured (Part 1), add ease to those measurements (Part 2), selected a pattern based on those measurements (Part 3) measured (Part 4A) and adjusted your pattern (Part 4B) according to those measurements, added the seam allowances you feel most comfortable with (Part 5). You should feel pretty confident by now in your sample. I hope you’re excited to see your results as well. Love to see pictures if you’d like to brag a bit!! Please post them on my Facebook Wall.
Now it’s time to sew your fitting sample. I suggest using a long stitch or basting stitch on your machine in a contrasting color. Any stitch that can removed easily will work fine. Start first by stay stitching all of your curves edges. Mainly your armhole and neckline. These are too areas that get stretched out of shape easily and can cause fitting issues later. They can also be eased in ever so slightly to make fitting corrections. This is not to suggest adding shirring to any armhole or neckline not intended for those additions. We aren’t flat beings, we have dimension and that’s where darts, seams and easing come into play to improve our fit.
Mark the center front and center back with a basting stitch.
Sew all darts to the outside of the garment. It’s easier to make changes this way to darts by pinching out fabric or releasing areas for fine tuning.
Next sew both side seams to the outside as well as the shoulder seams.
Take your time and press each seam or dart nicely. Don’t press the side seams or shoulder seams open. Just press them flat and leave them together. Press the vertical darts flat and then towards the center front or center back. Press the bust dart flat and then down. The sleeve will be fitted later into the armhole once the armhole is checked on the fitting sample.
There you have it for this week! Take your time with this step because this is where all your efforts will be rewarded. Next week I will be taking you through a series of check points in Part 7: Fine Tuning the Sample~Making Corrections. Don’t forget, I’m still planning to conclude this series with a Give Away!! To qualify for the prize you will need to become a registered follower of my blog AND “like” my Facebook Page.
Thanks once again for all your support. I’d like to see more public comments because others can benefit from your questions too. Please keep all the private messages coming on my Facebook Page as well as the emails. I appreciate all your kindness and I’m always happy to hear how excited you are about your “Journey Back to Garment Sewing”!