What is your greatest fitting challenge?

comments (17) February 22nd, 2010     

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VictoriaNorth Victoria North, product manager
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Fitting can be difficult for even the most accomplished sewer. Share the fitting problems you have the most trouble with.

What is your greatest fitting challenge?

posted in: fitting

Comments (17)

Rosalaya writes: To RED1944: I found that reading through the Patternschool.com website to be VERY helpful regarding issues for the construction of a fitting bra. I think it would be v helpful for your daughter's 'problem'.
Posted: 8:16 pm on January 25th
deemail writes: For Gerty, Take a page from the great movie designer, Edith Head...Barbara Stanwyck (and others) were so flat chested that she constructed most of their clothing with a ribcage hugging cumberbund style on the bodice to accentuate the waist. Then she added a small amount of fullness to the bust area to give the illusion of curves they didn't have....There was no padding or 'falsifying' of any type, just soft gathers which always look feminine. The bodice can be connected to straight skirts, full skirts and short peplums for tops. Look for old movies for ideas, Stanwyck wore dozens of these things with all manner of different accessories and adaptations.
Posted: 10:35 am on February 28th
RED1944 writes: I make proper corsets for my daughter, she doesn't need to wear them, she just likes to wear them. She is VERY busty and we are having trouble constructing a 'cup' that will fit her; she is an "H" cup size so you can imagine the problems. I have thought that I would be able to build a suspension bridge when I am finished as the principals are probably about the same. Is there anyone out there with any ideas. We even thought about contacting someone going for an engineering degree to see if they would do this for a project. There are no straps of any kind so you can imagine that 'gravity' really plays a big part. She is a 14 everywhere but the bust. I could use your help with this project. HELP!
Posted: 12:14 am on February 26th
Sewing2enjoying writes: I have several challenges fitting a garment to my body. I am narrow shouldered, small in the hips and thighs (compared to my chest and belly). I used to have large busts until my waist decided to catch up. If I fit the bust, the waist is too tight. If I fit the waist, the legs and hips are absolutely ridiculous. Any garment that fits at all around the middle usually also "hugs" the tops of my hips which are rather "boxy" at my age. The waist-fitted garment would be way too long. I have a hard time finding any clothing for myself in pants, skirts, or dresses. I have no problem with tops, especially since the "baby doll" tops are fashionable. I love them! I hate pants with elastic tops and that is what I find. They only tend to make my rear look large as they pucker just where I do not need puckers. I am quite discouraged. I have not been able to find a pattern that fits me, either. Patterns made for older ladies with a larger middle are drab and lack any color and/or style. I guess I just do not want to dress like I am totally giving up on my femininity, even though I am an older lady. I would probably like a dress that had tiers of 12 inch or larger fabric layers. I found such a top and I absolutely love it. It looks good on me, too. The only complaint is that the tiers did not go all the way around; only in the front. It has 3/4 sleeves which look good on an older lady, too. I sure would like to try a pattern like that. I would probably make it in a fabric that had body; not a silky, sheer-type such as a younger lady. It might even be a rather muted plaid or print, possibly even a little bit darker color, too. I would have to check fabrics to see what would look best. Sure wish there was such a pattern. Have surely not found one.
Posted: 1:07 am on February 25th
Gerty writes: I had a double mastectomy 4 years ago and opted out of reconstruction or protheses. Almost everything I have made since looks horrible on me. I no long sew for myself because I have thrown out so many of my projects! Any ideas? Thanks!
Posted: 3:16 pm on February 24th
m5clark writes: I am new to fitting. I am trying the pivot and slide method, and it worked pretty well. I have narrow shoulders, but a larger bust. When I choose a pattern for the neck and shoulders and enlarge for the bust, the armsyce is too high and small. It cuts under my arm. I can't seem to find a way to fix that. I would love any suggestions.
Posted: 9:25 pm on February 23rd
deemail writes: For Racy1Red, after sewing and doing alterations for 50 years, the best way to start on your pant alterations is to remove 3/4 of the waistband...sounds bad, just put in a movie and start picking....this works best for front zip pants. You are leaving the top center area of the waistband intact as it is the most difficult part to sew back on and you have just avoided messing with the buttonhole, etc.

1. adjust back waist seam till it fits waist, back seam will more than likely try to pull your waist into a 'V'
2. trim the fabric from the back waist seam, it will be in a seamed triangle, pick apart, and reserve...
3. adjust the pant length, if necessary, and reserve all fabric
4. open crotch seam and several inches of inside leg seam down from the crotch...now add the reserved fabric to the back crotch seams only, the front will be fine
5. baste the inside leg seams back in, starting with 1 inch new fabric at the crotch, fading to nothing at the bottom of the triangle, add all you have in the reserved triangles but you might not need it all later
6. check the back waist, is the 'V' gone? that's the right amount of extra fabric in the back crotch for you...remember the amount you added, it will be close in every pair you buy...
7. if you cut off fabric at the pant bottom, the new piece can be shaped easier, it's just that I'm used to the waist alteration and tall, too (no extra on hems)
8. replace the waistband and all belt loops and trim the extra waistband away, overcasting the end, as needed

Eventually, you will see that the alterations are best made to a pattern so you can make them fit in the first place...hope this helps....deemail

Posted: 7:18 pm on February 23rd
nancylee02 writes: Well my normal fitting problem is one curvy hip and one flat hip, which of course leads to one leg being 1/2" longer then the other. But I've overcome this problem years ago.
My newest fitting issue is pregnancy. I am in my sisters wedding this summer and will have to alter my bridesmaid's dress to allow for my 7 month tummy. Lucky for me it is princess seamed and I was able to order extra fabric from the shop. I'm thinking gourds and letting the cummerbund hide the points. I'm also thanking God that I'm not expecting twins!! :)
Posted: 5:11 pm on February 23rd
Susycue writes: I have several fitting problems: my bust is large, so my bodice front is always 2 sizes larger than my bodice back, regardless of what size I'm wearing at the time; I always have to lower the bust darts about an inch; my waistline dips in the front about 1"; my crotch depth is shorter than average; my arms and legs are shorter than average; long sleeves must be shortened about 2" and long pants must be shortened a lot. Readymade pants are a nightmare to fit, so I've begun making my own using what I learned from a wonderful teacher my mother & I had many years ago.
Posted: 4:29 pm on February 23rd
Cleo_Elaine writes: The biggest fitting problem for me is across the stomach. I wear a size 12 in everything but if there is a waist measurement it is always too small.Fortunately I make almost everything I wear so have learned to adjust most things.
Posted: 3:37 pm on February 23rd
raccoonsews writes: I have always had fitting problems,now into my 6th decade they have multiplied like rabbits. Narrow sloping shoulders and wide hips,short arms (I'm short too).I have gained weight post menopause so now I have a larger waist and tummy to add to the party.I have used the pivot and slide method to adjust my patterns with mostly good results. I have a slight scoliosis,but it doesn't impact the fit too much. My late mother had a much worse spinal curve and making dresses hang properly on her was a challenge. One trick I learned for her,was to put a thicker shoulder pad on her low side to make the dress hang better.
Posted: 1:31 pm on February 23rd
mcthea writes: I have several fitting challenges: large bust (DDDD cup)(but with a narrow upper chest); long waist; sloping, forward shoulders, high round back; sway back, flat rear, narrow hips (proportionally) and a (temporarily, I hope) thick waist. My greatest fit problems are my bust and my flat rear. I have several adjustments I make for almost all patterns: lengthen the front and back, add a bust dart (or an equivalent) and enlarge the bust area, adjust the back for high round back, sloping shoulders and sway back. If I am sewing pants or jeans, I almost always make a muslin (or 3)to try to get that flat rear and all that extra fabric under control.
Posted: 1:23 pm on February 23rd
BriaSolo writes: I agree with Racy1Red...I have hips and a small waist and I'm short - the deadly three! Buying pants off the rack is a nightmare! I have to do lots of tucking for the waist and hemming. With the amount of altering I have to do I might as well make them myself and now that I have a sewing machine again I believe I will!
Posted: 1:02 pm on February 23rd
LadyMel writes: Racy1Red: I just ordered a book called Pants For Real People by Palmer. Perhaps it will work for me and my mom (who I ordered it for),and you too??
Posted: 12:56 pm on February 23rd
LadyMel writes: I have trouble fitting because I am multiple sizes. I have a small bust and normal hips. Since I wear dresses, I must often use different sizes for the top and bottom of the pattern. Some patterns adjust more easily than others so some I just avoid altogether. Skirts are a problem because I am short and just shortening a pattern doesn't necessarily make it look good on me.

I think in fitting, some of the technique is just knowing what looks good on your shape, choosing the correct pattern, and then fitting it to you.
Posted: 12:54 pm on February 23rd
Racy1Red writes: I have wide hips and a very small waist so pants NEVER fit properly. I have to adjust the waist but still leave room to et over my hips. Its a nightmare. I have not mastered how to get a good fit in pants without using strecthy fabrics, any suggestions?
Posted: 12:51 pm on February 23rd
FinelyFabricated writes: Knowing which order the multiple changes should be made in. I'm almost 6 ft tall and am long-waisted, have long legs and arms. Those are the easy changes. I also have sloped shoulders one of which is higher than the other. I also have uneven hips, high hips and a sway back. I use multi-size patterns with princess seaming so I have more opportunities to fit.

I think I counted one time and to make a dress, I need 15 different changes to the pattern.
Posted: 12:23 pm on February 23rd
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