Fitting Patterns

These instructions will help you understand how to shift a side seam bust dart in your patterns to suit your own bust point.  First you will have to take a couple of measurements to know your bust point location.  Please make sure you're wearing a well-fitted bra.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have regular bra fittings, with a specialist, to make sure you do in fact have a good fitting.  If the garment you are making is for everyday wear, then the bra you wear when you take these measurements should be the bra you wear everyday.  If however you're making a special occasion dress then consider if the bra will be different or new.  This is very much the case for brides.  No measurements should be taken or calico toiles made until the bride has purchased her special day lingerie.

After so many pattern alterations to the first sample pattern, I'm excited to show you how the second sample turned out.  Below you can see the pattern alterations (brown paper) I made to the first sample pattern.  And I've selected a cotton/linen blend for the second sample.  You will find all the first sample and pattern alteration detail in this post:  Sampling the Flare and Gather Dress and Pattern Alterations - Flare and Gather Dress Pattern.

Now that the first sample has been made and fitted I'm able to bring you all the pattern alterations I have made to get this new design to work.  I'm still fascinated with this design and hope the final pattern is something worthy of all this sampling effort.  If you'd like to see the original pattern puzzle post you'll find it here:  Pattern Puzzle - Flare & Gather Dress

And now I'm ready to return to this little wonder!  From the original Pattern Puzzle post I've made an initial sample in calico to check the design and fit of this new design. Throughout this post I'll share each stage of the pattern alterations that I hope will end up in a delightful pattern.

In this post I hope to link up some of the illustration and patternmaking resources I have on the website so you can plan your pattern making creativity over the summer break.  These suggestions are a combination of free access blog posts, digital product you can buy and download and members blog posts with extra pattern making information.

So often I'm asked how I make my fitting toile's for Trouser Blocks, so I'd thought I'd put together a short post with some detail.  Many of the points are small but essential for a good #FirstFitting. You can access a download of my Trouser Block here.  I've also uploaded a worksheet that covers the detail for the first stage of fitting the trouser block.  The PDF worksheet includes detail instructions and technical diagrams to take you through every step of the process.

Last Saturday we swapped our regular #PatternPuzzle for some #PatternFundamentals.  The focus of the conversation was GAPE DARTS and how to use them in your pattern making to get a better result in your first toile of new designs.  You may know them as contouring darts as suggested by Alexandria of In-House 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.
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