Resources You Need to Achieve Good Fit
Convinced you should make a muslin? Perhaps you're wondering just what is involved. Do you just sew a sample garment up and go from there or is there more to it? To achieve good fit, there are a few tips and resources you will find helpful before you make your muslin.
One of the most important things you can do is learn about fitting if you want to tackle any adjustments with confidence. If you have been sewing for some time you may already be aware of your fitting issues but aren’t so sure where to start, how to truly identify the problem area, or what you need to do to make the adjustment. Since it can be overwhelming, I wanted to compile a list of some of the resources I have used and found to be quite helpful when it comes to fitting.
Invest in a Good Fitting Book
My favorite fitting book is “Fitting & Pattern Alteration – A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting and Alteration”. This is a fabulous resource where you will find there is more than one way to make a fitting adjustment. The illustrations are clear, the instructions are simple, and there is a good enough amount of white space to keep you from getting overwhelmed. This book is an excellent reference as you become more familiar with fitting issues and want a resource to quickly explain the needed adjustment.
Another good book is “The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, by Sarah Velben. It has large format color photos of real people and it will take you throughout the fitting process, from measurements to muslin! This really is step-by-step instruction. I recommend that you read through it first and then use it as your guide to fitting your muslin.
“Kenneth D. King’s Smart Fitting Solutions – Foolproof Techniques to Fit Any Figure” is designed to help you “read the wrinkles in the fitting process, decipher the message, and fix the fit.” His color photos of actual fitting sessions on varying body types will help you identify the fitting problem and learn how to fix it!
Look For Online Resources
Craftsy, a creative crafts online membership has some wonderful classes on fitting by some of the best sewing experts. Here are some of my favorites:
Lynda Maynard’s class, Sew the Perfect Fit
Linda Lee’s class, Fitting Solo From Measurement to Muslin
Jenny Rushmore’s class, Full Bust Adjustment for Any Pattern
Kathleen Cheetham classes:
Custom Fitting: Back Neck, & Shoulders
Adjust the Bust: The Complete Guide
Plus Size Pant Fitting
While it may seem random to include a pattern making academy, understanding patternmaking really is essential to perfectly fitting your sewn garments. For instance, you may see that you are having fit issues but don’t really know how to tackle them by yourself. Would you like to be guided by a professional to get you through the process?
Tricia Camacho is the energetic and highly skilled professional costume designer of Creative Costume Academy. She offers one on one help through her interactive pattern community The Pattern Place, where she “teaches you all the foundational skills you need and then teaches you to draft garments from start to finish including fitting and hacking”.
This is a dynamic resource where Tricia conducts regular Q&A’s and walks you through your fitting and pattern-making issues, conducts live sessions both on FaceBook and Instagram. She hosts industry leaders in live sessions, hosts workshops like a recent bra-making session with Nikki G of @SewingM Style, padding a dressform taught by @brooksanncamper, and more.
Tricia regularly runs the bi-annual, and free Fit-abulous Fit Bootcamp, a five-day fitting bootcamp! Learn fitting order and how to make fitting adjustments no matter your body type. Not only will you learn where to start with your pattern and fitting adjustments, but she has broken down her system to 5 simple steps designed to conquer your fitting issues.
I had the pleasure of attending the bootcamp and joining the Pattern Place and found that link between understanding patterns and how to make pattern adjustments in relation to fitting issues to be a lightbulb moment. Tricia’s course provides the standards that work and simplifies the fitting and pattern adjustment process.
She is currently planning her next bootcamp for Spring of 2024. Join her email list to stay informed.
Gina Renee Designs has many free resources available on her website along with a book on fitting. I do hope to review it soon. What I have seen is very promising!
Some of her free resources include:
Free Top Fitting Guide
How to Use A French Curve
Free Pant Fitting Guide
Across Shoulder Fitting Guides – Narrow and Wide
Small and Full Bust Adjustment Guides
In-House Pattern Studio lead by Alexandra Morgan “teaches experienced sewers and budding pattern makers how to make and adjust patterns for fit and style.” She shares professional techniques in women’s apparel pattern making and pattern fitting as it relates to In-House Sewing Patterns. The courses and tutorials include free resources and paid courses. If you join her email list, you will have access to regular free tutorials. Her latest series is Developing a Handmade Wardrobe. It is packed with pattern work, fitting advice and regular practices that will help you in fitting and sewing your handmade wardrobe. Presently I receive her newsletter and enjoyed her free resources and tutorials but have not taken a paid course.
Free Downloads include:
The Perfect Fit Guide – A Step by Step Guide to the Fitting Process
The Good Fit Checklist – What Good Fit Looks Like
Fitting Photos – How to Take Fitting Photos
Mini Pant Block Pattern – Practice Fitting Pants
Mini Block Pattern Set – Mini Patterns for Practice
Mini Torso Block – Mini Patterns for Practice
Fitting Essentials – How to Make Sewing Patterns Fit You (Enrollment just closed but this course will be back in 2024 and you can be added to her waitlist.
Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block
Pant Fitting Foundations -An Advanced Framework for Fitting Pants (The next session is February 2024 the waitlist is open).
Join a Sewing Group or Sewing Club
Your local or the national American Sewing Guild is an amazing resource. Many local groups organize sewing retreats and host classes conducted by well-known sewing teachers. Many of the sewists have years of experience and are a wonderful resource of knowledge.
If you love couture you have no doubt, come across Susan Khalje and have been blown away by her many articles in Threads Magazine. Did you know she has a sewing club held on FaceBook? Take your skills to the couture level where “fellow sewists share knowledge, projects and stories about all things related to sewing”. Gain access to videos taught by Susan, such as the Classic French Jacket, discounts on her sewing patterns and other products, and she regularly has fun giveaways! Best of all Susan and SKC members are very active and comment on the sewing and fitting issues you are working out. Her members include many sewing and design professionals and beginners to the couture method of sewing. I have been a member for years and it is a wonderful resource. You will learn quite a bit from the comments and photos on fitting and couture techniques.
There are several FaceBook Groups you can join where members are active and provide some outstanding advice on fitting issues. This is perfect for seeing real fit issues and getting an idea of how to solve them. Here are a few I like:
The Great British Sewing Bee 2023
The Fold Line
In-House Pattern Studio
Sewfari Divas (Hosted by Claire Shaeffer)
Take a Fitting Class
If you prefer an in-person class, you may like any of the following:
We hope this list of resources will be helpful in finding a place to start when it comes to fitting your muslin with great success. Perfecting a good fit takes time. Be patient with yourself and most of all, don't give up.
When you take advantage of any of the resources listed you are going to learn quite a bit. It can be especially helpful if you join one of the FaceBook groups since you will see members working through their fitting issues and you will learn so much from the comments and the photos. Before long, you will be able to identify fitting issues more readily and be able to adjust your sewing patterns accordingly.
If there are resources you have used that you would like to recommend please add them in the comments section.
Until next time… Sew something fancy!
*Fancy Frocks Fabrics is not affiliated with any of the above resources. We just love finding some of the best resources to make your sewing successful!