I don’t hear this comment very often, but when I get emails or phone calls and someone says ‘My pattern’s skin tight’ or ‘My pattern is too big’, it always is important to first check that you’ve drawn your pattern correctly. And it’s not just drawing the pattern according to the simple SFD steps, but also that you’ve added seam allowances and cut and sewn the garment all accurately.
Here is a check list of variables that you need to check first because discrepancies with any of these can change the result of the final fit. And if you prefer to watch the video where you can see what I'm talking about, just click on the forward arrow.
- Measuring. Have you measured accurately? Taking accurate measurements is always the underpinnings to getting a pattern fit to your body needs.
- Marking pattern dots. Have you marked your appropriate measurement dots accurately? Make sure to use a fine/medium tipped pencil when transferring the master pattern measurement dots on to your tracing vellum.
- Check drawn pattern widths. Double check the widths of the resulting pattern before adding seam allowances. Measure the pattern from stitching line to stitching line, adding any relevant segments together. Make sure to account for the total circumference. Compare the measurement that the pattern is giving to your actual measurement. Remember that wearing ease is included in the master pattern. Check the specific instruction book for ease in the pattern you are drawing.
- Accurate seam allowances. Are the seam allowances 5/8” (1.6cm) wide? With the Designing Stylus, use the edge of the seam allowance slot that is nearest the outside edge of the Stylus to draw the allowance. Spot check for accuracy.
- Cut with care. Whether using a rotary cutter or fabric shears, cut carefully maintaining the 5/8” (1.6cm) seam allowance.
- Stitch accurately. Is the stitched seam allowance exactly 5/8” (1.6cm) wide? If you need to, place a piece of visible tape on the throat plate 5/8” (1.6cm) away from the needle.
- Personal ease preferences. Know how you like your clothes to fit. The Dress Kit skirt pattern gives 3” (7.6cm) ease in the hip, while the pants pattern gives 2” (5.1cm) hip ease. Some may find these ease allotments too little or too much. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
When you change any of these variables, your resulting fit will naturally vary. Please be aware of these aspects so that when you evaluate the fit of your test garment, these elements will no longer be causing any issues.