I grew up watching my mother sew and desperately wanting to learn. Mom was afraid I would learn all her bad habits (are there any?) so resisted teaching me until I was old enough to take a sewing class and supposedly learn from an expert (as if my Mom were not). When I was 12, Mom enrolled me in a Singer Sewing course in August. I was too young to take the class, but the instructor said that if I could keep up, I could stay in the class. Well as it turns out I was able to keep up and made 2 complete outfits – one blue corduroy jumper with a coordinating blouse and a matching green corduroy vest and pant. I tell you I was hip in my corduroy when I started grade 7! My love of sewing continued as I took Home Economics (Clothing and Textiles) throughout junior and senior high. Of course, fit was never an issue, all I needed to do was lengthen the pattern.
Fast forward 25 years, married with a son, and things do not fit like they use to? What happened to the patterns, did something change? I realized that I no longer could sew up the pattern as is and looked for information on fitting. I came across Palmer/Pletsch tissue fitting method. I was intrigued and poured thru Fit for Real People trying to figure out if I had frown or smile wrinkles. Pati Palmer mentioned that the wrinkles were a clue, but my husband seemed as bewildered as I was when I asked if it was a frown or a smile. Well, it was obvious, I needed to attend a workshop in person to fully appreciate the method. Who would not mind a sewing road trip down to Portland without kids or a husband? So, my sewing buddy (my Mom) and I packed up and headed south. Wow what an eye opener – forward shoulder, high round, full bust to name just a few adjustments I needed. I learned that standard pattern companies designed for the 20 something B cup. Well after having a child I was no longer a B cup or had that 20 something hourglass figure.
I was on to something! Over the years I have been down to Portland for 12 different workshops (Fit, Pant, Knits, Jackets - rinse and repeat). It was always a blast totally immersing myself in fitting patterns and sewing. Along the way Pati Palmer convinced me to teach, I finally agreed realizing there were far too few garment sewers, so we needed to unite but how? In 2010 I took my first teacher training so I could hone my fitting skills. Soon after I started teaching fitting workshops in my home studio, Fits Sew Well was born! Teaching others to get that great fitting garment became my passion and I wanted others to realize how great that felt. I truly believe a lot of people have given up garment sewing as they do not know how to fit their bodies. Once you understand the basics, great fitting garments are for you to have.
I often find myself riding an elevator analyzing garment fit for those unsuspecting passengers. If they only knew what a good fit is. I guess they need to drop by the studio.
Here is to a great fit!