Tag Archives: fitting

A Un-Done Dahlia

I don’t often post about unfinished garments but I don’t think this one will ever be finished. I ordered Colette Patterns new dress Dahlia during the prelaunch sale, because I loved the plaid version. But I wasn’t quite sure it would look that good on me.


I normally do an FBA on everything, but looking at the sizing and the gathers in the bodice I decided to cut a straight size and see how it went. I had 3 yards of a poly suiting in my stash and I picked up the zipper and bias tape at Joann. I also got some piping because I thought it might look cool in the raglan seams.

My hope here was to make a wearable muslin that was more wearable than muslin. That’t didn’t happen, mainly because that fabric frays like crazy! In the end I didn’t feel it was worth redoing seams that will probably just unravel again. I do think the style actually looks pretty good so it wasn’t a wasted effort.


Here’s what I learned for when I make a real version.

  • Shorten the waistband by 1/2
  • Hand stitch the waistband lining
  • Lengthen the skirt by about 2″
  • Convert back skirt gathers to darts
  •  Check the back bodice length. (It looks wonky in the photos but I may not have had the front pulled down enough)


I don’t really love the piping in the raglan seams, but I did learn something from that too. Next time I’ll use wash away Wonder Tape. The first seam I pinned and it came out wonky and then I had the brilliant idea to use Wonder Tape! So the second (and third and fourth) piped seams came out great.

So now I am on the hunt to find a nice weight wool plaid. I think a red/black buffalo check would be perfect. If anyone spots that in Portland – let me know!


Fit For Real People – Class 2

In Week to of my Fit for Real People we finally did some hands on alterations. After trying on my pinned together tissue, Marta suggested I do a 3 3/4″ Y-FBA and a 3/4″ broad back adjustment. The Y-FBA is new to me but it’s similar to normal FBA. It widens the top of the pattern a bit above the bust but this results in smaller side dart.



The big eureka moment for me was how she figured out how much of an FBA was needed….she measured the gap between the the center front of the pattern and my center front. Brilliant!  It was also interesting to see how other people were fitted and the adjustments they made.

Now I need to get this pattern cut out of fabric so I can pin fit it in Class 3 and choose another pattern for tissue fitting.

Fit for Real People – First Class

Last night was my first Fit For Real People class and I’m very excited about it.  If you’ve never heard about Fit for Real People, it’s a pattern fitting method designed by Palmer Plestsch that uses tissue fitting. There’s a good book on it and they offer classes and workshops. I am lucky enough to live in the city that is home to the Palmer Pletsch Sewing School – Portland!

book-fitrealpeople-2ndEdPalmer Pletsch does a 4 day workshop to teach their fitting technique but it’s during the week and costs $700. Ouch! However people do come from all around the country and the work to take this class so it must be good.  While browsing around I found they offer a workshop for locals that’s only $105! It’s a 4 week class that meets for 3 hours each week but covers the same topics as the workshop.

The Palmer Pletsch Sewing School is located in fabric mecca, aka Fabric Depot. There’s are large classroom and our class had 8 women. Most of the beginning of the class was spent discussing pattern sizing and the history of patterns and it was obvious our instructor Marta Alto was extremely knowledgeable about sewing. By my calculations she’s been doing this professionally for nearly 50 years…although she doesn’t look nearly old enough for that.

Then she measured everyone’s high bust line and told us our starting size. Mine was one size smaller than I usually cut.  Then one by one she fitted us in bodices made of gingham. For each size there were bodices adjusted to cup sizes through DD.  On each person Marta pointed out where it fit and what adjustments needed to be made. It was particularly interesting because 4 people in the class were the same size but were totally different shapes and needed different adjustments.

My adjustment sheet from Marta

My adjustment sheet from Marta

I ended up being 2 sizes smaller than I would normally cut. My adjustments would be the high round, broad back, full bust, and waist. Marta said nearly everyone these days needs high round (yay computers!) and waist. The good news was she said my back was very flat. I guess my posture is better than I thought!

Our homework is to select a top, dress, or jacket pattern and prep it for tissue fitting next week. The only rule is it can’t have princess seams.  I dug through my patterns when I got home and picked the pink bow blouse from New Look 6808.

New Look 6808

New Look 6808

We are going to do 3 patterns plus a skirt so I need to start thinking of what else I want to make! I can’t wait to see how these turn out.