Fitting Patterns

I am a huge fan of the fitting techniques found in the "Fit for Real People" book. I use many of them when cutting out new patterns. Yet I am always seeking more knowledge about fitting and open to trying new techniques that give good results.

A month or so ago, I read a book review at Pattern Review about a book on CD called "Demystifying Fit" by Lynda Maynard. In summary it is a book on using your sloper pattern as a guide to adjusting patterns to fit you. I have spent some time reviewing the CD and decided to try this method of fitting patterns.

Yesterday I decided to adjust a t-shirt pattern I recently purchased called Pamela's Pattern. Using the patterns suggestion for deciding size, I traced a medium through shoulders, arms tapering to large at under arm through bust to waist to hip. Per the CD, you take and trace your sloper pattern onto vinyl sheet. Vinyl thickness being similar to a shower curtain. I purchased a shower curtain liner in clear vinyl and used that to trace my sloper onto. I used Sharpie pens for the tracing. I use my Pattern Master Boutique sloper pattern.

You then begin adjusting with the back pattern piece because that is the easiest to adjust. The basic premise is that you adjust length first, then circumference. This is the same with FFRP techniques also. Lynda's premise is you fit from waist to shoulder point first. Once the length is adjusted, which for me, meant reducing this length for this pattern, you then deal with shoulder slope, then circumference. You need to make notes of your length adjustments for the back piece as you will need to do those for the front. You then do the front adjustments, starting with shoulder point to waist. Hopefully you get the gist of this operation.

Once you make pattern adjustments then you are to make a muslin. Additional tweaks may be necessary.

What I accomplished yesterday was to adjust the pattern pieces. I am now ready to cut out the pattern. I am using a knit fabric that is a good quality but one that the reality of the knit did not meet my expectations as I thought it would. What I saw on the computer monitor and what is reality is a bit off. I won't fret if I ruin this knit.

From this fitting method yesterday, it did confirm what some said about this particular pattern on PR, that it runs large. I discovered the medium in the upper area was large and could have traced a small. That did not match up with the instructions and sizing for this pattern per designer's recommendation.

More on this later.


  1. Hi Linda: this must be exciting, I know you've spent a lot of time thinking about and working with your personal sloper. I'll be watching for more of your thoughts on this CD. The pattern's sizing was too big and I wonder why many patterns get the design ease/wearing ease thing wrong when they get around to giving the recommended size for the measurements. After all, the patternmaker has measured and remeasured, right?

    Does "Demystifying Fit" address wearing ease and design ease and help with those decisions? The simpliest thing (for those with a well-fitted sloper) is to just overlay the sloper onto a pattern and then make the wearing/design ease decisions. However, doing that can sometimes lead to results that don't reflect the patternmaker's design and you end up with a garment that fits and looks like the sloper rather than the pattern.

    That's why I sometimes like to take a gamble and go with the patternmaker's sizing and let the result teach me about the patternmaker's vision. It is a gamble without referring back to the sloper but sometimes I like to just take a chance to test the patternmaker.

  2. This is quite an interesting subject for me too. I'll be very interested to see the results of your experiences.

  3. I can't wait to read more. Thanks for the information.

  4. People have misread what I've said before so I know this can happen, but did she really say this?

    "Lynda's premise is you fit from waist to shoulder point first."

    Could it have been shoulder to waist first? I mean, did she say to start fitting by moving up from the waist or going down from the shoulder? I would consider this a big deal.

  5. I don't mean to be a pain in the butt but I've returned several times to see if my question has been clarified. The answer to this question would tell me whether I should get this item or give it a pass (people ask for my opinion on this stuff all the time). I'd write you directly but I don't have your email address. I am hoping you can find the time to respond when you have a moment in your busy day. Thanks so much.


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