January 22, 2011

I'm Crying Uncle

 Today we walked the dogs.  When we got back home, I pulled out my pattern.  I decided to use Simplicity 2475 instead of the McCalls pattern I showed you yesterday.  Partly because the pattern I really have is for a multi-length A-line skirt.  Um, yea - not.

So, I tidied up the studio.  Cleaned up the messes and set the jean jackets aside.  I read through the instructions.  Measured my hips sitting and standing.

And then, well then I did something I never do - I actually cut the tissue!  I always trace - regardless of the pattern, it's so much easer to make changes and blend sizes that way.  But this pattern wanted you to start with your actual hip measurement - so I did.

According to the pattern, I needed the biggest size - didn't really surprise me because - well I have hips, and bum.

Anyway - I pulled a small wale cordouroy from the cupboard (I'm loving cord right now).  And set about cutting and sewing the pattern up.  Well you can guess what happens next can't you? 

Right - too big!  First the skirt falls to well below my natural waist - not the 1" lower where the pattern says it sits.  Second - it's way too big.  Like 2" per side.  ARG!

So - the instructions don't really tell you if you should adjust length and then width or vis versa.  I think I want to adjust width first.  But honestly - I can't do this by myself.  Yes, I could run up to A's house - but that takes at least 90 minutes, I have to call ahead and then sit and visit.  I can't just make the adjustments and sew the seams.  I need to either pad Lou back out to match me so I can use her for fitting or teach JB to help. 

Until I can get help - either get together with a friend, or take it to ASG along with my sewing machine.  I'm just going to make a few more muslins and then maybe take up quilting. 

Can I ask - those of you without fitting friends?  How do you do it?


  1. I have no close sewing friends, so I do somewhat as you suggested. I sew a bit, wad stuff into the corner of the table. And make a quilt.

  2. I think that's the reason I gave up making garments years ago - I remember the last dress I made - I put it on and laughed and threw it in the trash and vowed that I would never do it again - and I've not even been tempted.

    When I was a young girl, I took a 4-H sewing class and the instructor would not let me go by the pattern but made me do the measurements and adjust like you did - and that dress never fit me no matter what adjustments I made. Had I have followed the pattern without the adjustments, it would have been fine, so I'm a firm believer that patterns are designed larger than they should be.

    Good luck!!

  3. Pins. Full lenght mirror. And much swearing.

    Turn everything inside out, pin, put on, repin (with much swearing and pain to fingertips), take off, mark, baste, turn right side out, put on, more swearing and cursing. Repeat.

    You have just hit on one of the major reasons I don't like sewing for myself. This process, repeated five or ten times in a garment's life, can be really hard on your fingertips, if nothing else.

    Also, I hate to be that person, but: "flat pattern measuring". Now, the reason I hate to be that person is that this is almost beyond useless if you don't know what size the flat pattern should BE in the first place, but still...

  4. I am of no help... except to share that my waist is currently about three inches larger than the size charts say it should be for the size I wear - WITH COMFORT and even ease!

    Booooo! I'm sorry it's so frustrating, because that's one cute skirt.

  5. Hi Gaylen,
    My dress form is pretty close, but I still have to try on and make fine fit adjustments most of the time. I pinch and pin out any extra fullness and then trial my adjustments with a basting stitch. Too many times I have been in a hurry and just serged the seam in "just a little", making the garment too small! Argghhh!!!

  6. Word of caution--- don't use Jay. I tried teaching Rob and it was hopeless.

    I don't know what to tell you. I never go by the measurements on patterns. I think they're way off. I go by the size I would buy for ready made. I also don't make muslins. If I question the measurements, I place the pattern pieces against a garment that fits the way I want and see where it differs. I've never had a sewing friend nearby, so I improvise.

  7. I'm of no help, except to share in your pain and say ugh.....

  8. I take it in. In this case, I'd start with 3/8" per side seam. I make certain that the waist falls at my actual waist, because anything else makes me crazy! And I adjust everything else from there. I try on - a lot! And then I rip out all of the extra seams, using plenty of HBO words as I do so. Try it! Cussing out your fabric will always make you feel better, I promise.

    And it appears this is basically what Beangirl said. She included the swearing and cursing, too. I think it's a requirement.

    And like Sue said, I've never had a sewing friend nearby. I wouldn't know what to do with assistance - we could probably sew up the whole world together, with time left over for a great lunch and to solve all of life's problems!

    As for measurements, I believe the measurements for the bust, but it always seems that the measurements for waist and hip are bigger than they should be. So I cut for one size less than the pattern says I am.

  9. Sounds like you've already got the best advice. I've never tried swearing, though I have cried. :-) It's been a long time since I sewed myself a garment...maybe this is why?

  10. Lots of trying on and lots of, as Marjie said, HBO words !

    Bob's good for pictures and overall visual impressions, but I haven't asked him for actual fitting help.


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