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Sewing for a Perfect Fit

The word cachet (sounds like kah-shay - from old French – meaning to press) indicates a mark or quality, individuality, dignity, distinction, or authenticity. To sew with an eye to individuality, excellence, and distinction would then be to sew with an identifying sense of cachet.

In a perfect sewing-world, all sewing patterns are sized to perfectly fit a variety of body-types right out of the pattern envelope; sewing short-cuts really produce classy end results undetected by any clothier; fabrics selected are always a breeze to work with, and no sewn seam ever would see a seam-ripper for correction. Sigh, such a sewing-world is not to be believed, however we can come closer to our own particular sense of cachet by striving for one of the identifying hallmarks of great sewing – a fabulous fit.

Unless your fabric is not-to-be-believed expensive, exotic, hand-crafted unique, or heirloom quality, it is not always necessary to first sew a muslin copy to ensure the best fit. When buying and selling a home, the Realtor’ simple but guiding mantra is location, location, and location. In sewing it should be measure, measure, and measure once again.

Some things to remember when trying for the best fit when using commercial patterns:

Take accurate measurements. Enlist the help of a friend or relative if necessary if you are measuring yourself for the hard-to-get-at neckline to back waist measurement and across the widest part of the back.

Always use your body measurements, not your ready-made, off-the-rack clothes size when selecting patterns. The pattern industry standard sizes have not changed in decades – patterns for women are still designed for the perfectly proportioned, 5’5” to 5’6” without shoes height, B-cup bra size, and are not at all close to contemporary ready-to-wear clothing sizes. Choose a commercial pattern based on the widest body measurement and make adjustments for the body's other dimensions. Newest patterns include bust-size adjustment instructions.

Career, and business casual clothing that fits well through the shoulders and bust area, plenty of ease, no tightness under the arms, no gaping of front closures, lined if at all possible, always looks well-made and classy, no matter the current fashion style of the season.

For sport clothing, stretch or Lycra-blended fabrics are our friends and surprisingly easy to sew with a little adjustment to sewing techniques. Patterns originally designed for stretchy fabrics work better than trying to adapt a pattern initially designed for woven fabrics. Using a sewing machine needle rated for knits makes for a surprisingly neat even stitch.

Children’s clothing patterns seem distant from the vagaries of fashionista whims. Children’s’ patterns are nearly timeless; it is today’s fabrics that provide the contemporary update. Fitting children’s clothing takes a backseat to planning for comfort, plenty of ease of movement, and durability of seams and closures.

Some of the offered sewing-thoughts may seem obvious. At times, a common-sense approach works wonders and gives the best results.

Simplicity Perfect Fit Guide

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Cheryl Ellex. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.


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