A Fitting Post...

 Hello everyone,

Before I start todays short post, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and blessed Easter time, whatever your spiritual tradition.

Today I am going to talk about fitting because in my post last week I wrote  that I did not always bother to fit what I call my hack garments. Things quickly made that are going to be worn around the house and for chores. That look smart, and are quick to make.  Of course, amongst sewers, this is not always the done thing, because we do like to look good.

And, sometimes, fitting is not what I want to do.  If I have a lot of frustrations in real life, I sometimes need to make something quick and easy with minimal fuss to restore emotional equilibrium.  I just sometimes need to sew things out of my system.

As you know, I often do take care with fitting, but not always with t-shirts!  With regards to last weeks t-shirts,  many of you felt that taking out fabric in the middle of the back was the sort of alteration that would work.  I never use this alteration for my shape, but this one because I have an erect and narrow back, which automatically shortens my back.  I have the corresponding high chest.  Often you do see alteration suggestions which take out fabric where the fullness falls, but I prefer this method.  Diane mentioned splitting the yoke in an arc, and this is on the right track, but both are needed.  A better result happens if you do the back alteration in the upper thoracic area if you have an erect back.  Sandra Betzina recommends this.  I have only found one article about altering for my shape!  So no wonder those of us that need this alteration revert to taking the pooling out as a swayback type of alteration.  And with an upper back alteration, I then have to alter the back part of the sleeve.  For a t shirt I do not bother, as with movement, the thing is going to ride up anyway.

The above diagram and text comes from this book, published I think in the 60's.  I found a moth eaten version in an op shop, and it really is a gem:

Nothing like a fitting discussion to get us sewers animated, is there?

And some garments I do take a lot of time and effort to fit. At the moment, I am exploring bra making, and have made up a few sizes.   This first set , Pin Up Girls Classic full frame bra)  has a 32B (too small) , a 30 band and 34 A, and a 30 band and 34 B cup - all Canadian sizes.  One of them fits, but I will tell you all about that when I make the bra.  I am still not quite sure how to explain bra fitting - I'm starting to get the gist of it, but need to work back through again to make sense of the different sizes and combinations.  The first colourful toile is from remnants, the rest are from an old nightie and t-shirts - I thought I should save my remnants for better things, once I established I was going to be making quite a few of these.

Then I worked on Booby Traps B003, another classic full frame bra.   Sizing was different in this bra, and I first made an Australian size 12A .  I thought it was not quite there, so then I made up Australian size 12B. And you may all remember I made up a bra just to practice technique - Kwik Sew 3594.  This was a little large in the cup size, but the band was okay, so I quickly ran up a 12A, which I think is better. I'm not sure what sizing system this pattern uses.

 And why am I mentioning the country of origin of the pattern and the sizing used?  It's because they vary, as do methods of measurement. Confused?  Yes, so was I, and I am still working it out, so I shan't try to explain what I think it all means at the moment!

As for the patterned fabric, a few of you have liked that on Instagram.  I was playing with pattern placement here, and trying to understand how it worked with bra pieces, because pieces run in different directions.

I have to admit it has all been an enormous learning experience.  Did I get headaches trying to figure all this out?  Yes, I did, but it was also enormously satisfying. DH commented that I really enjoyed working with 3D forms and shapes, and that I liked the technical aspects of this craft.  So, yes, I really do focus on fitting, especially where it matters.  Just not always with t-shirts!

I'm not sure when I will make the next bra because I am waiting for the correct fabrics to arrive by mail order. While I am small enough to be able to wear any fabric, I want to feel the correct fabrics and test the stretch and so on, so I know what I should be substituting or how to alter fit to accomodate different fabrics, perhaps with appropriate stabilisation.

And, as some of you know, I have already collected elastics.  You need all sorts for bra making - strap, arm, band are all different types or widths. And you need to have a range of colours, because as we all know, when you are a domestic sewer, you have to mix and match and hope it all looks okay. Whereas in industry, they often order the colours they want and have it dyed specially.  Still, I like the creative aspects of trying to make something look as though it is meant to be out of oddments of different things.

That's it for now.  Once again, thank you for your comments.  I am finding it hard to reply at the moment as I really have a lot to attend to in real life.  The same with Instagram - I don't have time to spare at the moment.  Sometimes you have to set prioritied. I do make sure I visit your blogs though and comment on them.

That's it for this week, back next week with I am not sure what.  Until then, once again, a happy, health and blessed Easter to all of you.

Sarah Liz


  1. The bra journey is by no means easy and I do applaud you for your diligence in working this out.

  2. Am enjoying following along on your bra-making journey and find it interesting all the information you are sharing. :)


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