Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What's a girl to do.....

When her bestie is worn out, and out for service?
Well, I like to be productive, so reading blog after blog just kept inspiring me to be... productive.  So I thought.... When I read others blogs, I usually pick up something, some little detail that I had not previously tried and I squirrel it away to add to my repitiore of things to try.
So I decided to kill two birds.... I would be productive, trace out my next project... a spring skirt, and document how I trace out a pattern, just in case someone comes along, who has not tried tracing.
New Project, New Look 6189, view C, the skirt.

I like to use Easy Patterns tracing cloth from JoAnns.  I wait until I have a 50% off coupon, then I buy the whole bolt.  It is see through, yet thick enough to pin and not have to handle too delicately.

First, I locate the pattern sheets that have the pieces I need for my project.  Then I iron it.  It is much easier, and more accurate, to trace on smooth patterns.

Then I spread my tracing paper over the pieces I need, I tack it in place with a few pins in the outer corners, and then I trace all the pieces.  I trace all notches, darts, and information supplied, ie, pattern name, number, size I cut, date I cut them out, etc, anything I think will be useful the next time I pull this out to make a skirt.

Once I get all the pieces traced, I mark the seam allowances.  Using little dashed lines,  5/8" inside the outside edges of the pieces, as below.  This makes pinning, while tissue fitting, a breeze, no guessing where the 5/8" seam allowance is.  Makes for more accurate fitting.

Then I cut out all of the traced pieces and get ready to assemble them.

I lay the cooresponding edges together, ie, side front to side back, matching all notches.  Then I pin along the seam lines that I marked previously.

Here is the front half assembled.

Here is the back and front pieces all pinned together, so now I have a 3 dimensional pattern to fit with.
I pin them to KG2 ( my duct tape double) matching waist markings and center front and center back markings.
I suspected that the curvature of the waist band would be too much of a curve for me, as I am not very curvy.  and I was right. Below you can see that while the side seam of the skirt pretty much is in alignment with KG2 side seam, the waistband is not, it is pulling towards the front.

This issue is much more pronounced in the back,  The center back of the waistband is NOT in alignment at all, with KG2 center back, even the skirt center back is a bit shy of reaching center back.

To fix this, I will remove some of the curvature of the waistband.  I do this by making slits along the top of the waistband, just past half way down, it lets the skirt lay more evenly around my waist.

You can see, the side seam of waistband AND skirt are now in alignment.

The center back waistband is also now in alignment, but the skirt center back does not hang straight up and down, you can see that by my lower hip area (at about bottom of tan shirt) that the skirt is a bit shy of perfectly meeting my center back.  I will fix this by letting out the seam allowance along my lower hip about 3/8" tapering back to nothing as it clears my derierre.
Here is a close up of the clippings to release some of the curve of the waist bands
  and front....
To make these clippings permanent, I take a piece of scotch tape and tuck it down the inside of the clipping and then fold it up over the top.  That way I can capture the amount of the curvature release while it is still on KG2.
And that, is how I trace and fit a new pattern.  I find it well worth the work, (which I actually find enjoyable to do) and it gives you more confidence when moving forward to work with your fabric.  
Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
Enjoy doing what you can do!


  1. That is quite the process! I am just starting out and I aspire to get to that level of knowledge! Thanks for the info

  2. Thank you for the great step by step on your method of fitting patterns. It is very helpful. Is the duct tape double difficult and worth it?

  3. The duct tape double was a few hours work, and fun. My husband did the taping. That was 11 years ago, and I am still using her. So definitely worth it.

  4. Great post about your fitting process on KG2. I have a polystyrene double from years ago but i is too big right now. Thanks for inspiring me to make some changes to her and actually use her.