2015 Threads Challenge: Translate Measurements into a GREAT FIT

For the final 2015 Threads Challenge I chose the article “Essential Measuring Points” on page 57 of November 2015 Issue no. 181.

I had just finished reading How to Make Clothes that Fit and Flatter by Adele P. Margolis. This book was published in 1969 and is very informative as well as enjoyable to read. Chapter IV, “A Blueprint for Fashion Fitting,” teaches how to take your own body measurements and provides a chart on which to record them. The chart contains columns for your measurements, suggested ease for various garments, total needed, pattern measurements, and the difference between the total amount needed and the pattern. The rest of the book teaches how to alter the pattern using these measurements. Other than choosing a pattern by bust-waist-hips measurements, I had never compared my measurements to the pattern. I never even considered it. I often tried to pin the pattern pieces together and “try” them on. Not real effective. Or else I would make a muslin and end up hopelessly frustrated. No wonder fitting was such a nightmare! I agree with Ms. Margolis: “You’re sunk if any major changes have to be made after the garment has been cut.” (I’ve been sunk many times) But taking careful measurements and learning how to compare them to the pattern and make changes before the fabric is cut. . . genius!
The Threads article states: “Altering a pattern to fit isn’t, in theory, all that difficult: Simply make the pattern’s dimensions match yours, plus some ease for movement and style.” The article goes on to show you how to mark and measure points and lines on the pattern and how to compare these measurements to your own body measurements. It doesn’t go into how to make changes to the pattern if the measurements don’t agree. But my book is all about how to make any necessary changes.
I thought I would try this new-to-me technique with a semi-fitted dress. I used Burda Style 7078.

I’ve been looking at this pattern as a possible temple dress and thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out. (to make a wearable test muslin).   I won’t bore you with all the measuring and changes made to the pattern. It was kind of fun and kind of scary all at the same time. But I am so excited by the results. The dress fits almost perfectly. Of course, this is only a semi-fitted dress. I do need to make the sleeves a little roomier next time. They are ok, but they could be better. I am going to try a little more pattern alteration.

Wearing this dress makes me  feel beautiful. It’s comfortable and fits well. But seeing the photo makes me wonder if it really is that flattering. Hmm. Not sure.

I’ve actually cut out and sewn up the floor length dress for the temple.  I made the changes in the sleeves and it fits very well.  Now that I have finished the floor length version, I wish I had narrowed the skirt a little, there’s a lot of fabric at the hem!  I am just learning and every sewing project gives me more experience.  I am eager to keep improving the fit of the garments I sew using this technique.


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