Often a comment is left on one of my blog posts about the fit of a dress or how I fit myself. I have to admit that fitting has been a journey. A journey that I've been on for the last 20-25 years. So my fit has evolved over time and nothing about it has been quick...it's been a true process...and I wouldn't even say that I've arrived...since I'm always trying to do better.
So let's talk about this fit journey. When I first started sewing, I was a young woman with a firm body and very few fitting issues outside of a booty. My measurements fit well within the parameters of the pattern companies range even my height did not give me issues. For many years I blissfully sewed straight out of the pattern envelope.
Then I had children and my body started to change which of course meant pattern alterations. Although honestly, those first alterations were easy to accomplish because I was still a size 10/12 in RTW sizes. It was only after my third child was born, that I started to gain weight. I worked a full time job, had three kids, with after school activities, a husband, a household to run and church activities. A full load with very little time for myself...so the weight gradually crept on.
The one good thing is that I sewed through all of this...for myself, for my kids and even for my ex-husband. I also used the same pattern over and over because funds were tight and I needed to get as much mileage from a pattern as I could. So my fit and TNT pattern journeys were intertwined.
I've lived through several different fashion cycles which of course means different types of fit in women's garments. Of all the cycles, the present day cycle of very close fitting garments is the one that's most challenging for me. I'm extremely uncomfortable in a very close fitting garment, so I avoid them like the plague.
I understand that a close or very closely fitted garment is the norm now...but it's not what I personally want to wear. So I struggle with this issue every time I make a garment. I hate calling attention to my backside. Where other sewists make a sway back adjustment, I don't. However, that pooling fabric at your back waist is considered "a bad fit".
Honestly, I don't mind it but to compensate, I've started using a 4 seam back because I also hate back darts. This gives my garment the illusion of a closer fit without the skin tight look I abhor. Yeah, I know I sound like a crotchy old woman!
I just think fit is subjective and I've addressed this before here. I also don't believe that you need to remove every last wrinkle from a garment. Especially because so many times the sewist removes so much ease from the garment, that it only looks good standing still.
Sometimes I will take a picture of a garment that feels good when I sit in it...that moves with me and I know will work in my active work day. Then I post a picture here and someone will say something about my fit both positive and constructive...often in the same post.
Normally I don't respond to these posts...cause fit is subjective and everyone is entitled to their opinions...especially because I know what works for me. Other sewists make closer fitting garments and even though I'd never make a garment that fit that way, I respect their right to sew and wear what makes them happy.
However, I do have a list of things that I consider ill-fitting and try not to include in my garments ~
- dart points that end higher than my bust points
- shoulder seams that hang off my shoulder blades
- too tight sleeves at the biceps
- too long sleeves
- garments that cup my abdomen
- hemlines that are wanky
- necklines that don't lay flat or gape
Am I successful in each and every garment I make ~ ending up with a well-fitted garment? The honest answer ~ no. But then I don't profess to be an advanced, perfect sewist...just a very enthusiastic one.
Finally, this post isn't written to bash anyone, to accuse anyone, or to stop anyone from writing their opinion here. It's my reflections on why I fit the way I do and how fitting is a continual journey. One that I will be on until the last day I'm able to sew.
...as always more later!