Category Archives: Tissue Fitting

Stuff I sewed …

So you think I’m not sewing.

You are actually right. You’d think that being a sewing pattern designer and teacher would mean that you got to sew all the time. But in reality, most days are spend at the computer, writing, doing taxes, editing, preparing for workshops etc.. And then of course I sew samples and muslins of my future patterns.

But every once in a while I find a slot of time (and energy. Let’s be honest. Most days, it’s not time, that is the biggest concern. If I have time to watch tv or re-read yet another crime novel, I’d have time to sew) and get a bit of sewing for me done.

Anyway. Here are a couple of things I sewed over the last weeks:

First: Another Olivia Oversize Tee.

Olivia Oversize tee in slightly over-the-top animal print

Olivia Oversize tee in slightly over-the-top animal print

I love to wear my Olivias. They are soft and comfortable and look great. Love them, I say!

The fabric: I got this zebra/leo/black/white print a while ago (August, I think?)  when I was just popping into the local fabric store to get something completely different. This just had to come with me, but I didn’t get muck fabric (It was less than a meter) – I think I had thought it wanted to be a Day to Night top.

But  as you know, plans change, and I had just enough to make a short sleeved version of the Olivia, only I had to make the narrow sleeve ribbing instead of the wide.

 

Second: Dress trousers.

Notice the left inseam at the thigh. I really need to get the ripper out

The pattern is one I drafted for my trouser-fitting workshop. They are simple slacks with back darts, straight legs and a zipper at either centre back or the side seam.

The fabric is a lovely grey-ish rayon/wool blend. It ravels all over the place and is very fluid, but drapes nicely.

The story: I wanted to tissue fit and pin fit these trousers (instead of just using my already fitted pattern to create the trousers I wanted) to practice and to remember how hard it can be to fit  sometimes.

See - it's even worse from the back. But you know.. Ripping! Hate it!

See – it’s even worse from the back. But you know.. Ripping! Hate it!

I followed the method I talk about in the trouser fitting series and had the pattern tissue fitted. Then I cut it with plenty of seam allowance, sewed the centre front and centre back seam (including the invisible zipper) and pin fitted. As you can see, I slacked a little when I sewed it up, though, the lines on the left back leg is probably because I accidentally kind of lifted up the back inseam at that side. Well. It’s close enough. I should rip it and redo it, but really. I’ve had enough for now:-) Maybe next week…

What am I sewing-for-me next, you wonder? I think I’m going for a batch of new Birgitte tees. And I have a Burda blazer ready to cut as well. And maaaaayyyyyybe just one more Olivia!

 

 

Trousers Fit-n-Sew along #5: Getting ready for pin fitting

(Sorry about the lack of pics and the delay. Short days and winter vira have interfered with life here… Will be back at full speed soon I hope!)

Oh. I really wish I had some more tissue fitting issues to show you. But I haven’t really received any from you guys (I hope it’s because everything is fitting well?) and I can’t post the pictures from the fitting books – as that would be a violation of copyrights. Anyway a few hints and tips:

When you are evaluating your fit in the tissue paper, remember that wrinkles point to the problem, and that horizontal wrinkles are symptoms of things being to tight, while vertical wrinkles often mean that it’s too big in that area. Also wrinkles often point to a place where there is strain on the tissue. In the fitting books I’ve talked about before, there are plenty of illustrations showing different lines relations to different fitting issues. And also – you are very welcome to post and ask in the Flickr Group!

That taken care of, we are ready to fit the waistband!

I have decided that I want my pair to sit a little (2 cm)  lower on the waist. So I’m just chopping off 2 cm from the top on both front and back. And now it’s time to tissue fit the waist band.

As with the front and back,  trace the pieces, leaving plenty of tissue at the side seams and centre front/back seams – especially if you had to add to the trouser pattern pieces.

I’ve changed quite a lot on my waistline – with the dart width and my large waist + the changing of the hip curve, so I’m going to tissue fit the waistband pattern pieces with the trouser pattern pieces. Aligning the centre front and centre back, I’m pinning the waistband front and back pieces to the flat front and back trouser pattern pieces (pinning horizontally). It’s quite important that the front and back have been unpinned and perhaps ironed before they are placed flat for pinning the waistband pieces in place.

Now try on your tissue again and focus on your waistband in relation to your trouser front and back. You want the side seam to continue into the waistband in a nice curve, and you want to make sure that the centre front/back of the waistband pieces reaches your centre front/back. It’s really the same as the first tissue fitting. Pin to fit your shape, then take of your tissue and mark the new lines on the pattern.

That’s it!

Now we are done with the tissue fitting, we need to get the pattern ready for cutting the fabric:

Start by taping the notches you made at the crotch curves closed again and then add your seam allowances. You’ll want about 2.5 cm (1″) seam allowance at the side seams and inseams and about 1.5 cm (or do 5/8″) seam allowance at the crotch seams and waistband seams. Mark the seam allowances on the tissue and cut out the pattern pieces.

Next we are going to cut and mark the fabric and sew to get ready for pinfitting.

 

 

Trousers Fit-n-Sew-along #4: More tissue fitting issues

Hey everybody!

Have you got your crotch curve right? And what about the crotch length and the hip width? How is it going? I would love to hear from you!

Unfortunately I haven’t received many pictures from tissue fitters – so I’ll have only my issues to show you today. But please, post pictures in the Flickr group or send them to me if you need help. I’ll be happy to guide you!

Anyway. As you might be able to see, I’ve had to retrace my pattern from the last post. No,  actually the pictures in the last post was from when I tissue fitted this for my self the first time, and I have of course altered since then, but haven’t got any pictures of it (stupid me). So I retraced the version that was  already fitted regarding crotch curve and hip, and decided to go from there. This time I traced it onto pattern interfacing. It’s a medium weight no-glue non-stretch interfacing that I enjoy using for tissue fitting. Only downsides are that you need to be careful of the warm iron (not too warm!) – but on the other hand it doesn’t wrinkle easily, and that you need to use a marker to draw on it. Pencil is no good.

So I evaluate the fit from behind. First thing that is obvious to me, is that my cheek is pushing the fabric out and creating lines that points to that. Well. No surprises there, the bigger the bump, the bigger the dart. I pin the dart deeper, and add a little to the side seam to match what I’ve taken in the dart. This works for me. Other people might prefer the Full butt adjustment as explained here.

Trousers-Fit-n-Sew-along at MariaDenmark

That settled, I’m ready to move on. See all the bagginess under my bottom? Yes. I always have bagginess there – even in stretch skinny jeans (then they’re just folds of fabric). If I was to pin it out it would be a horizontal fish-eye dart, and that wont do in fabric, so it’s good to catch it in tissue. I used to do a rather complicated alteration with this, but now I’m using this really very easy method by Kenneth King: A fix for a Baggy Seat.

Trousers-Fit-n-Sew-along at MariaDenmark

Remember to move the knee markings to make up for the length you removed by the tuck – as well as adding to the hem.

Now is also a good time to check the length of the trousers. I put on the shoes I plan to wear with the finished trousers (or some of the same height, and check to see if the length is right. If not, I alter it. What length is the right length for wide legged trousers? Well. It is a matter of taste. I like my legs to look longer, but I don’t like the hem to swallow my foot completely, so I go for a length that just about touches the shoe in the front, but doesn’t make the hem rest on the shoe. Here is an article about where to hem your trousers.

Trousers-fit-n-sew-along at MariaDenmark

I am going to stop for today and save some wrinkles for Friday. And now I’d really love to see your tissue fitting issues! I would love to include some of your issues in the next post, and I’ll anonymize all pictures!

If you’d like to work on your own, I highly recommend (as I wrote in the Gather-your-supplies post) Pants for Real People for evaluating any wrinkles and folds and figuring out what to do about them. You can check out the sampler here, where they also show some tissue fitting, but they have really good prices on it as an e-book right now, so consider getting it (In Sony, Kindle and Itunes, anyway)!

Comments? Questions?

 

Trouser Fit-along #3: Begin tissue fitting!

We are ready to start fitting out trousers. And I’m about to post some very unflattering pictures of myself (tiny bit uncomfortable here!)

If you’ve only just joined this Trouser Fit-along, go back and read the first posts (Here, here and here. I am using my e-book pattern Winnie Wide Legged Trousers for this fit-along, but you are welcome to use any trouser pattern for woven non-stretch fabric you’d like (just to clarify – you can totally use stretch wovens for your trousers, as long as the pattern is not drafted for stretch fabric only).

We’ve  assembled the pattern pieces for front and back, corrected any crotch curve differences and traced the pattern pieces onto soft  tissue tracing paper, which we’ve cut out with a lot of room around the pattern pieces. We have also clipped curves and taped to reinforce the tissue. Now we are ready to try on the tissue for length and width. Oh by the way. I cut the hem at the hemline for fitting, then add tissue paper for the hem allowance later. It makes it easier to establish the right length of the trousers, I think.

Pin the front and back together at the side seam and the inseam, with pins vertical and about 5 cm apart. Also pin the dart (we’ll fit it to fit you later, but for now, just go with the one on the pattern). Get a piece of elastic (around 1 cm wide. Mine is 1.5 cm) and tie it around your abdomen, at the point of your bellybutton.

Trouser fit-along at MariaDenmark.com

{The back dart is pinned. We’ll fit it to the body later, but for now, just use the one in the pattern!}

Now. Get your hand mirror and/or your digital camera, stand in front of a mirror and put on the tissue, very carefully. You don’t want to rip the tissue. (but if it happens, take the tissue off your body, unpin to make it lay flat and tape the rip.)

Now evaluate the width of the pattern. (use your hand mirror to stand back to your full size mirror and use the hand mirror to see how the back looks – or use a camera. Or both). Does your pattern CF and CB reach your centre front (bellybutton) and centre back (spine) ? If not, you’ll need to adjust at the side seams to make it wide enough – or if it overlaps, take in the side seams top make it narrow enough!

You can unpin the pattern while you wear it and replace the pins to mark where you want the new side seam, but you need to take the pattern off, mark with a marker (in a different colour than the one you used to trace the pattern), unpin the side seams and lay it flat to repin. You might want to iron the pattern pieces carefully to make sure they are flat.(I always tape on the right side of the pattern piece and iron on the wrong side – so I don’t melt the tape!)

Trouser fit-along at MariaDenmark.com

{The Centre Front of the pattern doesn’t reach my centre front at all. I need to add to the side seams at the waist (I always do – so I leave a lot of tissue there to work with)}

Repeat until pattern reaches your centre front and centre back. You might need to add more to the back side seam than to the front side seam or the other way around. Look in your mirror from the side to make sure that the side seam is straight vertically and is centred at your side.

Now let’s check the crotch lengths. I placed the elastic to be at the waistline of the pattern at the sides, and then realized that I still need to add some length to both front and back. Since it was such a small amount, I simply added it to the top, then tapered to the original waistline seam at the sides. Now is a good time to change the waistline, by the  way, if you want the trousers to sit lower or higher. You decide. Just remember that the waistband will be added to the height of the trousers.

Trouser fit-along at mariadenmark.com

{You can see I’ve had to add a little more length at Centre Back (the pink lines). Also it’s obvious that I have some wrinkles where my protruding bottom is pushing the tissue. We’ll deal with that next!}

That’s it for this post. Remember you can post pictures in the Flickr group to get help with your fitting. You are also welcome to e-mail me the pictures at mariaATmariadenmark.com  if you don’t want to post them publicly. And please, ask and comment – I love to know people are reading:-)

In the next post, we’ll have a look at dart fitting, baggy stuff and inseams. Please post in the group, comment and/or send me pictures, so I know which issues we might need to deal with:-)

 

 

Trousers Fit-along #2: Crotch curves and getting ready for tissue fitting

We are ready for part #2 of the trouser fit-along. I do have some photo problems, though, and I will add (new) photos as soon as I can!

Right. Crotch curves and Body spaces. This can be a somewhat controversial subject – I have heard people getting really angry about other people using this method (and if you feel like that, by all means, skip this post!), but here is my take on it. I apologize in advance for any explicit language (I try to be careful not to use it, but I might not be up-to-date on what is appropriate language in English..)

I have been using the tissue fitting method for trousers for some time, and while I have always gotten very nice results – and trousers that looked great, I always felt that something was not quite right in the back crotch. I could feel it when I sat down. I had lengthened the back crotch like you should when you need more length (we’ll come to that in the next post), but somehow my bum always seemed to be pulling the fabric so that I almost ended up with what  around here is referred to as “plummer’s crack”. I think you know what I mean…

Anyway. The thing is. I realised that in some parts of my trousers there simply wasn’t enough room for my bottom – even though I clearly had enough fabric to go around me, there wasn’t enough room for my cheeks to fit inside the fabric wrappings at the right places, and that’s why the trousers were being pulled down.

Here is be a photo of the same pattern fitted using the two different methods + the original pattern (the yellow lines).  The one fitted using the tissue fit only method is the one in red, and the one in which I also used the flexible ruler to determine my crotch curve, is in green. The back crotch length of the red and the green is the same (give and take half a cm), but  the length is in different spaces. This is where the ruler/tin foil comes in. It helps you to curve the length in the right place!

Then one day I remembered having heard -and skimmed an article about the body space and the crotch curve. I dug out my flexible ruler from the pile of notions in which it had been hiding, and simply tried it on while wearing leggings. I then placed the ruler on the back piece of one of my patterns. And the crotch curve looked like it didn’t belong there at all. SO here’s the thing. This crotch curve is probably not for a beginning fitter. There is a lot of intuition involved, because you don’t just want to copy your crotch curve, you want to use it as a guide to shape the crotch curve on the pattern. But I don’t think it’ll hurt if you try anyway. You can always go back to your original pattern.

Have a look at this picture

 

The pink curve is the original pattern line (size 36). The green is where my crotch curve is (the line in pencil is where I placed it when I didn’t have things lined up correctly). Huge difference! But it totally explains why my trousers were dragged downwards!

As I mentioned before, you can get very nice results with out tracing your crotch curve. But for me, it really changed everything – and it actually makes the rest of the tissue fitting much much easier.

Okay. Let’s get started:

Today we’ll alter the pattern to correspond with our individual crotch curves and also we’ll get the pattern ready for tissue fitting.

Today we’ll need:

  • printed and tiled pattern
  • markers
  • paper scissors
  • flexible ruler or tin foil
  • tissue paper

Got everything? Okay. Here we go!

So. Your mission is to trace your crotch curve and to compare it with your pattern, then alter your pattern if needed.

~ Get your flexible ruler or a lot of tin foil. If you are using  a ruler, place a piece of rubber band somewhere in the middle of it (you can move the rubber band to set the place for the in seam). You can also add rubber bands at each end to place at your desired waist line front and back. But I don’t find this a necessity – as we are using this as a guide and not to copy exactly! If you are using tin foil, tear off a long piece and crumble/mould it into a heavy string. I have not been happy with rubber bands on tin foil, but try it, or just use a marker to mark where your in seam goes. Wear leggings and place the ruler or foil at your crotch curve and mould it in place, then slowly step out of it and place the curve carefully on a piece of tissue paper. Trace that curve onto the paper. I usually repeat this step 3 times, and end up having a curve that is a good average of the 3.

~ Place your front and back pattern pieces on a table in front of you, make them meet at the crotch point and overlap at the in seam. (The pieces will overlap at the legs. That’s okay). Something like this:

~Now place your traced crotch curve on top of the pattern pieces, and compare. What do you see? (You can post pictures in the Flickr Group, if you’d like some help!) Is it close enough? Do you want to change the lines of either the front or back crotch lines, or both? Pencil in where (if) you want to change it. But remember. You are not committing a crime here. It is also not irreversible. No pattern is set in stone. It is really just my interpretation (if you are using my draft) of the average crotch curve, and I’m a perfect example of not being average in that department… So go ahead. Sketch what you think would be a better curve for you (it’s okay, we’ll do the tissue fitting later and get the details fixed!) When you are ready, take a marker and mark the new crotch curve. Don’t cut the pattern, just draw on top of it.

~If we have taken away a lot of fabric (like I did in the picture above), we need to add the same amount for the trousers to still be able to get around the body.

Have a look at this picture again.

 

See where I’ve added some green curves at the side seam? This is what I’m talking about. Add approximately the same amount that you took away. I ended up tracing my pattern following the pencil lines, and took in a lot of the peak in fabric (I need a better pic to explain this).

~Next step (now that we have modified the crotch seams) is to trace the altered pattern pieces  onto tissue paper. Go ahead. Make sure you have space around your pattern pieces – especially at the side seams and waistline. Just trace the front piece (with the pocket facing attached) and the back piece. We’ll get to the waistband pieces later on.

~ Cut out your front and back pieces leaving plenty (like 5 cm (2 “) at least) of tissue at sides and waist. Have about 2.5 cm (1″) at the crotch and in seams.

~To prepare the pieces for tissue fitting, we need to strengthen them by adding small pieces of tape to just inside the seam lines at the curves – and also we need to clip the curves at the crotch, to make it possible to get the seam lines close to the body.

And that’s it for today. Remember you can ask here or in the flickr group – and post pictures, please – I’d like to see all the different curves:-)

Any questions? Comments?

I’ll add more photos tomorrow!

BFN :-)

 

Trousers-Fit-along #1: Prepare the Pattern

HI everybody. I’m back from partying all night (and nursing the hangovers that followed) and ready to tackle those trousers.

Before we move on, can I just make sure to say that: All the steps that I write about in this fit-along are just my way of fitting trousers. These steps work for me, my sister and the friends I’ve helped fitting, but there are no guarantees and there are so many ways to fit trousers – I don’t pretend that this way is the only way or even the best way for everybody. Also, I didn’t invent any of these methods, I’m just combining from many sources and showing you how I would do it.

Now that we settled that, let’s get started:

Today is a quick lesson, we’ll prepare the pattern for the first alteration, which we’ll handle tomorrow.

Today’s tools needed (have a look at this post for details):

  • Pattern
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • Tissue Paper
  • Paper scissors
  • Pattern Cutting board
  • Pins

Have you got your trouser pattern? If not, now is a good time to download it (or get it out from the piles of papers on your desk, if you are using a different pattern than MariaDenmark Wide Legged Trousers).

The following instructions are for if you are working with MariaDenmark 301 – Wide Legged Trousers e-book pattern (or, indeed, another downloadable pdf pattern):

Start by printing out page 17  only of the file (the page with the print-control box). Make sure you have your set your Scaling to “None” and ticked the box “Auto rotate and center”. When you have your print out, measure the box to check that it is 10 cm x 10 cm big. When everything is fine, print out page 18 -39 (since you already have your page 17!).

MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-along. Printing

Now it’s time to get that pattern trimmed and taped together.

I like to use a rotary cutter (for paper) and a see through ruler for accuracy when trimming the paper sheets, but a scissor will do nicely. I trim the top of sheets in row 2 – 5 and the left sides of sheets that belong to column 2 – 5.

MariaDenmark Trouser Fit-along

I then use the cardboard cutting board to pin the sheets in place before taping them together. Hint: It’s sometimes easier to tape one pattern piece (i.e. the back piece, then the front piece) at a time, instead of trying to compile everything together (it’s 23 pages, and one small trimming error can distort something else).

Now we are back to where everybody should follow along, no matter what trouser pattern they are using:

We are almost done for today, but before we stop, let’s just get the front piece ready to trace: Get your front piece and your pocket facing piece, then slip the pocket facing under the front piece, aligning the markings on the pocket facing with the pocket opening on the front piece. Tape in place with two small pieces, that will be easy to remove again after tracing.

MariaDenmark Trouser fit-along

That’s it for today. Tomorrow we will have a look at our crotch curves and body spaces and will be tracing our pattern and getting it ready for tissue fitting.

Optional homework: This article about negative body spaces /crotch curves is great (but I’m afraid it’s only available to Treads Insider members?) and this blog post from Blooms fabric obsession also provides a lot of info.

Any questions or comments? Don’t hold back!

P.S: I’ll be part of the #Sewingsocial tonight (my time). Will I see you there?

 

About the TROUSERS FIT-n-SEW-along + BUTTONS

Trousers are relatively simple to sew, but they can be a nightmare to fit, because there are so many curves and spaces that go together. No pattern will fit all people the same – there are so many variables in a trouser pattern that to get one to fit you well, you need to alter the pattern.

This FIT-n-SEW-along is different from other trouser sew-alongs because it focuses on how you can fit your trousers yourself – even as a beginning sewist! It’s a relatively simple method and one that doesn’t require a muslin (all though you could make one if you’d like). I am no expert (and I am not a certified tissue-fitter!) but I have been using this method for almost a decade and have been very happy with my results. Recently I’ve experimenting with fitting other people and have looked at body spaces as a way to simplify the fitting process. But I’m constantly learning as well, and always interested in learning more, so I’d love to hear your ideas.

MariaDenmark Trousers FIT-n-SEW along

We are going to start by evaluating the pattern and comparing crotch curves and bodyspaces. Then we are going to get the pattern ready for tissue fitting and will tissue fit it to our individual bodies (I will leave room for Q &A’s and will help in evaluating fit).

After the tissue fitting we will move on to cutting and marking the fabric and getting the trousers ready for the pin fitting, then we’ll do the actual pin fitting (with another post for evaluating your fitting issues and for Q and A). Then we just need to finish sewing the trousers, and we’ll finish off with a bunch of really nice fitting wide legged trousers.

We are almost ready to begin. Did you see the post about required materials for the Fit-along? Start collecting your stuff so that you can be ready when I post the first instalment next week-end.

 

Here are some buttons for your own blog (if you have one) if you’d like to help tell the world about this Fit-n-Sew-along:

For the green-ish button like this:

MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along
Copy and paste this into a widget on your blog:

<center><a href=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/?page_id=1449″><img src=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/fsbutton8.jpg” alt=”MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along” width=”175″ height=”116″/> </a> </center>

Or for this smaller version:

MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along
Copy and paste this instead:

<center><a href=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/?page_id=1449″><img src=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/fsbutton8.jpg” alt=”MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along” width=”125″ height=”83″/> </a> </center>

For the larger purple button copy this:

MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along
<center><a href=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/?page_id=1449″><img src=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/fsbutton7.jpg” alt=”MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along” width=”175″ height=”116″/> </a> </center>

or the smaller version:

MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along
<center><a href=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/?page_id=1449″><img src=”http://blog.mariadenmark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/fsbutton7.jpg” alt=”MariaDenmark Trousers Fit-n-Sew along” width=”125″ height=”83″/> </a> </center>

 

Now I’ll go getting all the final pieces together for the pattern to be ready!

Getting ready for the TROUSERS-FIT-n-SEW-ALONG

We are almost there. I am working on the finishing touches of the instructions for the pattern, doing pretty things to the line drawings and generally getting all the final pieces together before I can release the Wide Legged Trouser pattern. Oh, and the photos for the front page of the pattern. We had to postpone our photo shoot which was supposed to be Monday, so there are plenty of little things to get ready.

Trouser Fit'n'Sew-along at MariaDenmark.com

But. I am now aiming for releasing the pattern on Friday November 16th. And begin the Fit-n-Sew-along right after that (on the 17th). (The beauty of downloadable patterns – instant delivery!)

So I thought I’d post about what you’d need to have on hand to be part of the fit-a-long. Today I’ll give you the lists, tomorrow I’ll post the buttons with links and also the preliminary schedule for the entire Fit’n'Sew-along.

Let’s start by gathering our supplies. Here’s a list of what you need when we start out:

The Need-To-Have list:

  • A trouser pattern. I of course recommend my MariaDenmark 301 – Winnie Wide Trousers, but you can use any trouser pattern you like.
  • Tissue Paper for tracing the pattern on to and use in tissue fitting. I love working with Swedish Tracing Paper (I have no idea why it’s called that, I have never actually seen it in Sweden, and I can only get it by ordering from the US.) but I don’t have any left, and thin tissue tracing paper, such as Burda Tracing Paper is fine too. I also sometimes use what we call Pattern Interfacing, which is basicly interfacing without glue, but with some sturdiness to it – so it doesn’t stretch. You cannot use paper that is too stiff, it has to be able to drape over your body.
  • Tape. The one and only Scotch Magic Tape, that is soft and almost invisible (once you tape it to the paper) and you can draw with a  pencil on it. Get the one that is about 1 cm wide. It’s available in every office supply store, I’d think.
  • Paper Scissors. (I’m looking at you, Lizzy:-)) You don’t want to ruin your good fabric shears – so find a good sized scissor that you can use for paper (and you will not have to steal borrow the small children scissor, which will not cut accurately anyway.
  • Pencils. Just ordinary ones. And you might want a sharpener on hand as well.
  • Markers. I just use the kind you get for kids. I bought a package with 12 different colours in the supermarket years ago – and all-though some have gone missing (I’m totally blaming the cats!) I still have 8 nice water based markers in different colours. Make sure you have at least 4 different colours.
  • Pins. I prefer the kind with a glass head for fitting.
  • A piece of elastic to tie around your trouser waistline. I use one that is 1 cm wide. I hear 1/4″ is popular as well.
  • Ironing board and an iron.
  • Measuring tape and a ruler.
  • Full length mirror + hand held mirror (or if you are lucky and you own a three-way-mirror, you won’t need the hand held one)

The Nice-To-Have list:

  • A Pattern Cutting Board (like this – US or UK – what a difference in price!) or just use a big cardboard box you can cut open to lay it flat and use instead). It really makes taping accurately so much easier.
  • A flexible ruler OR a roll of tin-foil.
  • The book Pants for Real People. Borrow it from the library if you can. It is also available through all the e-book stores I’ve checked, including Kobo, Sony, Itunes Ibooks and Kindle. If you don’t want to get it, it’s okay, then just read this pdf (especially chapter 1!) , to get an idea of how we are going to approach this (more or less. I’ve added some stuff and also removed other stuff).
Trouser Fit'n'Sew-along at MariaDenmark.com

{Some stuff you’ll need..}

You might also want to think about finding:

  • Fabric for your wearable muslin. Meaning: You don’t want to use the € 50 per meter fabric on your first version, but you should totally get some fabric that you will want to wear. For the wide legged trousers, you want to use something medium weight (bottom weight) with drape. To get an idea of what I mean, have a look at my Pinterest Trouser board – I’m especially inspired by the very wide legged trousers! Depending on your size and the width of the fabric you need about 2.5 meters for the MariaDenmark Wide Legged Trousers. (If your fabric is very wide and you are size 34 – 38 you can get away with only 1.7 meters – if you get a little creative w the pattern layout..).
  • Also you need thread to match and a 15 cm zipper (I prefer plastic – it’s easier to shorten and sew over when doing the fly and waistband.)

Tomorrow: Flickr Group details, schedule and buttons!

FIT(TING) TO A TEE.. changing the neckline

The great thing about sewing is that we are all designers and we are all able to get clothes that fit us well and make us look and feel even better.

But yet many people just sew up the patterns straight out of the envelope (or printer, as may be the case) with out enjoying the possibilities for individual fitting. Some may not do it, because they don’t know how.

SO I thought I would do a series on fitting and altering different kinds of t-shirt.

While there are many ways to fit garment and almost as many books instructing how to, most of them merely talk about fitting woven fabric garments. And while I’m a big fan of tissue fitting, it just will not work with a pattern with no or even negative ease. So here is my tried and true way of fitting t-shirts.

This is not really about fit – but about altering a pattern to be what you want it to.

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

{The tee with a boatneck that I made from the pattern I’m altering here}

A lot of people have asked me for a kimono shirt with a different neckline than the boatneck. But since it’s such an easy alteration (and the pattern is still free), I thought I’d show you how to do it your self instead. It’s really easy. All you have to do, is to make sure that the front and back shoulder lines match up.

On the pictures, I’m showing you how to alter the neckline on the Birgitte Basic Tee (I wanted to copy a boat neckline for a Breton Styled t-shirt).

What you need:

  • A t-shirt pattern, preferably one already fitted for you.
  • Pattern tracing paper
  • Pencil and/or marker
  • T-shirt you want to copy the neckline of – or, indeed, a pattern you wish to copy.
  • Paper scissors

And here’s how to do it:

First trace your pattern front and back onto tracing paper. I don’t want to change the fit, so I just copy it by tracing on top of the pattern lines, and I’ve already included seam allowances on the pattern. Put a note on each pattern piece – what pattern, size, alterations already done. Don’t cut the new pattern yet.

 

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

{ 1 ) “Original” pattern pieces, 2 ) Tracing, 3 ) Traced}

Fold the t-shirt you want to copy in half so that the centre front is folded. Align the shoulder seams and pin at shoulder and centre front.

MariaDenmark.com How to change teh neckline

{The neckline of the t-shirt I want to copy. Front is folded in half and pinned}

Place the folded t-shirt on top of the pattern. You want to align the centre front of the t-shirt with the one on the pattern, and get the shoulder seam of the t-shirt to touch somewhere on the shoulder seam of the pattern (or where the shoulder seam would be if it was longer – if you are making a crew neck, for instance). If you like, you could fold in the ribbing or binding of the  t-shirt, but for me, I want to make a visible 1 cm ribbing, so I’ll just let the  ribbing be the guide of my 1 cm seam allowance for the neckline.

MariaDenmark.com How to change the neckline

{Place the t-shirt on top of the traced pattern. Align the centre fronts and let the shoulder seams meet. Not like I did in the picture, where I let the shoulder seam meet the line of the seam allowance…}

Take your pencil and sketch the new neckline on your front piece. Then draw it so it has a nice curve.

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

{Now sketch and permanently draw the neckline on the pattern. I’ve marked both neckline and seam allowances}

Now it’s time to work on the back piece. What we want is to make sure that the shoulder length of the new back piece matches the shoulder length of the new front piece.

I place the back piece on top of the front piece, making sure to align the outside shoulder point. I pin the pieces together there, then slide the back piece (note that my shoulder line is very steep – that’s because I’ve altered for a major round shoulder!) so that the back shoulder line follows the front shoulder line. Then I mark on the back piece, where the front shoulder line stops.