Category Archives: Pattern Fitting

Fall Sewing Whirlwind Recap

Oh, my. There’s a layer of dust everywhere. Pardon me for a second.



Now that I’ve blown the dust away, time to resume the blog.

Fall Recap

On my last blog update, I had signed up for four fashion classes at City College of San Francisco. I figured it was ambitious, but doable. The four classes were: Fashion Illustration 2, Garment Fitting, Apparel Construction 1, and Custom Tailoring.

Plans changed very quickly. Shortly after classes started, an opportunity for some freelance work (not sewing-related) came my way, and so I started working two days a week. That meant I had to drop at least one class. I wasn’t giving up Fitting or Tailoring, and dropping Apparel 1 wouldn’t have made much difference, so I let go of Fashion Illustration 2.

Even so, I’m OK with the decision in hindsight. The Illustration class was a lot of homework, and as it turned out the Tailoring class needed every moment I could spare and then some.

So here’s a very quick summary of my fall semester classes and their outcomes: Continue reading

Diving into the Deep End

There’s so much to write about, I don’t know where to begin!

Based on my experience from the summer session at City College of San Francisco, I’ve gone all-in on classes for the upcoming fall semester.

I’m taking four classes, which pretty much makes me a full-time student.  I’m hoping I can meet the workload for all four classes.  I’m pretty certain I won’t be sewing any projects outside classwork.  That’s not so bad, because some class assignments provide opportunities to make projects that have been lingering in my personal queue.

Fashion Illustration 2

This class continues where my summer class in Fashion Illustration leaves off.  I have the same instructor, Paul Gallo, who is a wonderful instructor and coach.

The second semester of Fashion Illustration builds on the first.  We learn additional rendering techniques, more menswear techniques, and the drawing proportions for children and teens. We also learn the details of producing technical flat drawings and spec sheets for production work.

One emphasis of the second semester is on developing everyone’s individual artistic style, and the midterm and final are capsule design projects that focus on original design work. My style so far is fairly photorealistic, and I’m curious to see how I develop as I work through the course.

Here’s some work-in-progress from the second assignment; we’re revisiting the basic figure and learning new coloring techniques.

Continue reading

Fitting the BF Oxford Shirt, Part 3

In this third and final installment of our fitting series, we’ll see how all the previous fittings converge into a wearable shirt.

At the end of Part 2, the body of the shirt was falling into place, with the sleeves and neckline becoming the major issues of focus.  We’ll tackle those, and show actual fitting photos of the BF Oxford Shirt.  (Here’s a link to Part 1 and a photo gallery of the finished shirt if you are new to this series).

Muslin F

Issues with the body

Everything is finally looking OK.  That horizontal balance line in front appears tilted, but it’s really posture and camera angle and not the garment.

Continue reading

Fitting the BF Oxford Shirt, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 in a three-part series on fitting a shirt muslin for my partner.

In Part 1, we had discussed the importance of balance, as it affects the way the grain of the fabric hangs on the body.  I attempted to drape the neckline, armholes, and shoulders to better match the body, but I made a mistake – I did this all before trying to get the garment into balance.  The balance alterations caused several side effects with the other fitting adjustments, which complicated the fitting process.

In this installment, we get the balance issues sorted out, and then fix the placement of the back yoke and address the sleeves some more. Continue reading

Fitting the BF Oxford Shirt, Part 1

This article embarks on a three-part series, showing how I approached the fitting process for the BF Oxford Shirt.

I’ll start by saying I’m not a fitting expert.  So some of this narrative will seem like a “two steps forward, one step back” sort of process (or even “one step forward, two steps back” in my case!).

As I understand it, that can even be the case for professionals who work their way through fitting a client. Fitting is a problem solving exercise, and sometimes experimentation is in order to find the best solution to a problem.

But what I will do is try to share some of the principles I’ve learned, and how I applied them in this process.  And in fact, while going back over my notes to write these articles, I’ve made some further realizations about the fitting adjustments I made and their effect on the garment.

Comments are welcomed. Continue reading