Sunday, 1 May 2011

Musings on fitting

Does anyone else loathe fitting? Nothing else in sewing (or any other craft really) frustrates me as much as trying to work out how to adjust something to make it fit me correctly. Give me a BWOF pattern sheet to trace, or a vast playmat to quilt, or sharp cornered seams to match - just anything other than having to fit something on myself!

In conjunction with trying to work out the actual adjustments needed to translate from a "standard" shape to my very unstandard shape, I've been trying to work out what it is that frustrates me so much about it, in order to see if I can make it a little less painful (as there's really no point sewing clothes for myself if they don't fit well). Not to mention that I find myself putting off sewing as I'm dreading the fitting stage.

So I think my conclusions are:

  1. It's really hard to pin out alterations on yourself.
  2. It can be super frustrating trying to work out the correct alteration to fix problems, and having to keep taking garments on and off.
  3. A fair amount of frustration with fitting stems from dislike of my body.

So, what to do about these? I guess the first one is just something I have to live with (at least until my husband develops a hitherto hidden talent for basic sewing skills), and I'll just have to make better use of photos, and get used to taking things on and off much more to adjust them properly. I actually had a bit of a revelation about this recently, when it was pointed out that if I'm muslining, I can put the opening wherever is easiest for me to pin together - i.e. put it at the front rather than the back!

The second I guess will get better with experience, so for now I just have to suck it up and get on with it. To be honest, it's already better than it was when I started sewing as I have more understanding of how to "read" the toile to work out the fitting problems, and more of a library of alterations in my head in order to fix them. The books I currently use most to help with fitting are Fast Fit: Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure by Sandra Betzina, and The Collins Complete Book Of Needlecraft (OOP - I inherited this from my mum) - and also good old Google! There's such a wealth of information out there on the interwebs.

The third is a little more tricky, and is going to need rather more work. I've been making a few changes to my diet and activity levels, so even if I don't change size or shape much, I'll at least be reasonably healthy and know that my body reflects how I should be, rather than be simply a product of something I have done to myself with crap food and a sedentary lifestyle. Oh, and I'm starting to invest in good undies. I've also been looking more closely at other bloggers' pictures (haha how to make everyone self-conscious :) and realised that many of them aren't so different from me - I've realised that two bloggers in particular I especially admire are almost the same size as me (although slightly different shapes), and they both look completely fabulous! Therefore I obviously do too...!

What are everyone else's tips on fitting? What's your bugbear when sewing?

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