Subversive Sewer











{April 9, 2010}   Let’s try and fit another jacket!

While I wait for McCall’s 5859 to go on sale so I can buy a size 12, I decided to tissue-fit another jacket, which I’d cut out and had sitting on my coffee table for the last couple weeks.  It’s Butterick 5446, which I really like:

However, when I tried on the pattern, I found that I couldn’t get the sleeve all the way up to my shoulder- it’s just too tight:

Here’s a side view:

The back is also a mess:

But at least the center front reaches my center front:

And here are 2 attempts to get a good side view, still fighting to get that sleeve all the way up to my shoulder:

It’s pretty hard to diagnose fitting problems when I can’t even get the jacket on.  This is a size 12, which is my size.  I put it on over my t-shirt because it’s a jacket and thus should have enough ease to fit over a shirt.  And this thing is described as loose-fitting, no less.

You know what I’m going to ask:  What should I do?  Should I just say forget it and pick another pattern?

And, as promised, Here’s the 12 pounds of fabric I bought from Denver Fabrics!  I usually buy from Fabric.com because I like their free shipping when you spend 35 bucks, but they didn’t have anything I wanted.  I was pretty impressed with Denver Fabrics- hadn’t ordered from them in a while.

So… top to bottom:  red jersey knit (making Simplicity 2998 for a friend), gray french terry (for Jalie yoga pants), navy shimmer jersey knit (for Kwik Sew 3592), fuchsia stripe jersey knit (don’t know yet), white multi jersey knit (don’t know yet, either), magenta stretch jersey knit (guess!), dark beige twill (for McCall’s 5525- when I can fit a jacket!), yellow floral t-shirt knit (nope, don’t know yet), and navy blue jersey knit (no clue).  I got a yard and a half of each knit, because this seems to be the most common yardage required for most of my knit top and dress patterns.  I’m hoping to sew at least one of these this weekend, if I’m not spending the whole time trying to fit things!

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Sue says:

Hi, When you say Size 12 is your size, do you mean in RTW or in patterns? Are there measurements written on the paper pattern? If so, do they correspond with your actual measurements + ease? Did you buy the pattern by your upper chest or full bust measurement?
Adjusting a sleeve pattern for a fuller arm is not hard.
I love your big pile of new fabrics!! 🙂



subversivesewer says:

Nope, it’s my pattern size.



KimB says:

Just fit the pattern without the sleeve first, then tackle the sleeve. You’ll need to make a full arm adjustment, which isn’t too hard.



I agree with Kim – I think you’ll need a full biceps adjustment. That’s pretty straightforward. I don’t have FFRP, but it’s in all of the other fitting books (Sandra Betzina’s “Fast Fit” has a good description if you can get it at your library).



Gigi says:

I fit without pinning the sleeve in – that’s just too hard! After I make all of the bodice alterations then I slide the sleeve on and check the fit. I try to make sure I can pinch an inch through the bicep. After you’ve made your full bicep alteration then you’ll be able to slide the sleeve up into it’s final position.

I know all of this is a royal PITA but it gets easier and quicker as you go and you will reap the rewards every time you wear your new garment.



Colleen P. says:

Wow-that back just doesn’t work AT ALL, does it?! Is there anyone at all nearby that could help you make a sloper to fit your back? It looks like that is where all the problems start for you-the front shoulder and front in general seem to fit you very well on most of the patterns you’ve shown us, possibly with a bit of width added near the bottom hem or in the chest, but that’s really all you might need. But the back never does seem to work for your body. It’s not surprising you’re having fit problems, either, it’s not like you can see your back straight on to fit it! A friend of mine had the same problem, turns out she had been a competitive swimmer and had a broad back and shoulder, and large biceps, from all those years of swimming. I’m curious now as to whether you were or are a swimmer!

In any case, a sloper that’s made to fit your back, that you can simply put your pattern piece on and trace off, will help a lot-your ease will already be there, it’ll already be the correct width, and the design elements of the pattern will all be in the correct spot. A half back and a full back, cut out of heavy plastic sheeting, is all you really need, I think you’ve got fitting the front worked out.



Carol says:

I’m with you on the sleeve. My arms are not what you call hammy. I just did a jacket (Simplicity) not bothering to tissue fit the arms. Who knew? The jacket is a wadder thanks to the too small upper arm. The rest fits quite well too. Do the pattern companies think we have sticks for arms?



angie.a says:

HAHHAA!!! I haven’t read the post yet, but had to comment because your facial expressions are CLASSIC. Man, I wished you lived near me!! You’re a hoot!



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