The Beginning

4 Aug

I am on a mission of large proportions. I have an end goal, of teaching myself how to build a wardrobe by hand. I want to learn the art of pattern adjustment, tweaking, and ultimately, pattern making. Call it a life goal, because it may take me a lifetime.

I, like many women, have a drastically positioned body. Large hips, rear, and thighs. Large calves {like, can’t wear boots large} and I’m short, of course. 5′ 3″, to be exact. I have a slim waist compared to my large bottom, but it’s only slim from front to back, so I always get that very large gap in the small of my back when wearing pants. If you look at me from the side, my waist is small, if you look at me front on, however, my waist is wide. I’m pretty average on top, not too large and not too small. My belly and chest have changed drastically since bearing and nursing 2 children. Buying ready to wear {RTW} is practically impossible for me if I want a straight off the hanger good fit. And you know what? I am not as hard to fit as MOST women!

The good news, I have basic sewing knowledge and the willingness to learn. I majored in textiles and clothing, and have a good understanding of fabric and how it moves and feels, and reacts. I have a beautiful sewing machine, and a serger… that’s more than most to get started! What I don’t have is the time for a course, or the funds to go all out and buy everything I need. So my solution? The LIBRARY. Gosh darn it, I love that place. Oh, and a little thing called the internet.

I think I checked out every pattern related book from my local library they had on their shelves. Sew U, Built by Wendy Dresses, Make Your Own Clothes, etc. etc. There are a billion more that I could have reserved first, and picked up, and I might still, but for now this is getting me started. I am really enjoying Sew U. So much I might buy it.

Sew U gives basic patterns and gives examples of how to alter them to make your own clothing. This is a great place to start, so I have decided to go this route. Here is a list of the basic patterns I will collect in order to learn off of:

  1. Pants
  2. Blouse
  3. Skirt
  4. Dress

I have made dresses, skirts, and shirts before, but never a pair of pants. So that’s where I’m diving in! My plan of attack is to use the basic pattern to make a muslin of some of my scrap busting fabric I have laying around, photograph the fit, asses, adjust, remake and remake until i have a pattern that works well on my body. I am also going to use this guide to adjust fit as I go along. And I’ll take ya’ll along for the ride!

The Colette Patterns Pants Fitting Cheat Sheet


This may take me a long time, with 2 little ones running around, and all that goes along with real life. But I imagine it’s the same for everyone else. So follow along, shout out suggestions, and comment on mistakes {there will be plenty}! Billy Madison said it best “I’m here to learn, everybody, not to make out with you!”

Any book suggestions? 


4 Responses to “The Beginning”

  1. sewbusylizzy August 5, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    I’m just finishing off a pair of Sewaholic Thurlows. I think if you have fitting issues this pattern would be a good start as there is a back dart/seam (similar to men’s pants) which I think would make it easier to fit. Plus Sewaholic specializes in clothes for ‘pear’ shaped women.
    All Sewaholic patterns get great reviews – and there are some great online resources to help along the way.


    • sew20something August 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      Oh wow! That’s really good information! I knew about sewaholic and of course love all of the patterns {and would love to try them!}. I had no idea they were for pear shaped women, that’s really good to know. Thanks so much, I’ll make sure to try out that pattern if I have problems with this one!


      • sewbusylizzy August 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

        I’ve made the Thurlows, Cambie & Renfrew and they have all been great. I’m making the Minoru jacket next and then some more Renfrews.


      • sew20something August 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

        Yes! I saw your Renfrew and loved it! Will have to try that soon!


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