Spring Sewalong: Task#2 Fitting the Pattern

{Warning: Image heavy post.}

Today I got the pattern and started fitting it. First things first I gave the pieces I needed a quick press with a warm iron.
Tip: Stick with a warm, dry iron. Hot and steamy can shrink the pattern.


I wanted to do a quick fit with the pattern itself so I marked off the 5/8″ seam lines.IMG_5625

I pinned it together on my model to get an idea of how accurate the measurements were.IMG_5627 IMG_5628

You might notice that there are usually measurements on the pattern itself and they are different from the measurements on the back of the envelope. The ones on the pattern are the ones I find to be most accurate. They are the finished garment measurements.


Because these patterns were $1 today I picked up several copies so I will be suing the pattern directly and not tracing it off.

Still, I told you I would show you my pattern tracing method today and I will. This method was taught to me by my incredibly talented online friend Rowena. I love it and use it all the time.

You don’t need to cut your pattern apart to do this but I did for the sake of picture taking ease.

You need a soft base for this method. A blanket, cardboard or a large piece of batting as I have here, all work well.


Next you need paper. Whatever you plan to trace your pattern onto. I don’t buy fancy pattern paper because I don’t need it for this method. I save packing paper boxes or you can even use newspaper. Sometimes I use freezer paper.

The paper goes underneath the pattern but on top of the base. IMG_5634

Weight it down so it doesn’t move.IMG_5635

Next I grab my pinpoint tracing wheel. You don’t need one of these as you can also just use a pin but this tool makes it a bit faster.


All you do next is press and trace. The pinpoints go through the pattern and into the paper beneath it while the base gives you a soft surface to push through.


The end result (mine is a sloppy example but you get the idea) is a perfectly traced pattern.


I find that the holes make it easy to cut out.IMG_5640

I write the details on the pattern and go from there. Again, this is a sloppy example. I would normally do a much better job on those darts for example.


OK so back to my pattern. I cut out all the pieces for the bodice on a test fabric. I am doing the sleeves too because they affect fit.

I sewed it all together quickly with a longer basting type stitch and didn’t worry too much about getting the sleeves eased in perfectly.

Here’s the bodice muslin. It fits well through the shoulders but gaps a lot at the bust. She needs more room at the waist too. It fits but it’s snug and she’s growing.

The back looks fairly decent but needing a little more fitting. Yes I put a zipper in the muslin. Again the point was to see how the fit would be and since the finished dress will have a zipper I need to do that too.

So that’s the muslin. We have some work to do! Next week I’ll be posting about the changes I make to the pattern and doing another test bodice to check the fit again.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

{Disclaimer: I am not an expert. I learned to sew in high school home ec. class and have picked up some knowledge along the way over the last 30 years. Some of the things would most certainly make my home ec teacher, Miss Zepp, frown. I have stopped caring. If my method seems wrong to you, that’s fine, feel free to suggest a better method, I am always open to learning new things. If you have a question please ask. If I know the answer and can help you I will.}

1 Comment

  • Reply
    jennifer in austin
    May 24, 2014 at 4:23 am

    I am really totally new to making any significant adjustments to patterns, but I’d like to try this one for my 14yo daughter. You have convinced me of the value of the muslin, too! Question: What adjustment do you need to make for gaps around the bust line?

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