When I first learned to sew and knit, I’d throw stuff together with impunity and happily wear it, regardless of whether the fit was a bit off or not.

Heaven only knows what I looked like.  Ah, the folly of youth. Although I do remember a spectacular success with some black and white polka dots, a halter neck and a lot of buttons…my, that dress was a showstopper!  Pity I’ve no pics.

These days, however, whether it’s due to more experience of knitting and sewing, or just encroaching middle age, I’m much less tolerant of poor fit. That goes for RTW and stuff I’ve sewn.

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Needs a bigger FBA and darts lowering.

So what I really need to do is buckle down and improve my fitting skills so that time after time I can turn out well fitted clothes that flatter my shape and feel and look great.

It’s a pretty tall order, but achievable, if I take the time to do the groundwork. I have a library of the best fitting books money can buy.  I need to read them instead of just dipping in and out to find a solution to something that gets thrown up on a particular garment.

To date, time has always been the issue that stops me completely getting to grips with this.  Demands of life in general plus the fact that my wardrobe is invariably very, very empty because I a) don’t like clothes shopping and b) don’t have the time to sew what I need.

So I rush to make something, anything, so I’ve something to wear.  And don’t take the time to do it properly and ensure the fit.

It’s a vicious circle.

But the-rod-for-my-own-back shirt has shown me what I can achieve if I slow it down, take the time to do it all properly, and make sure the fit is spot on before I start.

So, it’s time.  Time to go back to basics and work out my fitting issues.  Get a great set of measurements and work each step of the fitting process methodically.

Actually get a methodology for my fitting…a check-list of specifics that I know I need to change and by how much.

To facilitate this I sucked it up and on Tuesday went clothes shopping.  I need to add a couple of pairs of leggings (M&S – £7.50!) to the mix but then I’m good to go for a while.  This takes the pressure off.

I’m currently working my way through the Knit to Flatter Craftsy course.

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I am loving it.  I’ll do a review so far next week if you’re interested.  But I’ll be casting on and swatching over the weekend and doing some serious measurements for my next cardigan project, Bud by Kim Hargreaves.

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image from Ravelry.com

I’m also about to start another Craftsy course, Sew the Perfect Fit…

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..which hopefully does exactly what it says on the tin! I know that Sewing Princess is working through this too and her toile is looking great so far.

The upside of this course is that once you’ve fitted the pattern you effectively have a fitting block for tops and skirts.  Add to this the basic trouser pattern that I’ve already made twice and I’ve got my basic blocks for drafting my own clothes.  Eeek!    That’s pretty exciting, no?

But of course I really want to make some things whilst all this learning is going on…so I’ve got a couple of, hopefully, quick wins lined up that I can complete in the next week or so.

First up is Washi.  I’ve tweaked the fit since I made my last top (which has since been donated, because I wasn’t happy with the fit…not a large enough FBA!  Although I did wear it a lot out of necessity before this weeks little spree.)

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This time I have the dress version on the table in crinkly black poly-cotton. The fabric’s a bit thin so I’m interlining it with a mystery poly-cotton from Abakhan.  Doing this means that I won’t need a slip under it in the summer, but can wear it with tights until then…it’s snowing outside today, peeps.

I’ve also been working on the first toile for the Amelia dress. I now know what adjustments I need to make for the second toile and then, fingers crossed, I’ll be ready to sew that too, although I’ve no idea which fabric I’m going to go with for this dress!

This should keep me busy…but it’s lovely to be able to take my time and take it step by step.  I will, of course, let you  know how I get on!

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