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When you’re making clothing on your sewing machine, you’d usually work off of a commercially available pattern that you’ve bought online or through a sewing shop. However, these patterns only follow a certain range of body shapes and measurements that often don’t provide the best fit. A tailored pattern is one that’s been developed to specific measurements, but will likely cost more because it will be a once-off pattern.
The solution is to combine the availability and affordability of commercial patterns with techniques to tailor them to your own measurements – getting you the best of both worlds! There are three ways to do this:
- Making a mock-up in muslin before sewing the final garment.
- Altering the garment after you have sewn it up.
- Altering the pattern before you start sewing.
The first option is the most time-consuming and the second is only really good for minor adjustments like altering a hemline. The third option is the most effective and involves pattern grading (increasing or decreasing particular parts of the pattern by spreading the difference equally over particular parts of the pattern, like the hips or bust) or working with a sloper (the term for a flat dress form that accurately represents the perfect fit for your body).
With a sloper, you can lay the commercial pattern on your flat form and see exactly where the pattern needs to be adjusted to give the perfect fit. You will likely have to pivot the sloper’s darting shape to match the pattern’s darting, but it does solve the more complex issues around fit.
Because the sloper is designed to be a completely accurate representation of fit on your body, you can also use it to make more intuitive changes to the fit of your garment based on how tight or flowing you want the finished product to be.
Affordable, reliable sewing equipment from Empisal
At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, sewing kits, steam presses, overlockers, haberdashery products and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years. Ideal for anyone who wants to learn to sew as well as accomplished crafters and professionals, our machines and equipment are reliable, precise and durable.