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The Queen of Sew

Picks a Pattern With the Best Fit

By Shirley Cunningham, For the Fit of It

(The Queen of Sew is a fictional character created by Shirley Cunningham. She calls upon the Court Fitter  to provide answers to her sewing problems. If you would like the court fitter to address your particular sewing or fitting problem, contact For the Fit of It.)

Once upon a time, the Queen of Sew went searching in the pattern catalogue for a dress pattern. She very quickly became confused. Did she want a design that was close fitting, semi-fitted, loose fitting or very loosely fitted? She summoned the Court Fitter.

The Court Fitter understood her confusion and explained, "For most pattern companies, the term CLOSE FITTING refers to designs with less than 2 inches of ease through the bust line. This ease allowance is most commonly used in strapless, or sleeveless evening wear when there is a desire to reveal body contour. The term SEMI-FITTED describes a design with over 2 inches up to 3 1/2. This amount of ease is the standard ease that occurs in what most people would describe as "fitted."   In dresses it is a close easy fit. In jackets it represents a close fit that CAN NOT be worn over a blouse. The term LOOSE FITTING refers to is achieved by adding 1/2 inch or more width through the shoulder and 1 1/2 or more inches to the side of the design from the arm hole to the hemline. The designer most often lowers the armhole depth and remover the bust and shoulder contour in these types of designs."

At this point the Queen interrupted, "What do you mean by removing the bust contour?" The Court Fitter patiently explained. "When the designer desires to cover the body with the proper amount of fabric to allow for body movement , but does not want the presence of darts or seams for contour, the fitting bust dart and back shoulder dart is pivoted to their respective armholes and left un-stitched. This pivot procedure provides for the body contour and place flat fabric on the body."

The Court Fitter reminded the Queen that a flat cut is recognized in the pattern by a bodice piece with no presence of darts and whose side seam angle is straight from the armhole to the waist, or has a side seam with an angle tapering in from the armhole to the waist.

The Fitter then returned to completing the answer to the Queen’s first question. "The term VERY LOOSE FITTING refers to designs with over 8 inches of design and fit ease. These designs. Are meant to be worn very loose on the body and for most figures requires a selection of a more fluid fabric from the vertical side of one’s color palette."

Once again the Queen interrupted, "What do you mean by the vertical side of the color palette?" The Fitter answered. "The warm side of the color wheel adds a horizontal element of the body, while the cool side adds vertical dimension."

With this information, the Queen felt more confident as she went back to the pattern catalogue to make her choice.

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