Creating a Basic Fitting Toile & Alterations


A garment that fits one perfectly is the most important aspect of a garment. Ill fitting clothing is not flattering. No amount of design, jewelry or even color can distract the eye of the beholder. Those who see someone in a garment that does not fit correctly will only notice the flaws in the garment. This is why those who sew, draft their own patterns or use commercial patterns have an advantage. Through the construction and fitting of a basic shell, it is possible to learn exactly what parts of the garment need alterations. Once the fitting issues are resolved the fitting shell can then be used as the basis for a pattern sloper, which is my goal through the next few weeks of postings.

Draped Basic Fitted Bodice: Alterations needed

The basic front bodice with side darts and vertical darts gives me a better fitting than the bodice previously draped. Even so, the first fitting toile shows some fitting issues. The front and back bodice are loose in the area of the bust in the front and the shoulder blades in the back. Also, the waistline in the back needs to be marked a little further upwards.

Alteration method: Fitting tucks

Fitting tuck alterations. The Reader’s Digest Book of Sewing.

After consulting The Reader’s Digest Book of Sewing, I decided to use fitting tucks to resolve the looseness in the initial drape.

The alteration tucks are pinned into place and marked. The bodice is looking better already. The markings will be trued and then transferred to the first paper pattern. To ensure the alterations work, a half toile will be made next.

Alterations: Practice increases proficiency

Not every alteration will follow the online tutorials or sewing books so perfectly. This is where knowing and accepting the fitting needs of one’s body is very important. The more one practices, the better the eye and sensibility for alterations becomes. The end goal is to create patterns and garments that meet the needs of a person’s figure and flatter them.

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