From tissue-fitting pioneers Pati Palmer and Marta Alto comes a new book whose title says it all: The Palmer/Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting: Sew Great Clothes for Every Body! Fit Any Fashion Pattern. It’s been 20 years since their last book about fitting and altering sewing patterns, Fit for Real People. For Palmer and Alto, that means 20 more years of hands-on learning and experience from fitting more “real people” of all shapes and sizes from around the globe. Having long ago dispensed with tedious measuring or making a muslin to check the fit of a sewing pattern, the authors have mastered the process of tissue-fitting. This means simply “trying on” the pattern’s tissue pieces to check systematically for where to alter the pattern for a custom fit. The pattern pieces themselves become the “muslin.” “Systematically” means following the tissue-fitting sequence they’ve developed and refined. It’s a no-guess order of fitting that ensures success. The book reinforces this sequence since the alteration chapters themselves are ordered in the same sequence. Readers are instructed to start with length and width, move on to the back, check the neck and shoulders, all before even considering how the pattern fits in the bust. As they work through the pattern, sewers will alter the tissue and try on again until the tissue fits well. The book then instructs how to pin-fit the fabric for a final tweaking before sewing. The book explains all facets of pattern fitting and alteration to give readers the background and guidance they need to achieve a custom fit on any pattern from any company.
Instructions include: • Take just one measurement to determine the right pattern size to buy. Find out what to do if you are between sizes or a different size top and bottom. • Make a “body map” with a close-fitting dress pattern to see how you differ from the “standard” on which sewing patterns are based. • Learn from “real people” examples of a variety of bodies and their individual alterations. • Use the book’s new “wrinkle dictionary” to identify a needed pattern alteration. “Wrinkles point to the problem,” say the authors, and now you can look up the page reference for a solution. • See how age can affect body shape, from preteen to octogenarian. • Take note of the latest sewing techniques for garment details that affect fit, such as darts, zippers and sleeves, for enhancing the look of a well-fitted garment. • Learn basic skills for designing or redesigning for myriad variations using the same pattern. Throughout the book, step-by step instructions are accompanied by full-color photography and a new style of technical art that is extremely clear. Short captions explain each illustration. As a bonus, the authors detail the evolution of ready-to-wear and pattern sizing over the past century, along with their own history in pioneering the art and practice of tissue-fitting.
About the Author
Pati Palmer is the CEO of Palmer/Pletsch Publishing and a designer and consultant for the McCall Pattern Company. Marta Alto is the star of most of the Palmer/Pletsch videos and online classes, including Fit for Real People: Basics. Pati and Martha are coauthors of Jackets for Real People and Pants for Real People.