Custom Fit Clothing: Sewing a Made-to-Measure Muslin | Robyn Burgess | Skillshare

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Custom Fit Clothing: Sewing a Made-to-Measure Muslin

teacher avatar Robyn Burgess, Sewist & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (59m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Getting Started

    • 3. Understanding Fit

    • 4. Taking Your Measurements

    • 5. Comparing Your Pattern

    • 6. Customizing Your Pattern

    • 7. Cutting & Sewing

    • 8. Trying On Your Fit

    • 9. Making a Full Bust Adjustment

    • 10. Making a Sway Back Adjustment

    • 11. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

If you want to sew clothes that look and feel like a million bucks, start with a made-to-measure muslin.

At 6’2’’, Robyn Burgess struggled to find clothes that fit both her inseam and her bold style. Tired of never feeling comfortable in the clothes she owned and constantly contributing to the fast fashion industry, Robyn decided to start making her own clothes. What began as a side project has turned into an entire custom-made wardrobe and a sewing blog beloved by a community of other curious, fashion-forward creatives. 

Now, with years of stylish pieces under her belt, she’s ready to teach you how to fill your closet with your own handmade clothes.  After today you can say goodbye to compromising on the fit of your clothes and hello to garments that are tailored fit to your body all with the help of a made-to-measure muslin. You’ll learn how to tailor your garment in all the right places so that everything you make has you feeling comfortable and confident.  

In this class, you’ll discover how to adjust a pattern to flatter your unique figure as well as create a true custom fit muslin.

Working with Robyn you’ll:

  • Discover the best way to measure your body for custom-fit clothes
  • Learn how you can add length and shape to a pattern
  • Make a piece that is functional and stylish through precise pattern adjustments
  • Assemble your customized pattern into an easy to use muslin
  • Combine pre-made patterns to make a pattern custom to you

Plus, Robyn shares her unique measurement guide as well as a few extra patterns so that you can get crafting your custom clothing without a hitch.

Whether you never seem to find clothes that perfectly fit your figure or just want to make garments that fit your unique style, these sewing skills will help fill your closet with clothes that are functional and fashionable.

In this class, Robyn uses tracing paper, measuring tape, a ruler, a pencil, a pen, fabric scissors, paper scissors, a roll of elastic, and a sewing machine. You’ll also need a full length mirror and a cell phone to take photos and videos of your new creation. To continue your sewing journey, explore Robyn's Learning Path Sew Custom Clothing from Scratch.

Meet Your Teacher

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Robyn Burgess

Sewist & Designer


My name is Robyn Andrea Burgess. I’m 6’2″ and I’ve been this gloriously tall since I was 13. I’ve always loved making every hallway and sidewalk my runway, but finding fashions that fit all of my proportions is a struggle. I started my fashion design and sewing journey in 2015 to build a wardrobe of quality garments that fit my inseam and my bold style. I hope Styles InSeams will inspire you to create outfits that show the world how fabulous you are!


Follow me on Instagram for daily sewing inspiration.

See all of my me-made looks on the blog and shop my sewing pattern designs to make your own.

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Sewing is the magic art of bringing 2D elements together to make a 3D piece. I love that everything I wear is not only unique to my style, but has been tailored to hug and fit my body in all the right places. Hi, my name is Robyn Andrea Burgess. I'm a sewist and founder of styles and scenes. A fit obsessed sewing blog and indie pattern business. I started sewing six years ago after decades of struggling to find clothes that fit my six-foot two body, my budget and my bold, cheerful style. I taught myself how to design and sew a handmade wardrobe. Now, everything I wear, I create for my imagination and my sewing machine. One of the greatest benefits of sewing your own clothes is that you don't have to compromise on fit. You can feel fabulous in everything you wear. In this class, we'll start by learning why ready-to-wear clothes and sewing patterns aren't really made to fit your uniquely perfect body. Together, we're going to make a practice garment known as toile or muslin. There are a great way to practice sewing techniques and experiment with the designs without wasting your beloved fabric. We're going to make a shirt wall. We're going to take your measurements, compare them to the pattern. Sew up the muslin try it on and evaluate the fit. Whether you're brand new to dressmaking, or you've sewn up a few designs that don't fit just right. I'm going to equip you with the skills and language to investigate issues that affect comfort and aesthetics. You can nail the fit of every garment in your handmade wardrobe. Let's go [MUSIC] 2. Getting Started: [MUSIC] Welcome to my tailoring-to-fit class. I started sewing because at six foot two, I just can't buy clothes that fit. But it turns out that my not industry standard body also doesn't fit sewing patterns, at least not without extensive pattern alterations. It took me a few years to understand where I wear my extra inches and how I need to lengthen, pivot, dart, and grade to hug my curves. I'm going to help you get there faster. You'll be ready to start customizing your clothes to ensure they complement your body shape and are comfortable to wear. My goal is to give you a better understanding of how to fine-tune your fit before it comes to cutting expensive fabric by creating a tulle. Tulles also known as muslins are an important part of the design and pattern-making process. They allow you to test out how 2D fabric will sit on your 3D body. A great example of some of the world's most gorgeous tulles is the Christian Dior tulle room exhibit at the V&A in London or Brooklyn Museum in NYC. A whole wall of white fabric prototypes of dresses, coats, pants, and blouses. This really shows the level of love, time, and attention that goes into well-made designer pieces. But tulles are used by everyone, not exclusively couture designers. They're fantastic way of honing your skills without risking your precious fabric. What tools do we need for this class? First, we need some inexpensive fabric and you have a few options. It's a little less sustainable, but I usually like a simple cotton muslin because it takes away my anxiety around making mistakes on something I want to wear out in the world. To best understand the shape of your finished top, you need a fabric that's closest to the stretch, weight, and drape of what you'll be using in your final piece. Then you'll need your sewing pattern. I'm making a shirt, but I'll share a few options in the project resources in case you want to make something different. You'll also need some tracing paper, a measuring tape, a ruler, a pencil, and a marking pen for your fabric, fabric scissors and paper scissors, a bit of elastic, and your sewing machine. Finally, you'll need a full-length mirror and a cell phone or camera to take photos or videos of your fit. Now that you have your tools, let's jump into our first lesson, which is all about finding out why your clothes don't fit. See you there. [MUSIC] 3. Understanding Fit: [MUSIC] Welcome back. If you take anything away from this class on tailoring to fit, I want you to remember, it's not you, it's the pattern. Your body is perfect, the pattern is not. Sewing patterns and ready-to-wear clothes alike, are made from a normal block. That means that they're made from a pattern that's based on some statistical averages of what a woman or man's body is supposed to be. That normal block is not based on a real human. It's based on some mathematics and some statistical surveys that have been taking about what the average woman is shaped like, or it's based on a dress form. Sometimes the ready-to-wear clothes, it's based on a single fit model. Just a woman who has the shape that the designer likes, and they decide to create a block around that. Very often, you'll find that these statistically normal patterns aren't really going to fit your exact body. You might have more protuberance, or stick out a little bit more in places, you might be more narrow in places. What we're going to do is look at the ways that we can look at a pattern, understand what size that block is trying to be, and understand the differences between our real body and that paper pattern. What exactly does it mean for close to fit? What are we looking for? For me, I think the only thing that is a definite with fit is having lines that are supposed to be vertical, be straight up and down vertical, and lines that are meant to be horizontal, be straight across, horizontal. For vertical lines, I'm usually looking at side seams. Generally speaking, most side seams, you're going to want to go straight up and down, or perpendicular to the floor. Most waist seams, you're going to want to be horizontal, or parallel to the floor. Other than that, pretty much everything else is a matter of taste when it comes to fit. There are additional lines that get formed when you're sticking out a bit too much, or maybe you're not filling it out enough. Those are drag lines. Generally speaking, drag lines are representation that something doesn't have enough fabric or has too much fabric to go over your body. We'll get into that a little bit later in this class about how do we remove drag lines and identify them. The other part of fit that's really important is comfort. All clothes should be comfortable. They should empower you to do your daily activities. We actually have to move through our day. So all clothes should have some amount of ease. With fit ease, you want enough extra room in your clothes to allow you to do your activities. You want to be able to lift your arms, or rotate your body, or breathe, for example. For most clothes, you want about two inches at the bust. You want around an inch at the waist and about an inch and a half at the hips. That's because when you go from standing to sitting, at the hips for example, your flesh widens a bit and fills out your pants or your skirt differently than when you're standing up. So you need a bit of ease so it doesn't burst at the seams when you sit down. That is fitting ease. Clothes also have design ease. Design ease is all of the extra fabric that's in your garment that helps you to look the way that you want it to look. For example, a knit garment, a body contrast. That might be designed with negative ease. Negative ease is only used with stretch fabrics, and it's when you want the dress to be a little bit smaller than your body so that it hugs all your curves and stretches as you go inside of it. Positive design is, I want you to think about an oversized dress, a tent dress. You might have 20 extra inches, or for a circle skirt, it may be huge, because you want it to flow and be bellow and not to touch your body. You don't want to see the shape of your body under it. So that's fitting ease and that's design ease. What we're going to do next is measure our bodies and take a good set of our measurements, so we know exactly what our proportions are as we're tailoring our fit. [MUSIC] 4. Taking Your Measurements: [MUSIC] I'm going to go change in something a little bit tighter with some negative ease so that I can take good measurements around my own body and show you how to as well. I put on this dress so I have something nice and tight to check my measurements. Make sure that you're wearing whatever undergarments you're going to wear under your finished piece, so whatever bra that is, whatever shape where that might be because you'll get a different shape depending upon the different undergarments that you're wearing. In order to help this fit along, I'm going to use some elastic first. You just want to cut the elastic off so that you can create parallel lines at your bust, your waist, and your hip. This is going to help you as you measure between the different distances. [MUSIC] Now that I have these tied around me, I'm just going to check and see if they're parallel to the ground. I just want them to be nice and level at the widest parts of my body. For my waist at the narrowest bit. If you can't find your waist the narrowest bit, just bend over to the side and that spot that you bend over is your natural waist. At your bust, you want to do the full as part of your bust, and makes sure all the lines are parallel to the floor. We're ready to grab our measuring tape. We're going to take a few different measurements now, the first is going to be our upper bust. So just take the measurement around, just below your underarms. Check for any twists and make sure it's parallel to the ground and go ahead and write down that measurement on your worksheet. Next, we're going to do the bust, and we've already created the bust lines. We just want the measuring tape to line up with that and stay parallel to the ground as good as possible. Write down that measurement now. Then for your waist, same deal, parallel to the ground, check all around and get that measurement and then your hips. Next, what we're going to do is the high point shoulder down to our waist. This is a really good measurement to help you figure out if the pattern is long enough for your body. Because the waistline is usually marked on the pattern and the high point shoulder is really easy to find because regardless of what you're making, you're probably going to have a shoulder seam right here. I just want to measure from really close up to my neck at the highest part of this slope, down to the elastic here. This is why we added this elastic, it makes it a lot easier to find our waist point. Just measure at the top of that elastic. Go ahead and write that down on your worksheet. Next, I'm going to get from my waist down to my hip. I just want to go straight down and see what this length is. Remember, as you did before, just do the top of this line to the top of the next line. Next, we're going to do our back high point shoulder to our waist. This one's a little tricky to do on your own, but that's why I really like having the mirror here, or sometimes what I'll do is I'll stand in front of my phone on a tripod or something and take a video so I can look at the video to read that measurement. Again as before, high point shoulder is just next to your neck. Try to make sure it's not twisted at all, and then see if you can read that measurement in the mirror. If not, go ahead and try to get a video of it or a picture so you can read that measurement off the picture. You could definitely ask someone to help measure you, but I want to make sure you're equipped to do this on your own. Those are all the measurements I really need to show you for our bodies top, but there's more that you may need to take. Directions on how to take those measurements are on the measurement guide that's in the project resources. I'm going to go get changed and then compare my measurements to the pattern. [MUSIC] 5. Comparing Your Pattern: [MUSIC] Now we're back with our worksheet full of our measurements. Now what we want to do is pull out our paper pattern and take measurements so that we can compare and see where the difference is between our bodies and the pattern block. In our paper patterns class, we went into a good amount of detail of how to choose the right size for our body. Let's remember really quickly. We want to use our upper bust measurement in order to find the perfect size for anything that is fitted at the bust. What I'm going to be making in this class is McCall's M8287, which is a pretty basic learn-to-sew pattern, pretty easy skill level, and it's a nice fitted bodice. That means that it's a bodice that's meant to fit within a couple of inches of my body. It has bust darts and it has waist darts in the front and in the back. It's going to give me a few places that helps me tailor it to my body. I would encourage you to choose a pattern for this class that has some darts in it already so we can use those to help us to get the fit even closer to our body. The first thing that I need to do with my pattern is choose my size. Now that I have my measurements, I'm going to compare them to the size chart on the pattern. I know that this pattern is drafted for someone with a B cup. A B cup means that there's two inches of difference between the upper bust measurement and the bust measurement. In other words, I can take my upper bust measurement and add two inches. That's the bust measurement I should be looking at in the pattern to find my size. On this pattern, I'm a size 16, so I'm just going to circle that on my pattern and remember that. Let's look at our other measurements really quickly to make sure we're choosing the right size. The next thing that they have here is the waist. My waist is a 30 and so if I look at the pattern here, a size 16 also has a 30 inch waist. Then the hip measurement. My hips are a 43 right now and, on this pattern, I'm somewhere between an 18 and a 20. I know from looking at this that I can choose a size 16 probably and then I might need to do something different at the hip. Let's hold onto that thought for now. I'm going to choose a size 16 to make. What I want to do next is go and find the finished garment measurements. I'm going to teach you two ways to find those. The first is actually really easy. This pattern now has printed the finished garment measurements at a few places. For this particular pattern, it's given me my bust and the waist measurements. Here at the size 16, the finished bust is 42 and a half inches, so I'm going to add that here. Then it tells me that the finished waist for the size 16 is 34 inches. I'm going to show you the other way to do that because not all patterns will have it so neatly printed here. What they might do is have it on the pattern itself. On the pattern, they have some key points mark, and I'll use this waistline for the example first. The key points in the way that McCall's likes to do it is this little circle with an arrow inside of it denoting the waist. Then it has a set of measurements for each size that's included in the pattern. Again, I'm making the size 16 here and the waist measurement is 34. That lines up with what they have written here in this example. But if you didn't have that example, what I want you to do is take that 34 and now add it to your worksheet. We can move up and find the bust measurement. This particular pattern doesn't have the little marker here but given that the darts are pointed right here and it has this set of measurements, I know that's my bust. Again, it's 42 and a half inches for the size 16, so add that to your worksheet. Before we discuss how the B cup is two inches of difference between the bust and the upper bust. For the purposes of just getting another measurement on here, I'm going to subtract two inches from my bust measurement to put my assumed pattern measurement for the upper bust, so that would be 40 and a half inches. What I want to do now is just a little bit of quick math and subtract my body measurement from the pattern measurement. First, I'm going to start with my upper bust measurement. 40.5 minus 36 is 4.5 inches, 42.5 minus 40 is 2.5 inches, and 34 minus 30 is 4 inches. This right here now tells me how much ease there is going to be in my finished garment. Once again, ease is the amount of difference between the pattern and your body. We can look at ease charts, which I'll put in the resources section to see what is about the average ease that's included in different definitions of garments. McCall's, for example, who is the maker of this pattern. They have an ease chart where they say about how much extra room they put in patterns of different fitting definitions. Take a look at that and compare to your amount of difference so that you can get an idea of how roomy this garment is going to be. Before we move off the pattern, I want to get a couple of more measurements to make sure that I understand how this is going to fit on my body. The first one that I want to do, because this is a sleeveless pattern, I'm not going to worry about shoulder length right now. What I want to do is full bodice length and that's going to be the highest point of your shoulder to your waist along your front. To help me do that, I'm just going to move my ruler down to the waistline and making sure that it's nice and perpendicular to the fold line. I'm just going to draw a line across so I can use that line later. Now that we have that line there, let's measure it from the high point shoulder down to the waistline. The first thing I'm going to do though, is take out the seam allowance. I know that this pattern, if I look at my pattern has 5, 7, 8 inch of seam allowance. I'm going to draw a line here to take that out and then from the highest point of the shoulder, which is along the collar down to the waistline, I want to take that measurement. For this pattern to this line here it's about 17 inches. I'm just going to take that and mark it on here. You could do the same thing with your back pattern. Another one that I'm going to get is the bust height. I want to measure from the bust to the waistline. In this example, I have six and three quarter inches. Those are the measurements I'm going to take for right now, but I want to point out a couple of things here. The first thing is I can see that the full bodice length here is two-and-a-half inches less than my body measurement. In other words, I'm taller than this pattern is designed for. Pretty obvious, I'm 6'2''. One thing that's interesting though, is the difference between the bust height is actually positive, three-quarters of an inch. On my body, my bust it's a little bit closer to my waistline than the pattern is designed, but I have extra inches somewhere. This tells me that I both need to lengthen the pattern, but I might need to think about where I'm adding that length. Because on the pattern it gives me a length and shorter in line, but that might not be the right place. We'll pick that back up in a later lesson. I want to encourage you to keep measuring the pattern and comparing to your body measurements so you can understand the unique ways that your body is different than a standard block for the pattern. Now that we have our measurements, we're going to use these to make some adjustments to the paper pattern before we saw up our muslin. Join me in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 6. Customizing Your Pattern: [MUSIC] Back on the pattern, let's look at one of the first changes that we can make. If you remember from our last lesson, I had to choose between a couple of different sizes when it came to my bust, waist, and hips on the pattern, I was between a size 16 for my bust and waist and then up to a size 18, 20 for my hips. What you'll do if you are between sizes is a technique called grading. Grading is when you move from one size to the next. If you look at this pattern, you can already see that there's some grading that exist here. This pattern has multiple sizes in it. It has everything from a size 16 to a size 24. Grading effectively is the amount of difference between each of these sizes. If you're curious, you can see, you can measure it out. This particular grade has a half of an inch between the size 16 and 18, and that's pretty consistent between each of the sizes. What I can do in this pattern, because I know that I'm going to need it to be a little bit bigger in my hips than it is at my waist, I can come and I can choose to make the hips a size 18, but keep the waist at a size 16. What I generally like to do is use the hip curve which is a certain type of tool or just freehand it and go from this waistline at a size 16-18. Let me just draw that on to show you. Now instead of cutting my pattern right here on the size 16 line, I'll cut it along this new line that I've made, and it's made the hips just a little bit wider so that they're not snug here and getting stuck to my body, and it'll still keep the proportions with my body. If you're even more sizes between, you can still do that. You can go from a 22 to a 16. But just be mindful that as you gray for more sizes, it's going to start to spread out in that angle or the slope of that line is going to get more extreme. It's best to try to balance that out as much as possible. For example, if you have a seam in your center back, what you might do is add a little bit on the side seams and then add a little bit on the center back seam so you're not putting all of that extra width in one place. One other thing to note is that all patterns have an amount of seam allowance. This pattern has 5/8 of an inch of seam allowance, meaning that everywhere there is an edge, there's an extra 5/8 of an inch of fabric there that I can play around with. In this example, there seams at both sides so there's four seam, so 4 times 5/8 of an inch is 2 and 1/2 inches of extra space that you can potentially get out of your pattern. You will still need a little bit of seam allowance so let's just say we can get about one-and-a-half inches extra because my hips aren't that much bigger than my waist in this example, what I could do instead of actually grading it here is try it on and see if I just need to let out the seams a little bit to give myself a little extra room. Now that we've talked about adding width around your pattern, let's talk about adding length. Many patterns like this one have some helpful tools here called a lengthen or shorten here line. You'll find it on the pattern as this double line here that usually has a label for it, lengthen or shorten here. That line tends to be rather arbitrarily placed because effectively it's telling you you can add length here, but what if my body doesn't need the extra length there? What if I need the length somewhere else? If you don't have that exact line, what you can do instead is draw your own. I learned from looking at my measurements that I need to add my length above the bust to give myself extra room between the high point of my shoulder and my bust point. There's no lengthen and shorten line so what do I do? What I can do is use my ruler and line it up with the centerfold, or if you had a grain line on your pattern that's running from top to bottom, use that to line up your ruler and then find the spot on the pattern that doesn't have any notches or markings or design elements, if possible. On my particular pattern, I have this little mark here for the left side. I know from having already pre-read my pattern, then that's used for the zipper that's going to go in this pattern. If I'm adding length, I can assume that I'm also going to want that length to be in the zipper so I'm going to choose a spot below those dots, but above my bust line to add my extra length. I just want to line this up with the center front line or with the grain line and I want to draw a line that just runs straight across. Now I can use this line as my new lengthen and shorten line where I'm going to add extra length to fit my body. This is the same in a bodice as it might be on a skirt or a pair of pants as well. You can try to find a spot that is not going to bother any of your design elements, and just draw a line perpendicular to your grain line straight across so that you can add length or remove length. I've just drawn my lengthen and shorten line above my bust where I need to add some length, and what I'm just going to do is make sure that I have a good line intersecting that at a right angle, which I will need for adding the length, and you'll see why in a second. This is my trick. I've added a line in and now I'm ready to cut in my lengthen, shorten line. You just want to cut straight across. Now I have two sections here and I've added that line so that I know exactly how those are supposed to go back together. That's why it's important. I'm just going to take some scrap paper. I like to use something that's an off-brand and I want to just take these together first. Doesn't have to be perfect at this point. I'm just going to draw a couple of lines on here. My first line that I draw is just to give myself a little extra space on the paper. Next, I'm going to draw at the width that I want to add or the length that I want to add. I've decided that I'm going to add an inch and a half right here. I just like to use my ruler and again, this is a great ruler for any soloist because you can measure the width wise up to two inches. That's my one-and-a-half inches. Then I'm just going to draw another line so I can use it to cut it. I'm going to cut across, let's go all the way to the end. We can set this aside for now. All I want to do is line this up with that top line that I've drawn on the paper, and then I'm going to tape it down in a couple of places. Make sure that it's nice and straight with that line. Now what I want to do is just continue this line that I've had on here all the way through the extra inch and a half that I've added. The next step is to just take the other side of my pattern and get that right lined up with that line. Now my pattern has been lengthened. The only thing left to do with lengthening the pattern here is to continue any of the lines or curves that I've now disrupted by adding in this extra length. I'm going to take along this center-front line and just continue this straight line. The same here on the side. What you'll find however, is that because you've added length if you have anything that has a little bit of a slope, so it's going at an angle or anything with a curve, you're going to need to redraw that line or curve. Just use your top point and your bottom point of the curve to make it even and steady throughout. Now that we're ready to cut out our pattern, I want you to just pause for a couple of seconds and do a few things. The first, write down whatever changes that you've made. I've added an inch and half here, I've graded out the hip. Just make some notes just so you're aware of all the things that you've done to the pattern. Meet me in the next lesson where we're going to cut out the pattern in fabric and sew from the sleeve. [MUSIC] 7. Cutting & Sewing: [MUSIC] Welcome back. Now that we have our adjusted pattern, we're ready to start moving into our fabric and make our muslin. When we start to make our muslin, we need to decide what we're trying to accomplish here. 8. Trying On Your Fit: Welcome back. We're back at the mirror, but this time wearing our muslin. If you haven't already go ahead and put it on because together we're going to walk through how to look at the muslin in the mirror and figure out what fits well and what you might want to change. The first thing that I want to do with the muslin on is remember that it's an article of clothing, meaning that if I'm going to be wearing it, I need to be living in it. I need to be able to move around and do my daily tasks. What I want to do is lift up my arms and spin around a little bit and bend over, as I need to. If it's a dress or pants, I definitely want to try to take a seat and make sure that it's comfortable there and just observe all the places where it might be a little bit uncomfortable. For a top, I'm definitely checking to see does it lift up when I lift my arms or does it stay in the place. If it lifts up, you might have a problem. If I'm making a dress or skirt and I sit down and it gets real tight in my hips as the shape of my flesh changes, you might need to let out the hips a little bit, to give yourself a little bit more room. I'm not having either of those problems with my fit here. But I want you to make sure that every time you put on the muslin, the first question you ask yourself is, is it comfortable? Do I like how I feel in this garment? Once comfort is out of the way, the next question you want to ask yourself, do I like how I look in this garment? Is it accentuating my assets? Is it hiding the things that I'm insecure about? Is it giving me the proportions that I like to see myself in? Have a little spin, take some pictures of yourself, definitely record a video of yourself and just give yourself something to analyze besides just looking in the mirror. Because remember, as you turn around and look back, you're twisting the shape and you can't see yourself properly. As I'm doing that, I'm starting to observe a couple of the problems with the fit in this garment. The first thing is a little bit of gaping here. Even though I haven't put in the seam allowances up at the top that there may just be a little bit of excess here in the center front that's giving me a gap. I'm going to grab my pins and I'm going to start to pin out the things that I think I might want to change. What I also could do because this is a muslin and the fabric isn't precious, it's actually easy to write on it. I can grab a pencil and write my changes directly on the fabric. Right here, I know that it's gaping a little bit at the center front, just at the top. I could pin this down or sometimes what I like to do is just draw along a little dart and then I might take out. Then I'll just remember that I need to get rid of the gaping. Another thing that I'm noticing is that I have all of these lines and wrinkles that are coming out from my bust. I didn't already do a full bust adjustment for this pattern even though I know that my bust size is a bit bigger, I didn't do it because on the pattern it says that it has enough room in that spot. But just because it has enough inches in that spot around the bust doesn't mean those inches are in the right place. It's giving me plenty of inches in the back here, but they're not in the front. I can tell from these lines that I'm going to want to do a full bust adjustment to make it so that I get rid of these wrinkles and everything fits evenly across my bust. Another indication that I'm going to need a full bust adjustment is the fact that this line on this side, my side seam, is not perpendicular to the floor. I can see that it's pretty straight from the waist down from the waist to the bust it's pulling towards the back a little bit. This is because it just doesn't have enough fabric. It's creating a line that isn't quite straight. The rest of the front looks pretty good to me. The hem is about at the right spot before I put my hem in. Generally speaking, the waste is hitting about where my waste needs to be. I've added the right amount of length here. I will take it a video to check out my back. But what I can really see here is that there's a lot of extra fabric going on. I usually know for my body that I need to do a sway back adjustment because I just have all of this extra here. I like to have my fit so that you can see the line of my body. What I need to do is take out some extra fabric here so it fits a bit closer to my body. As I look at this back adjustment, what I can try to do is just pinch it out a little bit to a place where I think it's good and put a pin in there, so I can make note of how much fabric I'm taking out. I can take this off and measure it and try to put more pins in and try it back on and see if that fixes the problem and if it does, I can transfer that to my paper pattern. If I were noticing problems with a fit and I wanted it to come in a little bit tighter on my waist, either in the front or in the back, what I could do is take out these basic darts and resew them a little bit smaller. But the problems that I have mean that I actually need more fabric and less fabric in the length. So I'm going to need to go back to my pattern to make those adjustments. Now it's your turn. Put on your muslin and try it on and ask yourself those questions. Is it comfortable? Do I feel competent wearing it? Are there drag lines? Are there bits that aren't accentuating my body the way that I want it to be accentuated? Meet me in the next lesson where we can transfer the changes we need here onto our paper patterns. [MUSIC] 9. Making a Full Bust Adjustment: First up is a full bust adjustment. Let's define what that is first. A full bust adjustment is an adjustment that you make to the bustest of your front pattern piece so that you can have a little bit more room around your bust area. Most pattern blocks are designed for women with a B cup. A B cup you remember is two inches of difference between your bust measurement and your upper bust measurement. If you have a different cup size, either smaller or larger, you will have a different amount of difference between your upper bust measurement and your first measurement. A full bust adjustment again is for a larger bust, while a small bust adjustment is for a smaller bust. In order to figure out how much we need to make in a full bust adjustment, think about what your cup size is. If your cup size is C, that means you have three inches difference between your bust and your upper bust. Since the pattern is drafted for B cup with two inches difference, whatever your cup size is, subtract that two inches. So a C cup, you'd have one additional inch that you need, a D cup, two additional inches that you need, and so forth. Remember that those inches are distributed on two sides of your pattern. We're only working with one half of your front here. For a D cup, where you need two additional inches, the adjustment that we're going to make is only one inch or one half of that difference. Next, I'm going to show you how to cut into your pattern and add the extra fabric where it needs to go so you have those additional inches. The first thing that we want to do for our full bust adjustment is to find our bust point. If your bust point isn't already on your pattern and sometimes they look like this with a round circle with a cross in the middle, you can draw it on. Grab your ruler and line it up with the center of your waist dart and make a line that goes straight up perpendicular to your waistline. You want to go straight up along the grain line. Next, look at your side dart. Draw a line that goes through the center of your side dart. We're actually going to want that line to connect all the way down to the bottom because we're going to make a cut. We can just connect that backup. The intersection of those two lines is going to be about your bust point. Remember that your bust point never matches exactly at the end of your dart legs because you want to leave a little bit of extra space at that point. Just extend those lines all the way into the scene. Now we need to draw a third line that goes from the bust dart up into the arm hole. Make sure that you find a spot that doesn't intersect with any of your notches, but it doesn't matter exactly where you put it, just try to put it in the lower arm hole. Now the next thing I want you to do is to find the seam allowance at that arm hole and mark that along your first line. Again, this pattern has five-eighths of an inch seam allowance, so I'm just going to mark a little hash here at five-eighths of an inch. You'll see what that's for in just a second. What we're going to do next is actually cut into our pattern and create a hinge so that we can open it up. We added this little mark here so that we can create the pivot point for our hinge. The first cut that I want you to make is a little snip that goes up to this line, but not through this line. [NOISE] Next, you want to cut all the way up through this dart to your bust point and then follow this line to that hinge. Make sure you don't cut all the way through because you want to leave a little bit that you can pivot it on. [NOISE] Don't pull too hard, but you can see how you can now open this up and add extra space. What we're going to do is go over to our extra paper for a second. Remember what we said before about the difference between our bust size and the pattern size. Again, at a C cup, you need to add an extra inch throughout the bust. You need to add two halves of an inch or you need to do a one-half inch full bust adjustment. For a D cup, you need to do a one-inch full bust adjustment. I'm just going to mark use this paper and create two lines that are one inch away from each other. [NOISE] There we go. I like to just write in my measurements so I don't forget what I've done there. Now what we want to do is bring this back over to our pattern. We're going to need another step, but I want to demonstrate something first so we're going to start here. We're adding our one-inch and then one inch is going to be a straight line. But the reason why I wanted to bring this over for a second is just to demonstrate to you that if you just try to open it up by one inch and you hinge it out, it's going to be at an angle. We need to get rid of that angle. Let's take the paper away for just a second and come back to that third line that we drew in. For this third line, I want you to cut all the way, but not through. Again, leave a little bit to hinge on. [NOISE] The purpose of this extra bit is to be able to hinge again. What we're going to do is take this paper and put it back under. Now we should be able to hinge this so that these two lines are parallel to each other. What I'm going to do is tape this down on this one-inch line. Next, I'm going to bring this over and get the hinge right so that this line is parallel to the other bit. I want you to observe a few things that have happened. First, you can see that the bottom of this is now uneven. The side is now a bit longer than the center. What we're going to have to do is open this up and add a little bit of extra paper so that that lines up and gives us a bit of extra length. Remember that whenever you have any type of protuberance, whether that is a belly that sticks out a little bit, a nice full butt, or anything else that juts out, in addition to adding width, you're also going to add a bit of length because to go around that you need a bit of extra length. I'm going to cut here and add a bit of extra length that I need. To add this length, I can either draw a line that is perpendicular to the green line or I already have this waistline here and this lengthen and shorten line, so it doesn't matter exactly where you take it from. Just try to take it from a place that's not going to mess up any of the design elements in your pattern. [NOISE] Then what I'm just going to do, the same as when I added length to the pattern, I'm just going to draw a line across so that this lines up. [NOISE] I'm also going to need to add a little bit of paper here, but let's skip that for now. What you'll notice here is that as we've pivoted this point to move and keep these lines parallel, we've not only lengthend this area here which is in the dart, we've also shifted the angle of it. It's no longer pointing to where your bust apex is. What we need to do is move that over a little bit so that we can draw a new dart. The distance that you'll move it over really depends on your cup size with larger distance for larger cup sizes. A good rule of thumb is that you want your new dart length to be about 1-2 inches from your apex. I'm just going to draw a line that's about two inches over and draw a dart. That's where my new dart is going to terminate. Now because this was the dart before, this is the new dart. [NOISE] It's gotten a bit bigger, but that's okay. At this point, there might be a few more things that we want to do. Because we've added an inch here throughout the length, we've actually added an extra width to our waistline as well. What we might want to do is refer to a guide to look at other ways that you can either close up this extra dark that's been created or finish adjusting this waist dart or take out a little bit of distance now at the waist and at the hips that you've added. But for the purposes of this class, I'm going to stop right there and link you to some resources to finish this up. [MUSIC] 10. Making a Sway Back Adjustment: [MUSIC] Next we're going to move on to a sway-back adjustment. A sway-back adjustment is an easy fix for removing the extra fabric that you might have at your center back. If you have a very curved back like I have or a lot of difference between where your shoulders sit and where your waistline sits, this is what this adjustment will help you to fix. It'll help your clothes to fit along the outline of your body better. I know for my muslin fitting that I want to remove about a half an inch of fabric from the middle of my back but it fits pretty well on my side seams. I don't want to adjust the length that I have on my sides. I only want to make the adjustment from the center. For this pattern, I've already added an inch of length down my back but if you haven't already cut your pattern apart, do so at the length and shorten the line before your waist. I'm going to cut that away again. I want you to do the same thing you've seen us do with adding lines. Get a piece of paper for me, I need to go from one inch at the side to a half an inch in the center. What I'm going to do is just make one first line to show you where my pattern would be right now, just to make it a little less confusing on myself. This is my one-inch line. I'm just going to line this up with my pattern. As I've done before, I'm going to draw a line to go through here. But remember, I want it to be one inch over here, but only a half an inch over here. What I'm going to do is draw a marker that's a half-inch up from this line. Because I'm working with a pattern piece that has me center the back on the fold, there isn't any seam allowance here. Basically what I want to do is line this up so that the center stops at a half inch and the out seam stops at one inch. I'm just going to draw a line here to help me guide that up. Now I just want to place this on here so that it's one inch in the side and a half inch in the center. Again, if you didn't need to add any length to your pattern and you just needed to remove length, what you would do instead of adding paper is mark on your pattern a half an inch. You could pivot this so that this comes down a half inch. Now that you have that in place, let's tape it together. One thing that you might notice though it's subtle, this line is no longer straight. What you either need to do now is add a center back seam so that you can cut this on two pieces of fabric because you no longer cut this on the fold and have this angle or what you can do is pivoted out onto the side seam so that this becomes straight again. In the resources, I'll link you to a guy to show you how to move out that angle to the side seam so you can keep your center back on fold. I hope I've prepared you to analyze your own muslin and make some changes to your own garments. Remember that as you're adding length or you're pivoting, you might be changing the shape of other areas of your garment and creating fit problems in other spots. It's important to remember that for any of your actions, look at what other reactions are happening on the paper pattern and continue to make the adjustment for that area as well. You're going to be making a lot of muslins, but practice makes perfect. Get practicing and good luck. [MUSIC] 11. Final Thoughts: [MUSIC] In this class we covered a lot. We started with taking our measurements, then we reviewed our measurements against patterns to figure out what adjustments we can make on the paper. Once we made those adjustments to our paper pattern, we cut our pattern out on muslin material and assembled it together into an easy-to-use muslin that helps us to check the fit. We looked at that fit on our actual bodies, pinning out any excess where we needed to take away and making note of where we needed to add a little bit. We brought those adjustments back to the paper and created a paper pattern with the fixes and finishes so that we can continue to use that pattern to either make more adjustments or make many beautiful finished garments that fit our bodies. I hope you have the confidence now to second-guess the pattern and figure out how you can make that size right for your unique body. If you truly want to sew clothes that fit, you should make creating a muslin a part of your practice and do it each time. It's really the difference between having clothes that are basically no different than off the rack to making clothes that are bespoke, clothes tailored to fit your unique body. As always, check out the class resources for links and more information. I can't wait to see your finished muslins in the project gallery, so make sure to add those. Thank you so much for joining me for this class and happy sewing. [MUSIC]