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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MaryW
Date: 05-14-2007, 09:07 AM (1 of 16)
Good morning everyone. It is a bright, beautiful if somewhat cool day here in Halifax. It is still quite chilly most nights, frosty for sure.

Today my sewing tip is about pattern problems. Read thru your pattern instructions before you begin your garment. If you are unsure of a step, try it first on a muslin. You don't need to go thru every step, just the ones that apply to your specific problem. This way you can work out a solution in advance.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: rosemaryschalck
Date: 05-14-2007, 10:27 AM (2 of 16)
Dear Mary

I have often made the new pattern out of "ugly" fabric on the first try. However, when I do not size the knit and the rate of stretch, it comes out wrong on the item that is made with the pretty fabric.

Is there a guide hidden some where in the pattern that will tell you the rate of stretch required for successful completion on a garment?

Thanks!!!! Rosemary

Ps. I still do not fully get the "amount of ease" as to the acutal measurment of the finished garment. Is there a place where I can download the tables for the patterns?
User: rosemaryschalck
Member since: 09-15-2006
Total posts: 5
From: MaryW
Date: 05-14-2007, 10:46 AM (3 of 16)
Hi and welcome. Usually on the back of the pattern envelope there is a guide for the amount of stretch needed. The crosswise stretch of fabric will be your guide.
I have also made stretch tops from a knit that was too stretchy. It hung off of me and looked terrible. I also think the knit was too heavy. We all make these mistakes. :yawn:
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: MaryW
Date: 05-14-2007, 10:49 AM (4 of 16)
As for the ease question, knit patterns have very little if any ease. The fabric stretches to conform and there just isn't much needed. As for charts, that I am not sure of.

Does anyone know about an ease chart for reference.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: blackie
Date: 05-14-2007, 11:16 AM (5 of 16)
Great tip, Mary!

I trace all my patterns onto medium, then cut them out (as opposed to cutting the pattern pieces themselves. I find this is just as helpful as reading though, because you are handling in detail all the markings and pieces.
see the mundane life of a housewife.
User: blackie
Member since: 03-31-2004
Total posts: 594
From: TammyE.H.
Date: 05-14-2007, 01:25 PM (6 of 16)
The pattern books at your local fabric store has Ease Guides in the back where the sizing guides are.

User: TammyE.H.
Member since: 08-28-2004
Total posts: 51
From: plrlegal
Date: 05-14-2007, 02:48 PM (7 of 16)
I don't know if anyone has noticed, but usually on the front piece of a pattern they print the finished measurement (i.e., if it's a top you'll see the bust size & if its a skirt, you'll see the jo[ size) for each size in a multi-size pattern. Those are the measurement that I go by and they are pretty true on me. For instance, I have been making not only the suit that is in the Latest Project topic but I've made a couple of bias cut skirts and a couple of 4 gore skirts and the measurements printed on the patterns were pretty accurate.
User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: gmcsewer
Date: 05-14-2007, 04:01 PM (8 of 16)
I made a pair of "leggings" for dgd on Saturday. The Lutterloh pattern for tights made to her 30 inch hips measured 10 inches for one complete side or 20 inches total. I laid the pattern on the velour and used a pin to mark the point where it would be cut on the left side. Then I stretched the velour whilel holding the right side in place. I needed to stretch to 15 as her hips were 30" It stretched that much so I cut them out, serged them up and they fit beautifully.So that fabric stretched to 150% of its regular size. She is to represent an eggplant at their chorus program. Her design. My execution. Haven't had so much fun for $5 for a long time.
User: gmcsewer
Member since: 08-19-2003
Total posts: 45
From: PaulineG
Date: 05-14-2007, 05:00 PM (9 of 16)
This is an ease chart from Vogue. I'm not sure if the same measurements apply to all patterns or not but it should give some indication.

I think I saw something that Pam posted once that had an ease guide or link in it but can't remember what it related to so didn't go looking.
User: PaulineG
Member since: 09-08-2006
Total posts: 901
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 05-14-2007, 05:41 PM (10 of 16)
Look on the pattern envelope and see where there is a ruler and it says 'for stretch knits' ... Then it says in order for the knit to work -- "X number of inches of knit must stretch from here to here" X is usually 3 or 4 --I cannot remember which, but that much of the ruler is a different color... Look on the pattern envelope and you will find it..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: dyedinthewool
Date: 05-14-2007, 06:08 PM (11 of 16)
I don't know if this will be of use to anyone, but I have used old bedsheets or duvet covers (double sized) as my mock-up fabric.
One of them actually came out quite well and so I decided to keep it as a top!
User: dyedinthewool
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 7
From: morningrose
Date: 05-14-2007, 07:49 PM (12 of 16)
The ease chart listed from the Vogue site is pretty much the standard. I you are following a pre-made pattern, the ease is built in, and you don't have to worry about it.

The only time you really need to deal with ease is if you are designing your own patterns, or if you are altering a pattern/changing the recommended fabric type. If this is the case, take your actual measurements and add the ease per the type of garment, with consideratio to the fabric you are using.
User: morningrose
Member since: 12-16-2004
Total posts: 15
From: temom
Date: 05-14-2007, 09:07 PM (13 of 16)
I have a stretch question. When measuring the "should stretch to here" section, if it stretches a lot more, should that disqualify the fabric? How do you know which ones will be too stretchy or heavy?
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: bridesmom
Date: 05-14-2007, 11:28 PM (14 of 16)
I find that if the knit has lycra or spandex in it, it retains it's shape much better than regular knit. I tend to stretch it in the store and see how well it 'retracts' before purchasing it. I also am finding that the really good knits that keep their shape are much more expensive than the cheaper cotton knits that don't retain their shape. I just finished reading an article about knits (it could have been the new Threads with the bathing suits article, or else it was a kwik sew book) that if the fabric stretches greater than the pattern calls for, you will most likely end up using a smaller pattern because of the stretch factor. I've found that in knit tops, I make the size that I measure out for and end up having to recut it 1-2 sizes smaller to get the fit I want with the stretch in the fabric.
Tickled pink with my Innovis 4000D
User: bridesmom
Member since: 01-21-2004
Total posts: 2026
From: thedolphinlady
Date: 05-15-2007, 07:34 AM (15 of 16)
Hi all,

I've just been going through a book called "Every Sewer's Guide to the Perfect Fit" by Mary Morris & Sally McCann. This has become my sewing and fitting bible.

They list and compare the ease measurements for all the basic fitting patterns.

Vogue 1000-1001
Butterick #3415

McCalls #2718 (thats the one I got on ebay)
Simplicity 9900
Style 2252
Burda 3750

Its a terrific book. No affiliation. It shows measureing, pattern adjustment in great detail, and compares fitting in every detail possible.

Joannie the Dolphin Lady
User: thedolphinlady
Member since: 02-14-2007
Total posts: 33
From: temom
Date: 05-18-2007, 09:26 AM (16 of 16)
Laura, thank you for your great explanation. That helps a lot!
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
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