Fitting: the best reason to learn to sew

Fit. Probably the reason most of us first wanted to learn to sew.

No-one decides to make their own clothes because anything they try on in Zara fits perfectly. But sometimes it’s not until you start making your own clothes that you realise just how badly ready-to-wear (RTW) clothes fit you.

I’ve always known I was tall – that much was pretty obvious, but until I started sewing I didn’t know that most of that extra length seems to be between the waist and the crotch (!). I knew what bra size I wore, but I had no idea that most RTW clothes are made to fit a B-cup. (Why is this, when Ms Average GB is apparently now a D-cup?) Or that the height of your boobs was quite so critical to whether a v-neck looks stylish or tarty. And I knew I was pear-shaped, but I hadn’t realised that it was actually my thighs that were adding the extra width rather than my bum.

Now that I know more about how to judge whether or not something fits I’m finding it even harder to buy RTW clothes. I’m becoming ever-so-slightly obsessed by fit. To help me through this, I’m going to work through some of my fit issues here over the coming months. Hopefully we can swap some tips for altering patterns and overcoming some of our shared fitting problems.

Maybe it’ll culminate in a fabulous made-to-measure dress?

In the meantime I’ll share the most important thing I’ve discovered – always buy a well-fitting bra! (And if you’re not sure whether your bra fits, I really recommend this advice from Bravissimo.)

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