Sew This & That: Finding the right fit

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If memory serves us correctly, there is a song that begins, “June is busting out all over.”

That almost describes last month; how some of our ladies discovered their correct sizes and shapes at our adult sewing class. Tape measures were flying around. There was quite a lot of poking, huffing and squeezing. We decided to extend this class later in the year for those of you who missed out on the “Importance of Being Well Fitted.”

With this in mind, we were reminded that ready-made sizes and pattern sizes have very little in common. Directions in new patterns are written differently than they used to be written. The patterns marked “easy” can be most confusing!  For those of us who learned to sew several years ago, it is hard to do things in a different way than you have always done. But then again, just expand your skills outside the box and go for it.

So, now, imagine a gentleman’s bridal vest, so huge that you could add his twin brother to join him!  This vest was extremely well made, with tweed fabric on one side and cream-colored linen on the other. The buttons were somewhat ordinary and rather plastic looking. So, our question was, “How can we make this vest truly elegant for this handsome gentleman’s wedding day?”

The buttons were the first items to be removed and were replaced with antique pearl buttons with shafts. They were gorgeous beyond words. A cream-colored satin handkerchief was made with rolled hems for the top breast pocket, with strict instructions to the groom, “Not to blow one’s nose into!”

Finally, each side seam of the fabric and lining was unsewn, measured, hand-traced to its new location and then the three inches from either side removed. The side seams were machine stitched, with the reverse side hand-finished with invisible stitches to create the vision of never being altered.

Our July tip: “For knits only” on a pattern means exactly what it says. Follow the gauge on the pattern envelope to check how stretchy a knit is and it is important to follow those directions. Also, consider the proper type of knit fabric for the pattern you choose, maybe the stretch will work but be sure the weight of fabric is appropriate for the style of skirt, dress, etc.  

 Dates to remember: In view of the 4th of July, ‘This and That’ will not be having an Adult Sewing class this month and will resume on Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 10 to noon at the Washington County Extension Office. We will feature “Muslin Fitting Adjustments.”  Call (859) 336-0153 or (859) 336-0807 with questions or for information.

The New Sewist class meets on the first and third Wednesday nights every month at 6:30 p.m. at the extension office. Still remaining this month is a class on July 16. New people are welcome to begin at any time and will start with basic sewing information and a pillowcase for a first project. Call (859) 336-0153.

Our closing thoughts: clothes are a necessity, so why not make them feel better and look better? You can learn from ‘This & That,’ your local couturiers.