The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting

The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting

by Sarah Veblen


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The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting is the ultimate reference for fitting test garments and transferring accurate adjustments to patterns.

No matter what size or shape you are, wearing garments that fit perfectly makes you look and feel better. Rather than making commonly accepted changes to a commercial pattern, the method presented in this guide focuses on the way a test garment fits the body. The fabric is manipulated to improve the fit, and then those specific changes are made to the pattern. The result: patterns that fit perfectly!

With The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, you'll learn:

  • The importance of a fitting axis and how to use it during a fitting
  • How to recognize fitting issues, such as drag lines and folds
  • How to manipulate fabric to solve common and unusual fitting problems
  • How to transfer the fitting changes to your pattern easily
  • Basic pattern-making skills to ensure accurate alterations

See the fitting process from start to finish on basic garments, fitted on real people. Then follow fitting solutions on different body types. Hundreds of large color photos illustrate the techniques and concepts in simple step-by-step instructions. With these lessons, you will get the perfect fit for any body.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781589236080
Publisher: Quarry Books
Publication date: 01/01/2012
Series: Complete Photo Guide Series
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 246,638
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sarah Veblen is a custom fashion designer who focuses on creating clothing for her clientele and on teaching and writing to promote the craft of garment-making. For more than 25 years, Sarah has been designing and making clothing for her private clientele, specializing in fit, innovative pattern design, and quality construction. Her focus is on helping women create a wardrobe that is comfortable and compatible with their lifestyle. Dedicated to promoting sewing at all levels, Sarah enjoys immersing herself into her students’ learning process. She teaches in her studio and other classroom venues, as well as online through She is also a frequent guest lecturer and regularly holds workshops for sewing groups and organizations across the country. 

Sarah has authored many articles and publications on sewing and design, including her books First Time Garment Fitting and The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting and writes her own blog. She has also made a series of instructional fitting DVDs, produced by Threads magazine, on skirt and bodice fitting and on making stylistic changes to a pattern. Sarah has a Certificate in Fashion Design from Baltimore City Community College and a BA from Stanford University. She is an active member of both the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP) and the American Sewing Guild (ASG). She lives in Sparks, Maryland. See more of her work at

Table of Contents


Laying the Foundation

Developing a Solid Approach to Fitting

Why Fitting is Complicated

Each Individual is Unique

Pattern and Fitting Basics

How Patterns are Developed

Finding Your Way Around a Pattern

Garment Silhouettes and Ease

Choosing a Pattern Size

Tools for Pattern Work and Fitting

The Interrelationship Between Patterns and Fitting

Overview of the Fitting Process

Recognizing Fitting Issues

A Framework for Fitting

The Fitting Axis

The Horizontal Balance Line

Fundamentals of Fitting Muslins

Learning to Look

The Body as “Volume”

Fitting Others and Yourself

What to Wear for a Fitting

Preparing the Test Muslin for a Fitting

Clipping and Marking During a Fitting


Keeping the Muslin Balanced

Fitting Order

Fitting Tips

Assessing the Fit

Fundamentals of Altering Patterns

Glossary of Patternmaking Terms

Making Flat Pattern Adjustments

Transferring Muslin Markings to the Pattern

Blending Seams, Using the Rulers, and Adding Seam Allowances

Lengthening and Shortening Patterns, and Grainline Arrows

Walking and Truing a Pattern

Placing and Creating Notches

Controlling Patterns with Built-in Ease

Truing Difficult Seams

Moving the Placement of a Seam

Moving a Dart to a New Location

Truing Dart Legs

Scaling Patterns Up and Down

Working in an Efficient Order

Developing your Ability

The Process of Fitting Garments


Bodice with Darts

Bodice with Shoulder Princess Line

Jacket with Side Panel with Set-in Sleeve

Tunic with Armscye Princess Line

Bodice with Raglan Sleeve

Fitting Solutions for Body Types and Related Pattern Alterations




Shoulder Line and Neck

Set-in Sleeves

Raglan Sleeves

Waist and Hips

Fitting Pants

Understanding Body Mass and Pants Volume

Fine-tuning the Fit

The Process of Fitting Pants

Body Type Examples

Typical Pants Pattern Alterations

Going to the Next Level

Correcting Pattern Elements Affected by Fitting Changes





Get Creative

Using Style Lines to Create Pleasing Proportions

Dart Equivalents

Collar Variations

Cuffs and Sleeve Hems

About the Author


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Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a sewist for 30 years, have sewn almost every kind of project there is and have been introduced to several fitting systems. None of these systems has been perfect and so I have gone back and forth with garment sewing. Having gotton well into the book I can say this is a very clear, understandable, well written method with plenty of supporting photos. I am anxious to try this method and feel it will be very successful.