I am so excited at the debut of my new book Create the Perfect Fit: Measuring and Pattern Fitting for Real Sewing Solutions by Joi Mahon. My book is available for early advanced copy in just a few weeks. That’s right the books are coming early to my studio. Those who ordered an autographed advanced copy should have them mid August instead of mid September. If you would like an autographed copy you can paypal $29.99 to email@example.com. Please include your name and mailing address in the note sections. Be watching for my blog tour this fall as several bloggers will be featuring my book in their posts.
My approach to fitting is based on my background in pattern design, drafting, draping, computer pattern design, years of alterations to RTW and the understanding of why standard patterns are not custom fit, why fitting solutions that are regularly taught are also not custom fit and not relevant to the body of today, years of working with custom clients, years of study of specific body measurements and over 20 years of experience. It sounds like a lot, but I know after teaching live classes for many years that any sewer of any level can learn if taught in a fun, easy, approachable, realistic and simply attractive fashion and that is what I bring to the table. Forget the fit books with ugly tissue paper patterns. I worked extensively with my editor on my ideas for creating color coded paper patterns as well as color coded book tabs, and color coded samples on my model. We did all the photography locally with a professional photographer and I produced each photo shoot in person making sure to have beautiful modern images that will be relevant for years to come and eye catching, interesting, and easy for the student to follow.
SPIRAL BOUND: That’s right each body measurement is a lesson in itself and you can open the book with the spiral binding and study only areas that are specific to the body issue you are working on. I knew from very early on that I wanted my book to use spiral binding. When books are printed and bound in this way, it just makes it so much easier for the reader to skip to a section of the book they need quickly and efficiently without having to crease any of the pages. You can also lay the book flat while working on your latest project which is very important to me! Do you think I made the right decision? Make sure to read the Intro section and Chapter 1 as this is all the guidelines for my process. You can skip around the measurement sections as necessary. Further on in the book I have some great lessons on padding the body, close up pictures and fitting diagrams, and my favorite chapter of all is Chapter 10 Real People. I took a standard size 12 pattern and adjusted it for all of my models and body types. That is right, a size 12 pattern scaled to fit my 10 year old pre teen, my 92 pound size 0 mom, my model who is petite and has had 5 kids, plus size and more. Interesting that the size 12 fit each person perfect in some areas, and needed adjusting in other areas. It is such a fabulous illustration that applies to every sewer using commercial patterns. Those patterns are starting points. If you can learn how to evaluate patterns vertically and horizontally in smaller areas of measure you can then scale, or grade, a pattern to your proportion and that my friends is what other fitting teachers miss.
I teach fit all over the country and see over and over the same thing, sewers read every book and take every fit class but still have issues getting an accurate fit. You see fitting methods have not really changed in the last 50+ years. Teachers all teach pretty much the same thing, and they are teaching to a sloper and applying standard adjustments for standard fit issues. Everyone else teaches from a very old home sewing mindset and approach patterns as flawed and you are going to sew a sample and expect a flawed fit sample that you then have to pin, fix, re-sew and it is a lengthy process, unnecessary, and we lose sewers from this. The problem is you have to teach fit with the understanding that each person will need to custom fit a pattern, you need an understanding of what a pattern is doing when fitting specific areas of a body and how measurements interact. Tissue fitting is not accurate or enough to really achieve a great fit. Some people learn fit that way with moderate results, but I want my students to learn AMAZING fit! Learn to scale a pattern to your body proportions and you eliminate almost every fit issue before you sew a single stitch (and it’s fast).
There is so much more I could say and share, and will do so as the books start to roll in.
Thanks to all my friends, family and students for your support on this project.
I am giddy!