Friday, 21 May 2010


Don't let the jazz hands put you off

You might have noticed that I have lost my Cool Girl credentials in my own t-shirt sew along by not posting a final success. But before I bashed my head against the wall revising my pattern for my bust o' plenty I wanted to do some research on how exactly patterns adapt for a full bust. Now that I'm actually paying attention to adult clothes making, one book that has popped up over and over is Fit for Real People.

The cover is a homage to unflattering, untrendy clothes. And jazz hands. But I bought it anyway, and hand on heart it's one of the most fascinating books ever. Like page-turning fascinating.

Sure, the chapter on busts is super helpful but there is so much more I've learned. Like why store bought dresses and tunics never fit right. The combination of the extra distance fabric has to travel over my bust, plus a sway back, means that everything is always longer in the back than the front and garments that are thigh length or longer always cling to my bum despite it being not-very-curvy. Here's an example courtesy of my doppelganger:


If I was to rip the seam out above the waistband and straighten it out like so:


It evens out the rest of the dress and fixes the unflattering bum clinginess:

check pinning

So now the front fit (which was mostly fine) is unchanged:

green dress front after

And the side view is 3000% more flattering:

green dress side after

The good news now I have this book? I might be able redress badly fitting store bought clothes. The bad news? I think every single pattern I've bought is too big because I based it on my full bust and not my high bust (which put me in plus size). The strange news? It blows my mind that we should be sewing the right and left side differently to compensate for asymmetry like uneven shoulders and hips. It totally makes sense, but is very strange stuff indeed. If Cool Girls are going to venture into the trouser or blouse patterns and have non-boyish bodies I think this book will help a million times over!


  1. Best Fit Book Ever!!! I'm glad that you like it!

  2. It's a chuffing brilliant book, isn't it? I'm really glad you have it and find it useful!

    I finally have Pants for Real People on order at Amazon and am hoping for similar revelations to my first reading of FRPR all those years ago.

  3. I've got that, but not read it. I think it's just zoomed to the top of my reading list.

  4. Thanks for the review. As I was researching FBA and wondering if it would just be easier to get a boob job, I did stare at this book for awhile. I think you pushed me into the "purchase" category.

  5. I knew there was running/sewing crossover somewhere! You're learning from a book about dressmaking, me from trips to the physio!

    Dress looks great by the way.

  6. Fascinating! The top looks so brill, I have the same problem, I am at least two dress sizes bigger then you but have the same shape, narrow hips and shoulders, small(ish) ass and HUGE bosom. I'm afraid I have abandoned all hope of making a t-shirt for the forseeable future, my brain just won't take it at the mo. Am watching in thw wings though and will get my cool girl shoes on again........

  7. Very interesting book. I always have a hard time because I am petite.

  8. I'm still lol'ing that you said jazz hands. thanks for being so funny & bringing laughter into my day :)

    your SIL,


  9. That book looks brill - you can so see the difference on your dress. Brilliant, you clever thing (bit technical for me!)
    PS Thanks for entering my bag giveaway - I've extended the closing date to 12th June as we're going to France (yippee!) so I'll contact the winner on 13th - good luck, Lucy xox

  10. That book looks brilliant, will have to try to track down a copy. Your alterations are advert enough for how good it is.