It might be a bit much to say – but this past week-end’s class on tissue-fitting as per the PalmerPletch system (Fitting For Real People) has really opened my eyes.

I have known about the principles for tissue fitting for years and have been using them to fit trousers. But I never could get me head around the choosing top size based on your upper bust – not full bust thing.

{Celia - the instructor - is teaching. She is awesome!}

First of all, I thought. I do not have a full bust. Second of all – the designers surely incorporate a bust in their patterns. They do, of course, but they don’t necessarily incorporate my ribcage size compared to my back and shoulders.

When I draft patterns for myself, I use my own personal measurements, but still, when using patterns from companies, I have been using my bust measurement only. When I was at the fitting class it suddenly clicked for me. When looking at a sizing chart with detailed measurements, I always compare to size 36 in shoulders, neck and back width, but to a size 40 in bust and waist. And when I realised this, it suddenly made very good sense to use my upper bust measurements (which compare to a size 36 full bust measurement) to chose my size in commercial patterns as well.

I don’t know why it would take me that many years to realise that, but when it clicked it felt like a revelation! Or maybe I do. It seems like a lot of work to alter for a full bust – and I figured I couldn’t possible need to.

{Everybody is working on getting a better fit}

So – a revelation it is, and I’ve been spending all week altering patterns (and especially figuring out how to alter for patterns for knit fabric) to fit me.

The week-end was great. The instructor – Celia Banks from Warrington, England – was very inspiring (and I did an interview with her, which you will soon be able to hear on the Twin  Needle Podcast). We met up at around 3 pm and immediately began altering patterns. I started out fitting a fitting pattern (a sloper with minimal ease included).

We worked until 9 pm (but had a break for a quick pizza-dinner) – then all of us from far away went to the rooms we had rented and relaxed and talked and knitted a bit before bed.

{The first tissue fitting of the Sorbetto top}

Saturday we were at the school very early and worked all day until 6 pm – only with a small fabric shopping/lunch break – same thing Sunday, and by then we were all completely knackered.

After the fitting pattern, I did the Sorbetto top (to try the principles on a very simple bust darted garment) and then finished of by tissue fitting ONION 2015 shirt dress – a princess seamed dress, which makes the FBA (the Full Bust Alteration) a little more complicated.

With the Sorbetto top I used a fabric that might have been too stiff. And I ended up making it quite fitted. Another girl from the class made the top as well. I started with a size 2, but she did a 4 and her fabric is much more drapey. I had to add some back darts to shape the stiff fabric and i ended up having to add a zipper as well – or I wouldn’t have been able to get it on.

{Pics, taken from afar, unfortnately, of both Sorbettoes. I'm on the right}

In the end, my top really doesn’t look like the sorbetto. I will have to try to make it again – less fitted in a more drapey fabric.

Anyway. As you can tell – this week-end meant a lot to me. I got to meet a lot of wonderful people who enjoy sewing as much as I do, and I learned a lot!