Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tissue fitting is not for me!

Okay, after attending the two day sewing seminar with Pati Palmer I told myself I'd try tissue fitting a pattern.

And I did.

And I don't think I'll be doing it again.

And I'm so glad I only spent 99 cents on the pattern.

Because it didn't work for me.

The pattern I choose to try out tissue fitting is McCall's 5481 - a Palmer/Pletsch suit...the one that Pati wore the first day of the seminar.

Oh gosh, how can I even begin to describe how horrible the fit is? I can't post photos because I couldn't bear to take photos of the horrible blob of fabric sewn together in a resemblance of a suit jacket.

It started out okay.

I cut out all of the pattern pieces, ironed them flat, drew in all of the 5/8" stitch lines, and taped the curved seams using 1/2" tape. As instructed I pinned the pieces together and had my less than enthusiastic assistant (that would be hubby) pin the center back in place.

Following the instructions in the pattern I made adjustments to the back and then, according to the instructions, I needed to add 3-1/2" to the front pattern for the FBA. That is where the problems began - the adjustment looked quite odd to me, not at all what I would have normally done, but I went ahead and followed the instructions.

When I was done with the tissue fit and adjusting the pattern I wasn't convinced it would fit properly. However, it was my first time using this method I went ahead and cut out the jacket and began sewing.

Fabric used
The fabric I choose was a gray lightweight wool blend with a touch of stretch purchased about eight years ago from The Fabric Club. It has been in the stash long enough that I knew I wouldn't be too disappointed if it didn't work out. If the jacket did indeed fit, I had a gray/yellow/cream silk from Fabric Mart to use for the lining.

Good thing I wasn't too attached to the gray fabric because this jacket is a wadder.

It - Can - Not - Be - Saved!

Not for lack of trying on my part.

I ended up redoing the entire front princess seam and removing almost all of the fabric that had been added in the tissue fit stage. It still had a strange poufy area to the side of the bust that I just couldn't fix. The back was fine - in fact, before I realized that I was not going to be able to fix the fit I topstitched the three back seams with a decorative stitch to show off the diagonal lines.

The bust area wasn't the only problem. The upper chest area is too wide and the armhole/sleeve extends too far past my shoulder. The entire jacket looks like it is too large (it is) and is sloppy looking.

At this point I'm not sure if there is a problem with the pattern running large or with the way I tissue fit the pattern. I plan on repurchasing the pattern when they are on sale again. I'll make my typical adjustments - without tissue fitting - and decide what I think about the jacket at that point.

Sob, I hate wasting precious sewing time on something that turns out so disappointing. Guess I'll settle in for some hand sewing on the paisley velvet jacket. Pin It


  1. Sharon, I'm with you on the tissue fitting. Nice in theory but I can't make it work.

    One, it's too hard to do on my own and two, the tissue behaves in a totally different way to fabric. A muslin is far easier and quicker in the long run, at least for me.

    Patti Plamer is wonderful to listen to though, isn't she?

  2. I'm sorry that it didn't work for you. I've had moderate success with tissue fitting, but didn't have to do a lot of alterations, either.

    I do like the pattern an awful lot though!

  3. Sharon, Was that 3.5" on one side of the pattern, or 3.5" divided into two because it is doubled. 3.5" sounds very big for you unless you were using a pattern about two sizes too small. I have seen photos of your creations and there is no way you need that much. I wish I could see photos. But like you said the fabric is ruined beyond use, so why bother. Sorry it didn't work out for you.

  4. Sharon - I so feel you on the tissue fitting. I understand that it works for some people, just not for me. I seem to be able to see things better in flat form than in 3D form and flat pattern measuring works SOOOOO much better for me. Sorry you lost valuable sewing time on a wadder!



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