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How to get the best fit: Choosing the right size

Choosing the right size to make is one of the most important things you can do.

If you have a large bust and choose a size using that measurement it is unlikely you will get a good fit in the neckline and shoulders, and that area will end up being oversized. For Experimental Space patterns, choose the size based on your high bust measurement.

Full Bust: What you would normally think of as just ‘bust’. It is the measurement around the largest part of your chest.

High Bust: This is the measurement around your body, directly under your underarms.

The patterns allow for up to a +2.5″ difference between high and full bust. (i.e. High bust of 35″ and full bust of 37.5″ could make the 35″ pattern without any adjustments) For the best fit, if your high/full bust difference is bigger than 2.5″, do a FBA (or short rows if knitting) to give you the fabric you need at the bust. This way the shoulders, neckline and bust will all fit perfectly.

If you do not have a large bust and clothes normally fit you without having to size up for your chest then you can just use your high bust measurement when choosing a size. If your high/full bust difference is 2.5″ or less, no adjustments are needed.

If you have a large bust you might find you typically have to size up in clothing to get it to fit over your chest. When you make your own clothing, the better way to do this is to make the size your shoulders and neckline need (i.e. the size based off your High Bust) and then do an adjustment for your Full Bust. This means your shoulders and neckline will fit perfectly because they haven’t been made larger to account for a bigger bust. In this case, you would do a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) which is usually straightforward and will not change your neckline or sleeve size.

Now that you’ve chosen the proper size to make sure the neckline, shoulders and bust sized properly you are on the right track to a successful fit!

If you are still unsure about what size you should make please let me know, I’d love to help.
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Twitter: @sewspace / Instagram: @sewspace

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Check out the Josie Blouse Gallery

The Josie pattern tester group covered every size in the pattern range using all sorts of different fabrics and now we’ve put these all into a gallery!

Take a look for lots of inspiration!

Heleen’s Gorgeous Josie Blouse

Click here to check out the gallery of blouses made by the Team Josie testing team!

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Sloth Casey Sweater

Pattern: Casey Sweater by Experimental Space
Fabric: Sloths in Lilac French terry from Lilly and Mimi Fabric Shop
Little Bits: 200m Gutermann sew all thread, 3x 19mm Prym cover buttons

Size: Cara (35)
Mods: None

I forgot to share my Sloth Casey with you! These adorable little guys made for a very sweet and snuggly Casey and I’m totally in love with the buttons. The sloth material is a medium French Terry and the contrasting fabric is a t-shirting material. I made the buttons using cover buttons and decided to use their cute little faces for the buttons and I love how it turned out!

It makes me so happy to wear this one. Now I can sit around being slothy on the weekends in my slothy sweater.

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How to do French Seams

French seams are my favourite way to enclose seams on lightweight woven fabrics. It only takes a few extra steps and the finish on the seams is well worth the effort.

I’ve created a video demonstrating French Seams and I’ve also written it out into four easy steps just beneath the video if you prefer. Apologies it is in portrait mode, I originally created it for demonstrating on Instagram but thought it could also be of use here! The pattern mentioned in the video is the Evelyn Blouse.

Four easy steps to get French Seams

1. Place the layers wrong side together.

The first seam you make will be visible on the outside of the garment, but don’t worry, the final steps hide this away.

2. Sew a 1/4″ seam.

3. Press & turn.

Open up the piece and press the seam to one side. It doesn’t matter which side at this point. Then turn the piece RS together and press, making sure the seam is right on the edge of the fabric.

4. Sew a 3/8″ seam.

Now the seam will only be visible from the wrong side of the fabric. Press the finished french seam to the back.

Note: You can end up with a slightly smaller finished French seam by sewing a 3/8″ seam during step 2, trimming this to 1/4″ and then sewing a 1/4″ seam for step 4. I don’t do it this way around because I find sewing the second seam at 1/4″ often means stray threads from the fraying fabric edge are more likely to peek through to the right side of the fabric.

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Ultimate Pencil Skirt by Sew Over It

Pattern: Ultimate Pencil Skirt by Sew Over It
Fabric: Grey Melange Suiting Fabric (Polyester / Viscose) from Guthrie & Ghani
Little Bits: 100m Gutermann sew all thread

Size: 10
Version: N/A
Mods: Apart from shortening them hem (4 inches), absolutely nothing!

(Wearing with the Evelyn Blouse)

The pattern

Lots of other people had made this and I’d loved their makes but still thought it wouldn’t suit me. Eventually, I convinced myself to take a leap and bought the paper version (which comes in a sweet little booklet/envelope style wrapper). It’s a very well written pattern and was very easy to follow.

The fabric

I picked this fabric up when I was lucky enough to visit the Guthrie & Ghani shop in person. I had been to a wedding the day before and that had halved the distance I am normally from the shop. They have lovely pictures on their website which do an excellent job of accurately representing the fabrics but no matter what it is always nicer to see and feel them in person.

The result

A perfectly fitting, incredibly flattering skirt. I would love to make another but in a nice deep navy blue. And maybe a mustard one.