Sunday, 30 June 2013

Fitting with the Palmer/Pletsch method

When I started to sew 3 years ago, I gave up soon afterwards because the clothes did not fit. I was de-motivated and did not wear anything I made.

So, when I took up sewing again, I wanted to learn how to fit properly. I spent many hours on the web and learned about the Palmer/Pletsch fitting approach. Using it, you mainly fit a tissue pattern and not your fashion fabric. Also, you do not need a muslin, which is great!

This is the Palmer/Pletsch book that explains the basics of the approach. It was originally published in 1995 I think, so the pics/clothes are a bit old fashioned. But otherwise, it is a great book.

Quickly summarised, here is the Palmer/Pletsch approach to fitting:
  1. Fit the tissue pattern on your body (as you would a muslin).
  2. Transfer the changes to your tissue and try on again.
  3. Repeat step 2 until you are happy with the result.
  4. Cut your fashion fabric (no need for a muslin here!) and fit it again. At this stage you can e.g. deepen darts or take away fabric at the site seams.
  5. Sew your garment. Congratulations, you have your fitted garment!

So, that's the theory, but as always it is not so easy if you try it yourself. Doing some more research on the web, I found an instructor teaching the Palmer/Pletsch approach in the London area! Mandy has her fitting and sewing school "Fit2Sew" in South London and is teaching in a lovely bright sewing room in her home. Her classes are small---only 3 students---and if you are lucky you might even have a 1:1 tuition :) I have attended two classes already: Fit For Starters (the basics of the Palmer/Pletsch approach) and Fit And Sew The Perfect Shift Dress.

In my next post, I am going to review the Fit And Sew The Perfect Shift Dress class, so keep following!


  1. I am new to sewing. Can you use this method with any pattern? or just a McCalls because of the grids on the pattern pieces? thank you

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