London College of Fashion


Practical Garment Fitting

One of my many goals to become a great seamstress is to learn as much as possible about proper cloths fitting. When I found a short course in London Collage of Fashion I had to give it a go. There are other interesting courses that I would like to do, however they do not last just one day, which means I would need to take a holiday break from work to attend these.

The course took 6 hours with an hour lunch break and our tutor was Clive Hallett.

I must say that It was very informative lesson and I enjoyed it throughout the whole day. Wish It lasted longer :)….things I have never said before at school.

There were about 10 people in the classroom, so it felt nice and personal and by the end of the session we received a certificate that I will frame and put it in my sewing corner 🙂


The day was divided in 3 parts:

On the arrival received a folder with some basic rules regarding fitting issues and understanding of balance lines and garment fit, that we used throughout the day and could make additional notes.

We had a short introduction when we talked a little bit about our-self’s and what we would like to learn.

Some information I was familiar with as I learned from past mistakes or read a book on the subject, at times I was amazed by simplicity of the fitting problem that I could have never understood before and the best way to resolve it.

At noon we broke for a lunch and I took a walk downstairs to see a mini exhibition. I got lost in my thoughts there for a while admiring the makes and drawings, that I nearly missed the beginning of the next session.

Clive Hallett as a tutor is fantastic. His knowledge on the matter is so big, that It would probably take me all my life to compete with it. He was charming and funny, and told us many interesting anecdotes based on his past experience.  Some of them shocked me, others made me laugh.

It is then, when I realized that I have his book at home. I purchased Fabric for Fashion in December and did not have much time to study it yet. However managed to flick through the pages when it first arrived and I can tell you it was worth spending my money 🙂 I might write a full review of this book later in the future if you are interested.


Second part of the day was focusing on working with a model and trying to find the issues with clothes that she was trying on. We took turn on assessing the situation and possible best way to resolve it.

This was the best part of the lesson for me, as I enjoy being involved and getting a chance to think for myself. We were guided by tutor, that was there to help whenever we got stuck or was not sure how to fix the problem in front of us. This hands on approach is brilliant and I could see how comfortable other students were to give their opinions.

The model was lovely and we spend about two hours with her, dressing her up and down in different outfits.

I got too excited here  and did not take any pictures…..silly me.

After out time with a model came to an end we looked at pictures of some fitting issues in our folders. Mr. Clive explained what was the problem on each garment and how it was solved at the end.

Final thoughts

I would recommend this short course on Practical Garment Fitting to anyone who’s knowledge on this subject is limited. It is very informative and full of practical and technical points that help with better understanding on what good fit should look like and how to look at the clothes to find a fitting problem.

Let me know if you planning on going or you attended this or similar course in the past.

~Till next time~


Sunny top adjustments

Today I was a busy bunny….Adjusting the Sunny top pattern. I have made a few adjustments, but I am not sure if they will work in my favor or not, as I have not sewn it yet.

Below are all changes I have made:

Sway back adjustment

After “pinching” all the excess fabric on the lower part of my back, I realized I need to take in about 3 cm. I am still learning, however I have used this type of sway back adjustment in the past and it worked for me.

You need to:

  • first, draw a perpendicular line to your center back around your the waist and another one 3 cm above
  • next, from your first line draw a line parallel to center back ( I have done it roughly in the middle), stopping around 12 cm from the shoulder seam.
  • From that end draw two lines that connect each ends of the shoulder (like in the picture below)
  • cut through all lines apart from the top “waist “line, remember not to cut through shoulders ends completely. You want them to still be attached, as it will help with adjustment.
  • now, slide down the top part of the pattern to match uncut line- this is how we reduce the excess fabric. Hold it in place with a glue or a tape and fill the blanks with a piece of paper.



This type of sway back adjustment, always increase the looseness of the garment. Usually I would “shave off” this, but as my first Sunny top was a little to close to my body, decided to skip this step.

Lower hem

As you may remember from my previous post I moved up the waist and ended up with top that was a bit to short for me. This time I remembered to lower the hem by 3 cm 😉 Also decided to reduce the curve of the hem.


“Bust dart”

I need to be honest….here I have no clue what I was doing….

Obviously I didn’t want to create a dart, as it is a stretchy fabric, so I had to come up with a plan of somehow eliminating that unwanted bulk.

Why did I drew so many lines???…because I kept changing my mind. I figured I will try to do something similar to a sway back adjustment, but in the front hmmm???WHAT???

yeahhh I am soooo confused. I am not going to explain what was I thinking. Help me please, if you know a better (or proper) way to fix this fitting problem.

Sleeve adjustment

I had to increase a sleeve crown, to fix the “wings” problem. I sliced the sleeve crown and added around 4 cm. This however created another problem. Now, I have too big sleeve head compared to the armhole. ohh noooo!!! Monika, you suppose to eliminate problems! NOT create them!!!

Arm-cycle adjustments

The easiest way, is to increase the arm-cycle to allocate enough space for my new sleeve. As this pattern is for Jersey fabrics , it is a little bit forgiving ( I am hoping anyway :)) I have lowered the curve of an armhole by 2 cm on the front and the back pattern pieces.

Everything seams fit fine for the back piece, but the front piece is way to small, due to my earlier “dart” adjustment. I got stuck at this point and spend far too much time looking at the pattern pieces.

My final adjustment, looks like is counter-productive here, however I did not know what else to do. I took a back piece and copied the armhole to a front piece. Why do I feel like a loser now???

That is all for now.

I will make another Sunny top based on my “new and improved” pattern (who am I kidding hahaha).

~Till next time. Have a great day.~