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The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting Paperback – January 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 230 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sarah Veblen is a custom fashion designer who focuses on teaching, creating clothing for her clientele, patternmaking and design consultation for young designers, and writing in several venues. She has a Certificate in Fashion Design from Baltimore City Community College and a BA from Stanford University. Dedicated to promoting the craft of clothing design and construction at all levels, Sarah teaches in her studio as well as other classroom venues and PatternReview.com. She has been a guest lecturer at PACC/ASDP chapter events and national educational conferences; at Threadneedle Fabrics in Essex, Vermont; for CG Garment Designs in Colchester, VT; at G Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland; at Ca\u00f1ada College in San Mateo, California; and for ASG neighborhood groups in Maryland, Virginia, and California. In 2001, she launched her own Intensive Study Program in Fashion Design, developed for both home sewers and sewing professionals. With an emphasis on design, fit, and pattern development, she currently offers classes on patternmaking, working with knit fabrics, many aspects of design, and sewing techniques. Sarah has more than twenty articles and various other written contributions and garments for THREADS magazine, as well as several "how-to" videos for the THREADS website. She was one of the three designers featured in the 1999 THREADS Design Challenge, and she was the overall winner of 2008 THREADS/ASDP "Fluid Fabrics" challenge. She lives in Sparks, MD.
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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Photo Guide
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Publishing int'l (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589236084
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589236080
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nancy Robertson on February 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sarah Veblen has written an extraordinary book that's light year's beyond any of the other fitting books in your bookcase. I just finished reading The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting yesterday, and it's excellent in every respect -- clearly written, comprehensive and systematic with hundred of detailed photos that show every step of the way for a variety of basic pattern styles and figures.

In my five years of sewing clothes, I've picked up a fair number of fitting techniques. But like many people, I use an improvised, hit and miss approach that kind of, sort of works but doesn't give the best possible fit.

In contrast, Perfect Fitting outlines the steps we need to take in an orderly way. The process relies on sewing a series of test muslins which are revised on the body by: establishing the all-important Horizontal Balance Line (a new term for me); releasing tight seams by opening them; clipping tight necklines and armholes; remarking shoulder seams and waistlines; and pinning tucks, darts, and open and close wedges. Then in pattern work, the muslin changes are transferred back to the pattern, the revised pattern is walked and trued, and if necessary a second muslin is sewn for further fitting improvements.

Perfect Fitting concentrates on the bodice and includes all four basic styles: shoulder princess, armhole princess, side panel and darted. All the common bodice adjustments are explained and illustrated: full and small bust adjustments, forward shoulders, rounded back, sway back, etc. Armholes, set in and raglan sleeves, and skirts are also covered, again in a high level of detail. The book does include a section on basic pants fitting, though it is relatively brief.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book. I just ordered it last week and it has already helped me advance by leaps and bounds. Within five minutes Sarah's photos and tips had answered three nagging questions. I am a beginning garment sewer, but I have taken a few draping and patternmaking classes so I have an okay grasp of those fundamentals. I think if I were a rank beginner and not experienced at working with patterns this book would be too advanced. But it has already proven very, very helpful for me. I'm starting to work on a lot of projects where I need to create custom slopers by draping directly on duct tape dummies for out of town clients, so having these troubleshooting photos is a lifesaver. Fitting on a person is the best approach, but when your fit model can't move and tell you how things feel, a visual guide explaining so many fit issues is incredibly helpful!

I really have learned so much about fitting in just a few days. The only thing I wish was that the pants section was more comprehensive, but what is there is still very helpful. The book still gets five stars, and frankly just the tips on improving reach in the armscye are worth the price of five of these books! Not only is this helping with my work, but it makes me so excited to design some clothes for myself. Thank you, Sarah!
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This book covers a narrow selection of fitting concepts using slopers, focusing almost exclusively on muslin draping, with only some passing mention of flat pattern work. The bulk of the pages are taken up with large photos illustrating repetitive applications of the same few techniques. The book boasts of "More than 650 large format color photos" but, to be honest, all that reflects is how bloated this book is with redundancy. It is missing a lot of information that I consider very valuable for home sewers and thus not worth the price. Ms. Veblen clearly has enormous experience and great expertise with individualized fitting, but this narrow focus on her viewpoint means that the book could turn out to be not helpful at all, depending on your personal situation.

The book starts by discussing the foundational techniques for muslin-fitting, such as proper clipping and pinning methods, and how to detect and interpret basic indicators of fitting problems, such as drag lines and fold lines. This section also includes a few pages on basic pattern manipulation as a way to record muslin alterations, such as how to use a curved ruler to blend seams, and how to walk a pattern. The second section takes up the bulk of the book and applies the basic techniques from the first section towards fitting slopers (basic garments used as the foundation on which other garments are designed) and every step is illustrated with a large photo. This section first covers the overarching procedure for fitting 6 different garments, and then focuses on the exact manipulations for different areas of the body for a couple different pattern types (e.g. bust adjustments for garments with darts, princess seams, and raglan sleeves).
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I have never written a review EVER!!! I ordered this book before it was published. Now, mine you, my interest does lie in fitting, alterations, and garment sewing, but I don't believe I'm biased when I say this is the most comprehensive and wonderful fitting book to date. It has beautiful photo examples on almost every page. It breaks it down to layman's terms. It has 224 pages containing directions for the different types of clothing including pants. It shows the needed alterations and then shows you how to transfer the alteration back to the pattern. I just can't figure out how Sarah could have amassed so much knowledge in such a short time because she looks like a baby in her picture! Congratulations Sarah on your new book. It is a masterpiece. Deborah
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