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Fast Fit: Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure Paperback – September 1, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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  • Fast Fit: Easy Pattern Alterations for Every Figure
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  • More Fabric Savvy: A Quick Resource Guide to Selecting and Sewing Fabric
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  • Power Sewing Step-by-Step
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Store-bought patterns usually need a bit of finessing to take them from a general size to an individual's perfect fit. Sandra Betzina, the host of HGTV's Sew Perfect, knows exactly how to alter a pattern to compensate for just about every figure flaw or to accommodate any figure type. Fast Fit is packed with dozens of clear analyses of all the "problem areas"--from broad back to thin neck, sloping shoulders to large upper arms, big tummy to bowed legs--and step-by-step solutions to turn a standard pattern into something that corrects the fit in each area.

The introductory section explains how to take proper measurements, choose the right size, and approach the pattern-alteration process. Illustrations of altered patterns show precisely how to cut apart and reposition the pattern pieces, although some details may need a bit of interpretation since the patterns are shown quite small. One other drawback is that, easy as these fixes may generally be, they're not necessarily fast from the start, since Betzina recommends that you first make a fitting shell to highlight problem areas. (But once you've figured these out you can then apply the information to many patterns.) All in all, this is a good reference, and unless you know how to draft your own patterns from scratch, you'll probably benefit from Betzina's help. --Amy Handy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Take the fear out of pattern adjustments and learn what makes things fit with the details for any body type from the wonderful information in this book."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (August 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561586498
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561586493
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.7 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Louis on September 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have to start this review by stating that I adore Sandra Betzina. I have seen her in person several times and she is a generous teacher full of wonderful ideas. Her books are normally full of wonderful photographs worth the price of the book alone. The photos in this book are not great - even one of Sandra in a most unflattering outfit. I also found some of the techniques shown quite strange. I was puzzled by the knock-knee alteration, which would actually make my pants look worse, not better and the full-bust alteration, which does not allow for extra length (only width). If you are serious about learning to fit yourself, Fit For Real People by Palmer/Pletsch or Fitting Finesse by Nancy Zieman are better books.
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Format: Hardcover
You will be disappointed by poor quality photos. I have 20/20 vision and had to use a magnifying glass. Additionally, only one or two photos were used to illustrate a six to eight step instruction ("Power Sewing" uses at least twice that many along with closer more-detailed pictures). Many times her instructions lacked detail or were unclear which, along with bad photos, left me puzzled over her fitting "solution". Fast Fit is a misleading name as Sandra wants you to make a basic fitted shell for each company you purchase patterns from then, for every adjustment made, make a pretest garment in scrap fabric. Cartoon drawings are used to illustrate fitting problems (swayback, narrow shoulders, etc.) when a "real" person photo would be more effective in seeing how things wrinkle or hang. Sometimes, after adjustments are made or for just a better fit, it's necessary to reposition button holes, collars or lapel lines--this is not addressed anywhere in her book. For beginning to intermediate sewing levels, Fitting Finess by Nancy Zieman or A Perfect Fit by Singer have clearer more-detailed instructions and better photos.
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By A Customer on April 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When I first got this book, I didn't think it was all that useful, except for the bust adjustment (which, by the way DOES add length and width) and a couple of others. However, the more I actually work on fitting, the more I find myself referring to it and understanding the rationale behind the adjustments. Here's the bottom line: the book is not so well organized, and the adjustments will not work in every scenario. You have to be aware of exactly where your fitting problem originates and then decide if the recommended adjustment in this book addresses that particular area. I would not recommend this book as your only fitting book, or as your introduction to fitting. I would say, instead, get a good general book like others recommended, and use this one as a reference when a different approach is needed for specific areas. P.S. the bust adjustment is the best one I've found for dartless tops.
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Format: Hardcover
This is by far my favorite pattern fitting book. Every pattern you sew must be fitted--and differently for every person you sew for. Every fitting solution I have tried from this book turns out great. Each fitting solution in this book is given in one-paragraph summary form (the "Fast Fit") for the extremely experienced tailor, and then given in simple, numbered steps for the very beginner. In each fitting solution Ms. Betzina makes an extra effort to find the simplest modification that affects the fewest pieces of the pattern, unlike some alteration books that have you shredding the pattern into small pieces. She even gives you the sequence in which to make your modifications.

I often refer to her ease charts that tell how many inches each area of a garment should measure beyond the body measurement. She includes suggestions for how to modify knit patterns for woven fabric (i.e. where to add extra ease to make up for the loss of stretch). She directs you through taking body measurements, altering a fitting shell, making measurements on the flat pattern, comparing your pattern to clothes in your closet and making a pretest garment. Throughout the book there are little windows with helpful fitting tips, e.g. "To make length adjustments, alter both above and below the knee--not just at the pants bottom--to preserve the integrity of the pants or skirt style." There are also little workshop sections thoughout the book with special features, like "Adding Pleats," "Duplicating Pants You Love," "Creating a Princess Seam" (on a pattern where there was none), and "Sleeve Swap" for using sleeve designs from other patterns.
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By A Customer on July 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed in this book. The photos of the altered patterns are sometimes frustratingly small, and often it is not clear exactly what aleration was done to the pattern piece. In addition, some of the fitting advice is not very good. For example, if you have a wide base of neck, simply making the collar circumference larger will not improve the fit, because you do not have a thick neck--only the base of the neck needs to be accomodated. This book would be suitable for beginning sewists, but it will not satisfy people with advanced sewing and fitting skills.
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