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Fit for Real People: Sew Great Clothes Using Any Pattern Paperback – September 1, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Paperback, September 1, 2002
$13.30 $0.39
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews


"This is the most practical and complete book on fitting the body."  —Clotilde
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Pati Palmer is the CEO of Palmer/Pletsch Publishing and a designer and consultant for the McCall Pattern Company. She is the coauthor of Creative Serging, Pants for Real People, and Sewing with SergersMarta Alto is a teacher, writer, and researcher at Palmer/Pletsch and the coauthor of Pants for Real People, The Serger Idea Book, and Sewing Ultrasuede. They live in Portland, Oregon.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palmer/Pletsch Publishing (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935278435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935278439
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,164,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I picked up this book and read it from beginning to end. I found the facts to be very interesting. Particularly of interest to me was the information regarding sizing of patterns and ready to wear. This book also offered many alterations. I would refer to these in addition to alteration methods in other books (Fitting and Pattern Alteration or Fabulous Fit, for example). I would recommend this book for beginner or advanced dressmakers. The photos and step by step alterations were wonderful. Included, also, were people of many sizes, variances, and ages. One of the best examples of why we sew was the fitting example of Martha's jacket. The book showed Martha wearing an altered size 12 pattern. It also showed her wearing jackets in similar styles in various price ranges and from various stores. The altered size 12 was the best fitting and most flattering by far. It outshone even those designer jackets costing hundreds of dollars. This book also showed how two people of the same height and weight would require vastly different alterations because of their weight and height distribution. Some people are short from waist to neck (me). Others are long in this area. Some have short legs but not short torsos. It is important, the book stressed, to know yourself and your body. They showed how to make a body map. I wasted no time at all doing this. I have a fitted sloper and know what alterations I need to do on my own garments (high right hip, wide waist, full bust). These were things (especially the high hip) which I never really saw until I made the map. When we were done with this process, we stood back and looked. The high right hip (and some other things) were actually noticeable. I would highly recommend this book as an addition to any sewer's library. The information is invaluable and timeless and PRACTICAL! I would also recommend READING THIS BOOK!
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Format: Paperback
I have been sewing for over 50 years. The one thing that always bugged me over the years was pattern fitting. I soon found out that I was not a standard fit when the bodices of dresses did not meet across the chest and the front waistlines were up around my ribcage. I had a larger than a b cup bra. It wasn't until recent years that I was told that patterns were only drafted for b cup bras. Over the years, by observing patterns and body shapes, reading books, (not many available years ago) and eventually learning the art of pattern drafting, I learned the art of pattern fitting and alteration. I have always been interested in fitting. Many books have become available in recent years on pattern alteration but I have not found one that addresses problems in the same way that this book does. So many books simplify one problem and do not let you see how the alterations affect other seams. This book goes through the whole process. It is the most comprehensive book on the market today. It starts with body types, how to measure, why you should alter and how to alter the pattern. I do not need a lot of the book's information today. However, it has been a confirmation of all I have thought of throughout the past years. I have purchased the book to add to my collection and I am thoroughly enjoying it. If only it had been available to me over the years, I would not have felt so stupid because patterns did not fit me. I would have had all the information in one place rather than the thinking and reading I had to do.The section on mature and maturing bodies is wonderful and this is one area I will be visiting. Congratulations to the authors for a fantastic book. The book in fun to read. It has lots and lots of pictures of REAL people not drawings. The illustrations of the pattern alterations are excellent. It is many books rolled into one and very good value. Reading it has sparked me off to want to start to sew again after too long an absence.
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By A Customer on April 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the most comprehensive fitting book I have seen. A couple of things to be aware of: it does not include pants fitting or fitting for males (though most of the methods could be adapted.) Also, be aware that the first 13 chapters or so are an overview of their concepts and not a step-by-step guide! If you want to work through your own alterations, start with chapter 14 and follow the order of alterations in each following chapter. This is a book that works best if you read and study it. Glancing at pictures may not give you all the information you need. It's not the be-all and end-all of fitting books but it is definitely worth having.
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Format: Paperback
I've been sewing for over twenty years, but I learned by trial and error, from my mother and grandmother and their 1940's and 60's era home ec classes, and in a costume shop. As I move into middle age and gravity starts having its way with me, I'm having to adjust more patterns more frequently. FfRP has some excellent descriptions of how to do specific fittings, especially the full bust adjustment. However, it's the not sewing bible.

First, it puts too much emphasis on tissue fitting. Tissue is a good first approximation, but tissue doesn't act like fabric, and it's fragile. Tissue fitting is not a substitute for a proper muslin because tissue doesn't drape, and it's only fitting half the body. Tissue fitting does work for boxy, straight styles made of woven materials (I.e. Most patterns from the big four pattern manufacturers) but it fails for drapey knits and close fitting styles. This means that a novice is likely to get frustrated and quit garment sewing because getting a garment to look good takes practice, time and patience. The book also spends almost no time discussing fabric, drape, hang and weight, meaning that a novice is likely to make at least one of the classic blunders and try to make clothing from quilting cotton, which almost never works. Fit is not just a principle of geometry, but of the materials that go into making a flat object into a curved one.

Second, the book has a confusing layout. For a novice, it lays out steps to follow (back, then shoulders, side, then bust) but the book doesn't follow those steps, so a novice can get easily turned around in the pages.
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