Book Review: Create the Perfect Fit

Last Christmas, I treated myself to Joi Mahon’s book Create the Perfect Fit.

Joi also teaches this course on Craftsy. I was tempted to take the Craftsy course, but one of the reviews said indicated the class was a good start but too short to cover all fitting issues and indeed left out several critical areas. That particular reviewer felt that the book was a necessary accompaniment for the course.  The book was a treat for me because I don’t buy hard cover or paper books anymore. I often refuse to buy a book because it is not in electronic format. I hasten to add, I’m not really green. My issue is that I simply don’t have enough storage space, especially to house books I read but once. So this book was a treat to myself because, in light of the many good course reviews,  I was curious about this “new” & “perfect” fitting solution.

I spent a good 6 hours reading this book. Yes, I am a fast reader.  Joi does cover a lot of information with the book and covers it very well.  She is clear and organized. Which is to be expected in a book.  On-line classes are usually one taping and your done. Oh sure, they can edit out scenes or add captions.  But the course is scheduled for taping at a specific place, time and day.  If the instructor is not her best; if the location is less than perfect; well that’s the way it will be forever. With a book, you have time to write it. Have time for someone to review and plenty of time to edit as needed. It’s not one and done, but a well thought out and reviewed effort.  But I digress, Joe’s fitting system is a system of measuring. Measuring lots of place, some that you didn’t even consider or may not have known you have.  She then compares the body measurement with the flat pattern allowing for ease. Once the pattern is altered to your measurements, you make the garment. At the first fitting (and usually only fitting) the garment is tweaked to your perfect fit.

I love this idea and often use something very similar.  For instance, I know that my shoulder is 1″ shorter than the standard to which patterns are drafted.  Therefore, I nearly always alter the pattern’s shoulder using a Narrow Shoulder Adjustment of 1″. I have to say, I’d love for this method to work every time. But I know it won’t. Consider knits. I just finished 4 different versions of  Loes Hinse 5213 in which I used 4 differently printed ITY fabrics. Each garment fit differently and needed different tweaks.  Granted, I used 2 different pattern sizes and tested a number of different alterations.  I did so because the previous versions did not fit using my standard alterations – the alterations I’ve developed by measuring my body and comparing the measurements with the pattern.  I was particularly disappointed with the pants fitting section in which she recommended altering your skirt sloper.  That didn’t work for me when I was a hipless and bustless, 96 pound, preteen. There is one additional page showing where to compare pant measurements. Whole books; whole courses have been developed for pants fitting. Entire seminars are devoted to fitting pants.  You can hire an expert to draft your individual pant sloper.  Every comprehensive fitting book I’ve previously  read, includes at least one completely chapter on fitting pants.  Joi includes 2 pages. Huh?  I feel a disconnect.

I don’t know that I will be trying Joi’s “system”.   I may add, to my current procedure, a few additional measurements to check. I was particularly impressed with her measuring front and back separately. I know from actual practice that my fitting adjustments can’t be evenly applied to front and back. Take my hips, please.  I need more room in the back.  If I take in the ease evenly, my garment will swing forward and hmmm upward but still have the total needed final measurement.

I’m not completely ready to put this book up for re-sale. But if you really want it, PM me through SG. I can be generous and helpful. OTOH, if you are a visual learner, I’d recommend Craftsy.  There’s just nothing that beats a well filmed example of how to do  something.