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Unable to find Cut to the Fit book

Beanhi | Posted in Fitting on

I just discovered this board and can’t stop reading all the great advice, stories and information.

I don’t know anyone my age who sews (I’m 26) and I’m at the point in my life where I need good quality business attire and can’t afford to purchase them.

I started sewing in elementary school on my mom’s industrial Juki. Over the years, I’ve made plenty of successful items for the home (curtains, seat cushions, place mats etc) but have failed many times with clothing due to fitting problems.

The Threads article, Your Sloper as a Fitting Tool made a lot of sense to me but I can’t find the Cut to the Fit book anywhere. I’ve tried calling the number listed on the article, the major bookstores, used online books stores, eBay, half.com etc.

Can anyone help?



  1. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #1

    The book you are looking for took some tracking down, but here is the information:

    Cut to the Fit costs $39.99 plus 4.00 shipping. The ruler is $14.99 plus
    $3.00 shipping when ordered separately, but the book and ruler together are
    $49.99 plus 6.00 postage. Illinois residents please add sales tax to the
    before shipping price. Send check or money order to:

    Kensinger Press
    1316 W. Pine St
    Chillicothe IL 61523
    Alternate # 309-274-4160

    1. Beanhi | | #3

      Thanks for the information. I couldn't get through to either of the numbers. The 888 number was always busy and the other number is disconnected. Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow.Thanks again,

      1. User avater
        artfulenterprises | | #5

        Karen Howland seems to be a very busy lady. My attempts to contact her by phone were unsuccessful but I did manage to contact her through email although it took awhile. I'm sure that just placing an order by mail would be the most efficient method of getting her book. As you may know, she is a frequent contributor to Threads, which speaks well of her, I think, even though her marketing method seems to be a bit unwieldy! (The ruler mentioned in my previous post is a 30" metal ruler that includes a half scale and a quarter scale which Ms.Howland says helps with the math of patternmaking. Not having seen the ruler, I can't speak to that.) As to your question to "Nancy" re: a basic block sloper/muslin. How exactly did you make the sloper from the duct tape form and what adjustments do you need to make?

        1. Beanhi | | #6

          As for the book, I'll mail my order in.As for the sloper, I covered the form with Press 'n Seal plastic wrap and cut if off at that the side, shoulder and waist lines. Then I flatten it by cutting bust and waist darts.I'm guessing the next step is to add ease. I'm not sure how much and where? And what do I do with the sleeve to fit it to the bodice?-Nhi

          1. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #7

            Hmmm. Where to start? This is basically an accelerated course I teach which takes 8 weeks. You've taken on a big project with a considerable amount of ingenuity. However, having said that, may I suggest first that your sewing ambitions would receive a huge boost by investing in a book by Helen Joseph Armstrong, "Patternmaking for Fashion Design" ? It runs about $80 at Amazon. Everything you ever wanted to know and more is there in concise, clear instructions and great illustrations. It's worth twice its weight in gold. Now, I suggest you purchase a "Fitting Shell" patttern from one of the major commercial pattern companys (it looks like a fitted sheath dress made out of buffalo check gingham...but don't use gingham...too distracting) Lay out the pattern on muslin being sure your fabric grainlines are squared (not "off grain" ...the easiest way to see the grain is to pull two threads from the fabric both vertically and horizontally, or stitch a different color thread along each grain line...but that's a whole other lesson) and mark the grain on your muslin pieces and all the seam lines, darts, etc. Baste it together and put it on your dress form. Then, on the form, change what needs to be changed to make a smooth fit and mark the changes in another color. Remove it from the form and try it on your own body to double check and fine tune the fit. Then, open the muslin pieces and pin them flat (use punch pins like you would use on a bulletin board...which brings up the surface underneath...I use a piece of "white faced building board" available at lumber yards...very inexpensive and they will cut to any size) over pattern paper remembering to keep the straight of grain straight of course, and copy the muslin pieces to the paper by tracing over the seam lines and adjusted darts with a tracing wheel. Remove the muslin and clean up the lines (make straight lines really straight and curved lines smooth and graceful) with your rulers and pencil. Add seam allowances (or you may opt to leave seam allowances off if you are going to use your sloper to develop new designs.) The sleeve pattern from your commercial pattern should help you develop a well fitting sleeve. While this is a highly condensed version of the process, it should give you an idea where to start. And Helen Armstrong' s book can fill in many of the gaps. Hope this doesn't sound too overwhelming. I realize there are volumes left unsaid, but this can get you started in the right direction. Have fun discovering your inner patternmaker!

          2. Beanhi | | #8

            It is a bit overwhelming, but I'm determined to succeed or ruin yards of fabric trying. :)I have Helen Armstrong's book. I've tried (several times) to draft a master pattern using their instructions with no luck. Any chance you'll be teaching a class in Southern California soon?Thanks for the mini-lesson. I'll give the fitting shell this weekend.

          3. Elisabeth | | #9

            Have you tried the moulage method using Kenneth King's Moulage cd? I have used the Helen Armstrong book to draft the basic patterns as well but I like the moulage much better. http://kennethdking.com/ I like your plastic wrap method for making a pattern, what a good idea. I wonder if it can be done on a live body? I can just see it now, "Excuse me, I'll be making your wedding gown but first I will have to wrap you in glad wrap."

          4. FitnessNut | | #10

            LOL ;-)

          5. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #11

            I'm afraid no So.Cal. class is scheduled any time soon, but thanks for asking!
            Incidentally, I just realized I didn't answer your question about ease. I'm sure there is a whole section in Helen Armstrong's book that clearly shows where and how much ease should be added to your block. I'm afraid I can't give you a specific page since I own a 1st edition and she is currently on her 4th edition. The pages are not the same. But, if you cruise through the book, you should find a diagram(s) and text on the subject. Certainly it is indicated in the section on drafting a block when it tells you to use your measurement...plus....
            Basically it goes like this:Bodice Block:Bust =1 1/2 to 2 “ totalWaist = 1/2 to 1” total3/8” to 1/2” is added at the top of the side seam (at armscye) on both front and back bodices creating a total of
            1 1/2” to 2” wearing ease at the bustline.
            1/8” to to 1/4” is added to front and back bodice side seams at the waist to create a total of 1/2” to 1” wearing ease at waistline.Skirt Block:Waist = 1” Total
            High Hip at 3 1/2” from waist = 1 1/4” total
            Full Hip at 7” from waist = 1 1/2” to 2” total
            (There may be up to 1/4 difference between bodice and skirt at waist which can be eased, or the measurements can be adjusted to be exact)Basic Sleeve Block Standard Ease and Notch Placement:2” at Bicep
            1” to 2” at Wrist
            3/4” ease on either side of center cap. No more than 1 1/2” total in sleeve cap between notches. Center line may be adjusted 1/8 to 1/4 for hang of sleeve.
            Approximately 1/4” from underarm seam to notch on either side of sleeve.Ease cap before setting.
            Be sure grainline is marked on the outside of the sleeve.Note: Generally, the larger amount indicated is used for a fuller figured woman.Hope this helps.

          6. Beanhi | | #12

            I've searched several times through Armstrong's book for information on ease. You'd be surprised to know that in the 2nd edition ease is a mere mention in the book: "Ease. The even distribution of fulless without forming gathers." How to go from the pattern draft to muslin is also missing.I bought the Vogue fitting shell, there's good information on ease in the directions. So, I'm going to set aside the "Glad ware" for now.

          7. HeartFire | | #13

            in the Armstrong book, the ease is built into the sloper draft. I have the 3rd edition, so again, the pages may be different, but for instance in the "bodice back draft" figure 6 the last item says "b to e = back arc (18) plus 3/4 inch) that "plus 3/4 inch" is the amount of ease that is added for a bodice used for a shirt/dress. When you get into the jacket drafts, more ease is added in the basic draft to make it fit over the clothing underneath. A coat draft has even more room so easch draft gets larger and larger (more so in some of the measurements than others, ) Ease is how loose you want your clothing to fit, Threads did a really good article on it a quite a while back showing the same blousy white shirt made in diffrent weights of fabrics. The heavier fabric looked good with less ease and the very light weight drapy fabric looked like it was missing something becasue it didn't drape as nicely. Maybe Carol Fresia can point you in the direction of that article. hope this helps"Ease. The even distribution of fulless without forming gathers." this is SEWING ease, such as when you 'ease in a sleeve' ,not wearing ease, WEARING ease again is how much looseness the clothing has on the body, gnerally pants will have about 2 inches in the hip area, maybe 1/2 inch in the waist, jeans will have a lot less ease in the ankle area than bell bottom pants which will have a lot of ease. the 2 inches in the hip will be distributed to all 4 leg peices so the front leg hip area will have 1/2" added at the side seam in the hip area add that with the 1/2" from the back leg and you get 1 inch, add the other leg and you now have a total of 2 inches of extra room in the hip area, if you want pants to fit tighter, then you put less wearing ease in themJudy

          8. Beanhi | | #15

            Hi Judy,Thanks for the clarification. I wish the book had more of the basics, but I guess it wasn't written for beginners. The directions that came with the Vogue fitting shell is filling in those gaps.I'll keep you posted on my progress.Thanks again,

  2. SewNancy | | #2

    I recently bought Kenneth Kings CDs on making a moulage, a European style sloper that fits to below the hip and the pants sloper.  His instructions are easy to use and I finally have a fitted well fitting pants pattern.  I am going to tackle the moulage next.  If you are making tailored jackets I recommend that you make a fitting form by one of the easy and cheap methods like duct tape.  Threads has the instructions on the main page I think and there is a website with good pictures.  Google it unless someone has the name.  I have found it invaluable in seeing what my body flaws are.  I have also made one for my 19 year old daughter that makes it easier to make her clothes when she is not here.


    1. Beanhi | | #4

      Hi Nancy,I've already made myself a duct tape dummy. I covered it with white duct tape so I can mark reference lines with a sharpie. I've made a sloper from it but don't really know how to make the major adjustments before I sew it in muslin.Any suggestions?

  3. rsolish | | #14

    "I don't know anyone my age who sews (I'm 26)"
    I'm also 26, and untill 2 years ago i was mostly sewing for my children with an occasional skirt, robe for me- i kept thinking it was too hard to sew something for me that will really fit well and look good on me. Now with a lot of research and some private lessons- I started sewing wedding gowns for rent!! (along with a nice suit and blouse for me)

    I keep looking at patterns on the net and saying- that would look nice with ___ fabric that I have, and now i'm designing bridal gowns and dresses from lot's of idea's put together.
    i still sew for my children and all kinds of projects.(if anyone needs to sew a ' mountain' page me)

    lots of luck Raya

    Edited 6/5/2005 11:45 am ET by raya

    1. Beanhi | | #16

      Hi Raya,I guess now I know at least one person my age who sews. Most of my friends tell me I have too much time on my hands. They don't appreciate the feeling of making something unique in design and material that fits.I'm still on the occassion-skirt stage. Skirts are much easier to fit and a loose waist can be easily hidden with belt or a long shirt.I'd love to make my own wedding dress one day in the not-so-near future. I'll have to pick your brain when the time comes.Nice to meet you,

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