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Get Right with Different Types of Ease

Three concepts for achieving the fit you like: wearing ease, design ease, and your personal preference

In the most general terms, ease is the amount of room a garment allows the wearer beyond the accurate measurements of their body. The less ease, the more restricted your movement will be. What size you wear is most often determined by how much ease you prefer in your garment. That is, how tight or loose you like to wear your garments. No matter what pattern company you’re looking at, start with the finished garment measurements.

Three types of ease

Louise Cutting discusses three important concepts when it comes to achieving the fit you like. First, there’s wearing ease, which is about being able to move, sit and breathe in a garment. There’s design ease, which is the extra space given to a garment to add a stylistic element to it. Finally, there is personal preferred ease.

She also shares her method for getting the desired amount of ease.


Louise Cutting is a contributing editor for Threads magazine and has been featured in instructional DVDs, including the popular eight-volume Industry Insider Techniques produced by Threads parent company, the Taunton Press. Louise’s Cutting Line Designs independent pattern company may best be known for offering the One Seam Pants she created. An internationally known speaker on sewing and design, she has appeared on several television shows including Sew Much More for HGTV and DIY, and America Sews and Sewing with Martha Pullen for PBS. Her numerous articles and pattern designs have been published in Threads, Sew News, Sew Today, SewStylish, Handwoven, and the former Sew Beautiful magazines. Louise ran the Fashion Design Department at The Art Institute and Prospect Hall College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and taught interior design at Marymount College in New York. She also owned Fabric Collections, a designer fabric store in Winter Park, Florida, for 15 years. She was accepted into the American Sewing Guild’s Sewing Hall of Fame in 2014.

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Previous: How to Choose Your Preferred Ease Next: To Get the Right Armhole, Fit the Bodice
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  1. Tulafitz | | #1

    Thank you for this. Getting your hints is like getting new glasses: everything becomes much clearer!
    Of course all designers do not put ease information on the back of the envelope. Vogue 8913 has a very loose blouse and semi fitted pants. Near the bottom of the envelope wast his statement, "Finished Garment Measurements, width C15" to 20", D: 14" to 19". " My question is what is being measured? Vogue pattern also states that the rest of the measurements are included on the pattern tissue. Where?

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Fit & Sew Tops

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