Is it possible to make an amazing garment with no sewing adjustments?
A garment that fits straight out of the envelope, with no sewing adjustments, with no problems, and fits you like a glove is a dream come true, even for me!
So I wanted to give it a shot.
I wanted to find out if I could make a dress straight from the envelope and have it fit decently well.
I chose the Charm Patterns Cinch It dress for this experiment, released in Spring 2021.
What drew me to this pattern was:
- The dress was described as a simple pop-over dress, meaning it should fit decently ok*, as long as I followed the instructions.
- If it worked out, it had many options for customization, with additional collars, sleeves, and pockets to make several versions.
- The completed pieces I saw online looked like vintage-inspired dream dresses!
*: I know pop over dresses are super simple, super generalized, and made to fit at a very basic level. My expectations were medium-to-low. I wanted to get in the general ball park and feel decent in the dress.
The moral of the story?
No sewing adjustments is a rarity if you already face regular sewing challenges, or experience the same fit issues over and over.
While the concept of the dress is brilliant, I face challenges very common for my body type, which were not easily addressed with most patterns straight from the envelope. This is extremely common for most people.
For the Charm Patterns Cinch-It, these included:
- My incredibly petite frame, which impacts my shoulder width. The shoulders of the Cinch-it dress were roughly 1.5” too wide for me, which would make it a challenge for well fitting sleeves, had I made those options.
- My petite frame’s torso length, which impacts bodice length and waist placement. The shirring line on the dress started over 2 inches too low for me, and extended down over 4 inches– which for a combined 6” of Torso + Waist, put the bottom edge of shirring past the midpoint of my hips.
- Overall dress length, which is easily remedied, but worth a mention.
Is there a pattern out there you can make with no sewing adjustments?
Yes and no!
Depending on the adjustments you may tend to do, there are pattern companies which may fit your body shape more closely due to the nature of their pattern drafting block.
For example, Seamwork Patterns tend to fit me decently well, due to a larger block cup size and shorter torso length. While alterations are still common, their drafting is naturally closer to my body shape. You can see this well in my Penny Dress, which fit like a glove.
For the most part, though, it’s rare to make a pattern straight from the envelope with no sewing adjustments.
This is perfectly normal!
Remember that pattern companies draft to their audience’s average. Even the patterns marketed as “easy to sew” may need some slight adjustments for a better fit.
Looking to dip your toe into pattern adjustments, or do you also have a petite frame like me and a larger bust? My fitting videos might provide some insights on how to approach fitting challenges!
Is there a pattern you’ve sewn that fit straight from the package with no sewing adjustments?
Please let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I never recommend products I wouldn’t personally use. All opinions are my own.