Auxiliary Reference Information | Test Garment Creation | 5. Constructing the Tests Garment

After all of the effort of truing the draft and tracing the fabric pattern pieces they should stitch together rather nicely.

At this point it is worth a review on how to sew Seams and Darts and this includes how to sew curved seams for any Princess Seams to go through a review refer to the Auxiliary Reference Information for Sewing Seams and Darts. Also remember to press each Seam after sewing it, refer to Auxiliary Reference Information for using an iron for a review of how to do this. It is a good idea to review both of these Units especially if you;

  • Have never sewn seams before.

  • Need a review or help with sewing curved seams.

  • Want to learn new tips of how to exactly match up seamlines.

  • Want to check your pressing skills with an iron to get the best results.

I usually use a different coloured thread to the colour used in the thread tracing for sewing up the seams on a Test Garment and the reason is so that if I need to make any adjustments later, it is easier to identify which sewing line to unpick and also it makes it clearer where any alterations have been made and by how much I was out, always learning! I would usually change to a white thread and use up some bobbin thread left over from another project.

I prefer to sew seams on a test garment with a 4.5mm stitch which helps later with alterations as the seams will unpick really easily, especially useful for unpicking whilst the garment is situated on a body.

The first time I sew up a Test Garment I will leave the Shoulder Seam unsewn for an initial fitting and the Centre Back seams unsewn for garment access, you could keep any other seam unsewn if you feel you may have a difficult fit issue for example a very rounded back or issues fitting in the armhole line on the draft.

For the rest of the Seams I usually sew up in the following order;

  • Sew the Darts on the two Centre Front pieces.

  • Sew the Princess Seams on both sides as these are the most difficult, remember if you need help to review sewing Princess Seams on the Auxiliary Reference Information for Sewing Darts and Seams.

  • Sew Centre Front Pieces

  • Sew the Back pieces together down the Princess Seams

  • Sew the Back pieces to the Front at the sides.

  • Then join all of the Lower pieces together first joining the Lower Front pieces then joining the Back pieces on the sides.

  • Then join the sewn Upper and Lower sections together.

This photo shows the Lower pieces sewn together. A problem area at the hip has been circled as a reminder during fitting to take a look at it.

In this photo the Upper pieces have been sewn together. This Test Garment is for a G cup bust and so the Bust Point is low, this position will be checked during fitting.

In this photo the whole Test Garment has been sewn.

Once all of the seams are sewn if you did not Thread Trace then ensure that you stay stitch the neckline and armholes but stitch on the actual sewing lines for the Test Garment. Review the auxiliary details here for definitions of different stitch types and how to do them.

Prior to the first fitting Armholes and Necklines should be snipped at least ½” from the edge of the fabric into the Seam Allowance, once you are happy with the shape of the Armholes and Necklines and feel confident that you don’t need the extra space you can snip down to the Sewing line to allow for the fabric to mould around the curves and make it more comfortable to wear. After an initial fitting or on Working Templates Test Garments and Flexible Pattern Test Garments you could even trim down the Seam Allowance and remove it completely, that way you can see the full effect of their positions. You could also cut off any Seam Allowance for a Hem also to check its position for the Lower Hip Line.

The Test Garment is now ready to be fitted on the Client.

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