October 26, 2011

Thoughts on Tissue Fitting

I love this book on Tailoring. I think its THE perfect supplement for making a tailored jacket at home. I was reading it through again to refresh my prepping steps for making my coat. I have my pattern cut and dry pressed and am ready to tackle a muslin, but first the book recommends a tissue fit. I also have the book, Fit For Real People and this book is all about tissue fitting. When I read Fit For Real People a few years ago, I thought the tissue fitting idea was brilliant and it looked so easy.

And then I tried it and then I tried it again and again. I have mixed feelings about tissue fitting. In the Tailoring book, the tissue fit is just a preliminary fitting to get a better fitting muslin. The making of a muslin is seriously encouraged for a tailored jacket or coat since so much work actually goes into it. I can definitely see the tissue fitting use here, as a preliminary fitting. But as a final fitting, I'm not so sure. Fit For Real People goes through several steps for using tissue fitting as the final fitting. Now granted, there are several things you have to do, like make a fitting shell and know what your usual adjustments are and even after the tissue fitting, you'll still be pin fitting the fabric in certain stages of the garment construction. I have made a fitting shell, but I find that since design ease can vary so much from pattern to pattern and from decade to decade its not entirely a reliable source to fit with. Not only that, it was a Butterick fitting shell. So really, it only works good for Butterick, McCall's, Vogue and possibly Simplicity and not so good for the independent pattern companies which have a completely different sloper from which to base their patterns. All in all, I usually just end up making a muslin because then I know that I'll get the fit right. I also find that I can't see certain adjustments I need to make very well with the tissue. And they're adjustments that I would need to make before I cut anything, you know. Like a sway back or broad shoulder adjustment. Those can't just be worked in when you're needing more than say a 1/2 inch adjustment. Now pin fitting the fabric, sure. That's great advice because more times than not, I don't do a muslin out of a identical/similar fabric. I just use as good a muslin as I can get my hands on.

What are your thoughts on tissue fitting? Have you read the Fit For Real People book (which is a great book for fitting even if you're not into tissue fitting)? The idea of tissue fitting always looks much easier with another person helping you out too. And since, I've got a personal fitter right here with me.... Does tissue fitting work for you? If it does, what are some secrets you could share with the class here?

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