Sunday, February 03, 2013

Review: The Tissue-Fitting Method

I adjusted my Georgia O'Keeffe Blouse using the tissue-fitting method, or the "Palmer-Pletsch Approach to Fitting". Fit for Real People certainly makes you feel that this new method is going to change your life forever. And it's a perfectly fine method, but it didn't really.

For one thing, it takes time to prepare and assemble the pattern pieces -- as much time as making a muslin. I did like that I was able to see precisely the waist, center back and center front markings against my body due to the tracing paper being see-through.
The side inserts of this pattern replace the gussets often found in kimono sleeves

But that small advantage is outweighed by the fact that the method requires a fitting buddy, like many of you commented previously. I would add that it not only requires a fitting buddy, but a qualified fitting buddy. As in, someone well-versed enough in sewing and fitting that they can actually help with the fit problems. It feels that the method was really designed for the sewing-class context, and the student-teacher binary. And in fact, it comes as no surprise that the book is the result of the authors' 20+ years of teaching experience. 

You can see clearly in here that Center Back is not positioned properly at the center of my back. Removing one inch from at the bottom, and adding one inch at the top of center back was the solution.

Conclusion: Tissue fitting is not particularly better than muslins. But I think I now understand why so many of you are so fond of Swedish tracing paper: It offers the best of both world. You get to write on it and see-through it like tracing paper, but you can also sew it like a muslin. And use the unpicked muslin as final pattern pieces. Brilliant.


  1. I'm really intrigued by Swedish tracing paper...will really have to give it a go sometime!

  2. That's sound very interesting. I was thinking of printing patterns on cotton and make musling but maybe this Swedish pater will be easier solution. I will look for it. Thanks a lot for sharing this great idea.

    1. Yeah people say you can easily find some on Etsy, but your local sewing store most likely carries it as well.

    2. Not on Etsy, on eBay!

  3. I get my Swedish tracing paper from Birch Street Clothing online. And yeah, I love it!

    Thanks for the review of this method. I've used the book's fitting illustrations but never tried the full-on tissue fitting. Your comments make a lot of sense!

  4. Interesting review of tissue fitting, and makes sense. I've tried it with trousers "a la Pants for Real People" & I kind of used it for a jacket - really to check where the bust dart landed (I don't think I really did it properly - it was a short cut!). I find all fitting, muslin or tissue so much harder for the back view - a fitting buddy would make all fitting so much more helpful ... in my mind cutting & sewing a muslin seems more work than tissue fitting, but I am sure that's all in my head ...

  5. I attempted to tissue fit a shirt on the weekend, but I found it very awkward to do by myself. I think you might be right about it working best in a class.


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