Custom Design - Understanding Design Ease and How to Add Shirt Plackets

Design ease is subjective because the pattern drafter or fashion designer decides how much of it is needed to achieve a specific look and feel with their design. Design ease is defined as how loose or tight a garment fits on the body. When you purchase a sewing pattern, the amount of design ease is already included, which is why sometimes it's best to compare the finished garment measurements with the sizing measurements before you start sewing.

It is very often that I change the amount of design ease to better customize a garment. In my personal sewing practice, I've found that the best way for me to add or subtract design ease has been by draping the garment on my dress form to see how it will fit me. In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how much design ease I added to the Fair Fit dress I'm creating, as well as show you how I am adding shirt plackets to the design in order to customize it to my specific intention. 

Fair Fit Method - Custom Design - Understanding Design Ease and How to Add Shirt Plackets

In this project I'm designing for Fair Fit Method students to use with the Fair Fit pattern, I'm changing the amount of design ease by draping the pattern pieces more loosely on my form. All Fair Fit garments are draped, because draping allows you to visually adapt and customize a garment while in the process of making it because you can visually see what's working and what's not while you are shaping the cloth.

With a flat pattern, it's only after sewing it up that you can see the amount of ease and how it fits on your unique shape. That's why I prefer draping, because you can make the changes more immediately. 

In my video, I show how much ease I added for this particular project. Draping is taught in all of my Fair Fit Method online courses, and for Fair Fit Method students you can use this video to change the shape of your draping as well. 

In the second half of the video, I'll also show you how I'm further customizing the dress by adding shirt making details to adapt the Fair Fit dress to design trends I'm enjoying right now. In the next few posts coming up, I'll demonstrate how I add and sew plackets to existing designs. I'll also share with you my super efficient and very effective way of sewing plackets to speed up my process and still get the best result every time.

The process from the video:

In the first half of the video, I just show you how the garment is draped on the form with extra ease included. If you are a Fair Fit Method student who has learned how to drape the patterns for your own body, you will do this by simply shifting the pattern with less overlap to achieve the same result. If you are adding ease to an existing commercial pattern, you will have to add the ease to the pattern first, usually on the side seams or even sometimes the CF and CB. Then I recommend draping it on your form to see if you have added enough to achieve your desired design.

In the second half of the video, I demonstrate how I'm using my form to add plackets to the front and back of my dress. I use my form so that I can see the overall design and also determine exactly where I should cut into the dress so that it complements my unique proportions.

Fair Fit Method - Custom Design - Understanding Design Ease and How to Add Shirt Plackets

This video is a preview of what's to come in my next 3 posts where we will draft, sew, and customize a garment using tower and pop over plackets. These shirt making details pop up all of the time in ready to wear trends, and it's good to know how to add, draft, and sew them at will so that you can keep your self sewn garments current and classic with shirt making details. Hope to see you next week with the pattern drafting portion of the lesson.

If you want to create your own custom self sewn clothes and like this way of learning, I want to invite you to check out my signature online courses, the Fair Fit Method. It is a series of online sewing and fashion design courses that will teach you how to create custom clothing for yourself that adapts to your personal shape and style. Using the Fair Fit pattern and the 6 core areas of focus - design, pattern, draping, check fit, sewing, and customization, you can create your own artistically and intentionally designed wardrobe using the step by step videos in each course. To learn more and read the full course descriptions visit the full website here: 

Fair Fit Method - Custom Design - Understanding Design Ease and How to Add Shirt Plackets
Fair Fit Method - Custom Design - Understanding Design Ease and How to Add Shirt Plackets