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LivingSoft Subscriber Newsletter | Volume 2

Sewing Tip


QuickFit Sizes Get You Going Quickly

Plus bonus ribbing technique used in T/shorts set

By Anne Thomas, Educator

 I wanted to make a T-Shirt and Shorts set for my grandson Quinn from a cute cotton knit print.  It had snakes, frogs, turtles, frogs and bugs on it.  After experimenting with children’s standard sizes and the QuickFit measurements standard adjustments section of the program, I found an easy method for getting a measurement set that would work for my grandson.   All I needed was his height, chest and waist! 

Note:  Industry standard children’s sizing are part of Dress Shop Pro but not DS5 Advanced or DS5 Quick Fit.  DS5 Advanced and DS5 QuickFit include standard sizes for women and misses only.  The name QuickFit is a little confusing because it is the name of the 24-custom-measurement version of DS5 for $149, and it is also the name of a section that is in all DS5 generation programs, which enables you to take built in standard sizes and make quick custom adjustments.

I have found using the standard children’s sizes in my DS5 Pro to be ideal for sewing for grandchildren, who I don’t feel a need to take the whole 24 custom measurement set for.  But you could just as easily follow these general guidelines to use the women’s or misses’ standard sizes to sew for yourself.

 First I selected the standard size with the chest and waist measurements closest to Quinn’s (children’s size 5).  Next I went to “Quick Fit”, found under the “size” tab.  Then I used the “Select Adjustment” menu to adjust the height to match his.  After entering the height adjustment, I use “ReDraft” to see the adjusted sloper patterns.  Now I had a measurement set with the correct width and height.  To save the measurements, I clicked on the “more” button.  On the right hand menu, the current measurement set (the standard size adjusted for height, which the adjustment changed a number of additional measurements) was displayed.  Clicking on the “save as” button and giving the new file the name ‘Quinn’, saved the adjusted measurement set. 

 Now I was ready to draft patterns and sew.  I went to the pattern menu and selected “Pants->casual pants->one seam (loose).  Under options, I entered ¼” seam allowance as I planned to use my serger.  On Mia, I selected Length->Shorts and front and back waist elastic.

The back crotch looked too J-shaped for a child and the front angle was too steep. See Figure 1 below.

Using the special Custom Crotch Shaper (which is exclusive to DS5 Pro), I adjusted the shape of the back and front crotches.

Figure 1: One seam pants without crotch adjustment 


Figure 2: Crotch seam adjusted

Using the Fabric Layout Tool, I figured out that I only needed ½ yard of 45 inch fabric.

I cut one right side and one left side from knit fabric with the waist parallel to the greatest stretch, which in this case was cross grain.   I like to cut one layer at a time to make sure that the right and left match on the horizontal. 

I set up my serger for the standard 4-thread overlock stitch.  I serged the inner leg seams together, first on the right leg side then I turned one leg right side out and then serged  the whole crotch seam together.  I pressed and then marked, with a water erasable pen, the back seam of the pants.

I removed the right needle and thread from my serger to go to a standard 3-thread overlock.   I cut 1-inch wide elastic 19” (3 inches less than actual waist measurement).   Since I had made pants for him already I knew that 19 inches would work with the type of elastic I was using (it can vary with the stretch).  I used my regular sewing machine to sew the elastic together.  I like to sew one end of the elastic to a scrap piece of fabric and then butt the other end and sew it to the fabric.  Then I trim any excess fabric away.  This gives me a circle of elastic without a seam “bump.”

I divided and marked the elastic into 4 quarters and marked 4 quarters on the pants.  I pinned the elastic to the pants, matching quarter points, then I serged the elastic to the shorts.  I left about ¼ inch of fabric above the elastic to be cut away by the serger blade.  I stretched the elastic as I serged.   I next folded the serged edge down and pinned at the four quarter locations.  I went to my regular sewing machine, and with a zigzag stitch (you can also use a triple zig-zag stitch or a coverlock stitch), secured the elastic.

To finish, I turned under hem allowance on the legs, and hemmed.  Of course, everyone has their own preference about hemming.  I used ribbing, the same as the ribbing for the t-shirt, to make the hem on the shorts.  (This also had the effect of making the finished leg length a little longer.)  Technique below.

The one piece pant pattern is great.  It took me less than an hour to cut it out and sew.  And most of that time was spent threading my serger.

"Clean Finish Neck Ribbing" for a T-Shirt

Select the Dress Shop T-shirt pattern (under Loungewear) with the neck opening widened to allow for ribbing.  To widen the neck, I used the Neck tool that came with Fashion Designer, selected the default jewel neck setting, and added 2” to the opening, 1” to the front depth and 1” to the back depth.  This gave me the opening of the size needed for 1” ribbing.  Under Options select ¼ inch seam allowance.

I also flattened the sleeve cap by widening it and reducing cap ease to almost zero.

I stabilized the back shoulder and neck with iron-on fusible stay tape (or you can use clear elastic).  I sewed the shoulder seams together.  Then I divided the neck opening into 4 equal sections and marked.

I used a thin rib knit for the neck trim.  A rule of thumb for ribbing length is 2/3 the size of the neck opening plus double the seam allowance (for the size of the neck opening, measure around the neck edge at the seam line – the cut line will give you a shorter result, so don’t measure that).  I cut the ribbing 4.5 inches wide.  Then I stitched the length edges together.  Next I folded the ribbing in half.  I used the seam line to match up with the center back, then divided and marked the ribbing in quarters.  I pinned the quarters to corresponding marks on T-shirt neck.  I placed the raw edges of the ribbing to the wrong side of garment, and then sewed the ribbing to the garment using a ¼” seam.  I folded the ribbing to the right side and pinned to cover the stitching.  I top stitched the ribbing down.

Ribbing gives a nice finished edge on both the outside and inside.  There are no raw edges on the inside of the T-shirt neck.  Quilters have probably used a similar technique for binding quilt edges.

I tacked a "Made by Grandma" label to neck back and pants back so Quinn would know how to put them on.  When he tried the outfit on for the first time, of course the fit was right – I made it with Dress Shop!