Good fit includes correct bust fit.

Here is the fitting information you need

In this course, Fitting Home-Sewing Patterns at the Abington Art Center, taught Saturdays, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, January 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26, and March 5 , 12, 19, 2022; you will learn why home sewing patterns don’t fit, and how to work with them so they do.

Classroom tested and proved to work in Laurel’s continuing professional courses with novices, design room personnel, and experienced sewers, you will learn the professional skills needed to successfully fit yourself and others. If you hope to work in industry, or start a fashion business, this is the information you absolutely need to know.

Most women who sew at home choose their patterns by their bust circumference, the reason so many women find their patterns don’t fit. In class you will learn how to choose your pattern by your chest size, measured under your bust. This will give you a pattern that fits your bone size.


You will develop a set of slopers (often called shell patterns) that fit you.

Slopers are fitting patterns

You will develop a set of slopers (often called shell patterns) that fit you. You will start with a set of slopers in your best pattern size, then make the corrections needed to fit you. All fit types will be addressed, even asymmetrical.

Laurel Hoffmann, the instructor, has prepared a set of individual slopers for sizes two through 32. After you have signed up for the course you will need to call her at 215 884 7065 so she can have your set printed for you in your correct size.

The textbook

Grading to Fit, a 494+ page textbook.

You will be working through your textbook, Grading to Fit, as you develop your slopers. The classroom-tested book continues hundreds of step-by-step scaled diagrams that show exactly how to proceed with your drafting and fitting.

You will be taking your and other students’ measurements, recording them in the book’s charts so as to be able to refer to them as you determine the corrections you need to enable you to draft your slopers to your perfect fit.


About the course:


  1. Fitting Home Sewing Patterns is a hands-on course that enables you to customize home sewing patterns to your and others’ perfect fit.
  2. Minimal equipment is needed, all work is demonstrated, you will receive help every step of the way.
  3. In the Fitting Home Sewing Patterns course you will be shown how to customize a standard-size sloper (used in industry to draft style patterns), in your true pattern size to your personal fit, including bust and asymmetrical adjustments if needed.
  4. Charts are provided in the textbook to help you record and use this information to draft the corrections you need into your sleeve and skirt shell slopers before testing them in muslin.
  5. After you have developed your custom-fitted slopers you will be shown how to determine your grading coordinates by comparing your custom-fitted slopers with the original printed slopers from which they were developed.
  6. The course sequel, Grading and Fitting a Blouse, to be offered in January 2022, will be Grading & Sewing a Blouse. The blouse course presents how to grade a blouse pattern, chosen by the instructor, to your custom fit; then sew a high-end blouse using sample making will learn how to use your coordinates to grade commercial (home sewing) patterns, in your chosen size, to your fit, without any fittings whatsoever.

About the instructor:

Laurel Hoffmann, the instructor, set up the work for factories in North Philadelphia before she had children. When the fashion industry was going off shore, back in the early 1970s, she decided to write down how the industry drafts and sews so the information could be used by lay people.

Laurel learned her skills in the industry where she was trained by three European master tailors, the leading grader in Philadelphia, and the top layout artist at Alfred Angelos.


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In the course sequel, Grading and Sewing a Blouse to Fit, students use the coordinates, developed in Fitting Home Sewing Patterns to grade, then sew a professional blouse.

Laurel worked in high-end. The first dress she made,when working at Anne Pakradooni‘s boutique, on Main Line, back in the late sixties, sold for $80. Laurel then worked as an assistant designer in the couture department at Alfred Angelo’s where she assisted in the making of wedding gowns that sold for $10,000 at Sax Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman’s in New York City. Later she worked in sportswear, eventually taking complete charge of a factory in North Philadelphia. Read more about Laurel.

Laurel and her son, Andrew, are now making videos which are shown on, the local Philadelphia TV station, every Wednesday morning at 9 am. You can also see the videos on Laurel’s YouTube channel.

For more information about the Fitting Home Sewing Patterns’ course,
contact Laurel at 215 884 7065.

Pricing and registration are on the Abington Art Center’s website at the bottom of this page’s link.

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215 884 7065
© Laurel Hoffmann, 2021

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