Lance models the shirt his wife designed, drafted, and sewed for him.
Beautiful clothing that fit can be yours! Even if you have never sewn before, you can do this!

Note: All books are 20 % off through Friday, November 30, 2018. Enter coupon code: SALE at checkout.

What is the secret?

Knowing the basic professional math and sewing skills used in industry is the key to producing beautiful clothing.

Here are some of those basic professional skills you need to know to produce beautiful clothing that fits.

Basic rule: Draft clean, cut clean, sew clean 

Neatness and accuracy matter! The industry drafts to an accuracy of 1/32 inch. It sews to an accuracy of 1/16 inch.

Tape measure used to measure curves
Measure curves with a tape measure stood on edge.

Each pattern MUST be marked with a straight and a cross-grain line. All tracing MUST be done with drafting tools. Curves can be measured with a tape measure st ood on edge.

The pattern must fit before the fashion fabric is cut. Make a muslin, then correct the pattern, before cutting the fashion fabric.
Making muslins is a MUST!

The patterns MUST FIT before the fashion fabric is cut. Make and fit a muslin if the pattern has not been cut and sewn before. Correct the pattern before cutting the fashion fabric.


Cutting on the fold causes problems. The industry NEVER cuts on the fold.
Do NOT cut on the fold!

Use tracing paper. Fold it. Lay its fold on the pattern’s fold. Trace. Turn the tracing over. Trace. Open the pattern and lay over the fabric.

Laying the patterns on the fabric

Fabric must be laid on grain, with the cross grains at right angle to the straight grains.

Using grids helps with laying fabric on grain.

Lay all patterns the same direction to prevent the possibility of shading.

Just because the straight-grain arrow is parallel to the selvage doesn’t mean the fabric is being cut on grain.

 The fabric MUST be on grain WHERE YOU CUT!  Check that BOTH the fabric’s straight AND cross grains are on grain at the patterns’ edges.

Cutting fabric
Cutting right-to-left, as done in the industry gives control over the cutting, as the eye is always the same distance from the cutting.

Cut right-to-left if right-handed, left-to-right if left-handed.

ALL seams MUST be sewn on gauge.
Sew on gauge

If your sewing machine does not have a gauge, you can make one.
1. Assemble a transparent ruler, masking tape, and a waterproof pen with a sharp point.
2. Attach the straight stitch foot and plate to the sewing machine.
3. The distance from the machine needle to the edge of the straight stitch presser foot should be
1/4 inch. Measure to make sure.
4. Lay a transparent ruler’s 3/8 inch line under the machine’s needle, adjusting the ruler so it is parallel to the edge of the presser foot.
5. Tape masking tape along the edge of the transparent ruler to mark the 3/8 inch gauge.
6. Move the ruler to measure and then mark gauges of 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 inches on the tape.

Check the gauge as you sew. This seam allowance is 3/4 inch wide, the width used when sewing high-end garments’ straight seams. The 3/4 inch width allows for possible future alterations.


straight-stitch foot and plate.
Use a straight-stitch foot and plate. If a straight-stitch plate is not available, the straight-stitch foot will still help prevent the fabric from jamming in the race.
Three books for sale
These three books are on the market. Five additional books are nearing completion. They include Grading to Fit, Grading and Sewing a Blouse, Grading a Jacket, Sewing a Jacket, and Copying a Man’s Shirt (Copying a Ready-made Garment).

Contemporary Fashion Education’s books and private lessons for adults and teens enable the user to made beautiful clothing clothing that fits.

Written and taught by Laurel Hoffmann, she says, Even now when I look at the finished project, I can’t believe I made it. When I sewed before entering the industry it would be such a disappointment. All that work and money, only to find that the finished project didn’t looked the way I had hoped it would. What a difference knowing industrial skills has made in my life.
215 884 7065

© Laurel Hoffmann, 2018.

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