6 Reasons You Should Try Tissue Fitting

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I first found out about tissue fitting when I bought the book The Palmer Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting and I found it weird. People are covered in paper that usually tears really easily. It all looked really strange. But as I learned more about patterns and sewing I realised tissue paper fitting is an amazing method. Since then I use it for most of my projects. In this blog post, I’m going to describe the main advantages of tissue fitting.

1. Tissue fitting saves Time

It is super easy to transfer the pattern on the tissue paper. You do not need any special tools like transfer paper, tracing wheel, etc. Just the pattern, a pencil or liner, and scissors. The tracing paper is partially translucent, so I just redraw the pattern. You can also fold the tracing paper in half and trace the traced pattern half. This is useful when preparing FRONT or BACK pattern pieces for asymmetric design (see the images below). The whole thing is done in practically no time.

2. Saves money

Tissue ‘fitting’ is the best option when trying something brand new. Completely new design, new basic blocks. I remember times when I tried to make my own blocks and took my measurements incorrectly or just miscalculated them in the process of construction. Sometimes I just had to start over because I made too many mistakes.
It is hard to find fabric that is as cheap as tissue paper, therefore starting again is not as expensive as with fabric. Just buy a roll or sheets of tissue paper and go on.

If you use sheets of tissue paper, iron them to remove any creases before transferring patterns.

3. No sewing while prototyping with tissue fitting

After cutting out the tissue paper pattern pieces you can just use pins to hold the individual parts together. However, be really careful with them in order not to tear the paper. At this phase of design, you do not have to bother with details like closure, facings, or hemming. Just keep them in mind. Because the core of this tissue ‘fitting’ is to be sure there are no major issues with the garment like pulls, or too loose parts.

If you use sheets of tissue paper, iron them to remove any creases before transferring patterns.

4. Great to work out or adjust details

It is super easy to adjust details such as necklines and style lines. Drawing on tissue paper is easy. You do not need to worry about damaging any fabric. You just need to be careful not to tear the paper. Use a thin marker, a pencil is quite sharp and hard and may damage the tissue paper at this phase.

5. Use the altered pattern

There are two things that are possible to do with the adjusted tissue paper pattern. In case there is only a slight modification like a new neckline or added darts I just trace the modified pattern directly on the fabric. When the pattern is modified a lot or I have redrawn the paper multiple times because you changed your mind often, it is better to transfer the final pattern to a new tissue paper to avoid confusion.

6. There is no lengthwise, crosswise grain or bias

A great advantage of tissue paper is the absence of crosswise grain, lengthwise grain and bias. This way you can position a pattern in any direction you like and use most of the tissue paper with minimum waste.

Conclusion: what is tissue fitting and why you should try it

Tissue fitting takes a little time to get used to. However, once you learn to master it, it will be a great addition to your sewing skills.

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