The first tip came from a friend and made me wake up to what I am not telling my students. My friend stated that she measured the neckline of the pattern to get the length she should cut to do a binding, and the binding was much too tight. She then measured the garment neckline and found this to be a much more accurate way to get a correct fit. This lady is an extreme sewer, and I was floored that she would measure the pattern and not the garment!

I should not have been floored because this is just an example of not getting good information. I am I think a pretty good teacher, but like all people that teach, we are also learning and sometimes we don’t always tell you everything. We become so accustomed to doing things without thinking, that we forget to tell our students every detail of our actions either in text or verbally. Sort of like breathing, or just braking when we see red tail lights, it is an action without thought.

Please if something seems to fly by you when a teacher is explaining something, stop them, make them go back and then go forward in slow motion so you don’t miss am important little detail.

I have been teaching my students to measure their garment necklines and then use the number to create a binding. I usually have them lay their garment on the table folded in half at center front and center back and measure with a tape measure on edge so that you can work with a curve (never lay the tape measure flat).

I always explain that, but I have never explained to my students that you never measure the pattern neckline, I will do that from now on. It is something I just know and expected that everyone else did too. The pattern neckline will always be smaller than the cut garment neckline. Paper has no stretch and will only tear if pulled over your head. Fabric, even if it is woven, is so much more willing to give. Remember also that a neckline is not just going to stretch one way, you have a curve to a neckline and so therefore several ways of creating a small bias or stretch. So Please Please Never Ever measure the pattern neckline — only the garment neckline.