First Time Garment Fitting:
The Absolute Beginner’s Guide

beginner book.jpg

Sarah's book, First Time Garment Fitting: The Absolute Beginner's Guide is a wonderful, concise introduction to garment fitting. It provides all the basics using just a few examples - a skirt, a darted bodice, and a shoulder princess bodice - so there's not an overwhelming amount of information. The publisher's "First Time" series targets absolute beginners who are seeking expert guidance. Almost all of the information is taken from my first book, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting; so if you already have it, you don't need this book.

The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting


Sarah's book, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, describes how to fit a test garment (called a muslin or a mockup) while it is on a person. Because each person's body is unique, Sarah feels that this is the best way to get a personalized fit, but the information can also be applied to fitting a garment on a dress form.

The book starts with theoretical information about fitting, including what a fitting axis is and why the fitting axis makes the fitter's job easier. The book also describes basic and specialized pattern manipulations, so that you can make the necessary fitting changes as noted on the muslin. There are extensive photos showing fitting examples, which help you train your eyes and hands to solve fitting problems.

Free Download!

Use this expanded table of contents reference that Bobbie Kalben put together. It has much greater detail than the table of contents listed in the book, and can easily fit in the cover for quick referencing.

Finished Garment Gallery

Reader Responses

Gaye, a beginner sewer, in a top that she fit guided by Sarah’s book.

Gaye, a beginner sewer, in a top that she fit guided by Sarah’s book.

"I just wanted to let you know how much I love your new book. It arrived just before I was leaving for an annual sewing retreat. Perfect timing - I had time to just sit and go through it, page by page. My sewing buddies all ooh'd and aah'd over it as well. I suspect many of them will be ordering their own copy. The photography is amazing and the explanations really straightforward and easy to understand. This clearly will become my new 'go to' fitting reference."

~Karine S.

"I am so excited, I just got the BOOK! The pictures are amazing. This is the best fitting book I have ever bought, no contest. Before this class ["Fun with Fitting Skirts" on] and seeing your book, I bought a lot of sewing books and read them all. Your book answers the questions 'between' the questions, and unlike many articles I have seen online where the picture is relevant to the project but doesn't show the actual thing you need to know, yours is precise. Thanks for writing this book Sarah!"

~Terri A, a Pattern Review student

"Your book arrived yesterday and I enjoyed reviewing it as I sat in front of the fire. It is excellent: a thoughtful, useful, clear, concise compilation of thoughts about fitting and constructing beautifully fitting clothes. The text and the accompanying photographs are so thorough that your advice can be absorbed -- and immediately put to good use. Thank you for the time and patience needed to put together this book. But mostly, thank you for sharing your professional experience in a way that will allow all of us to benefit."

~Nancy T

"I just got your book yesterday and have not been able to put it down. As I am reading your book things are just starting to 'click', it makes sense to me! I taught myself to sew 15 years ago because of a strong desire to sew my child a baptismal gown. Since then I have sewn several dresses, skirts, shirts, etc... with lots of mistakes and a whole lot of frustration. I have always searched for books to further my skills or to explain concepts I didn't quite understand but nothing has really ever helped too much. Your teaching style is such that I feel like I am able to look over a friend's shoulder and watch while she is patiently and thoroughly explaining everything to me! I LOVE to sew and your book and classes have finally given me the chance to advance my skills!"

~Danielle, a Pattern Review student in Washington

"Just received your book today. It looks fabulous. I love all the photos. Even though you have been teaching us fitting, it is great to have it all in such a clear and logical format."

~R. B., a Pattern Review student in Vermont

"I have your book and I LOVE it! I am reading every page, digesting all the information. You have created a wonderful resource that will benefit many. I just love your classes, too. You are an amazing teacher, and I wanted you to know that I appreciate all that you do!"

~Deb Schimmel, a Pattern Review student

Responses to Fitting Workshops with Sarah

Sarah offers fitting classes and workshops both at her studio as well as at other locations and events. In these workshops, Sarah puts the information from her book into action, giving students direct, hands-on experience with fitting. Two students who attended a fitting workshop for the Chicago ASG group wrote blog posts about their experience being fit by Sarah:

Please see the Teaching Inquiries page if you are interested in having Sarah teach a fitting workshop for your sewing group.