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The Difference Between Sewing Ease and Fit or Style Ease


We've already talked about fit ease and style ease, so now we're going to look into SEWING ease. 

What does sewing ease do?

Much like a dart, it helps to shape the fabric of your garment around the curves of your body. 

In this video, I explain how sewing ease accomplishes that, and give several examples of where you might use sewing ease.



Your body has many curves aside from the bust, hips and derriere. 

The curve over the shoulder, from front to back, for example.  You need a little extra room to move your arms forward without straining the back of your blouse or dress. 

Years ago, patterns and garments had a small dart at the back shoulder to shape the fabric over the curve of the back. You can accomplish the same thing by eliminating that small (less than 1/2") dart and simply easing the fabric of the back shoulder into the front shoulder.

Or the point where your arm meets your shoulder - that's not a 90-degree corner!  The ease in your sleeve cap shapes the sleeve over the top of your arm, and allows you to move your arm in all directions. When drafting the sleeve cap, the cap should be about 3/4" larger than the armhole, allowing you to ease that extra fabric into the armhole in the shoulder area. 

Adding about 1/4" to 1/2" to the width of the back waist on a skirt or pant, and easing that fabric into a fitted waistband, shapes your pant or skirt over the derriere. 

And a Princess seam, which shapes the fabric of your top over the bust without darts, tends to fit better with just a bit (less than 1/4") of ease right at the apex.  That bit of ease gives the Princess seam a full, rounded shape, which is especially helpful for a full bust. 


Ease is the key to good fit and movement in your garment.  It helps to know what each type of ease does, and how to use it in your clothing patterns!

Learn more about shaping your fabric to your body with sewing darts. 

Learn about the princess seam, too. 

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