In the past year I spent a lot of time researching pattern-drafting methods and making trial garments. What I learned is that pattern-making for custom fit, rather than a standard figure, cannot be based on standard memorized steps.
Let’s look at the image below, both women have the same waist and hip measurements. According to many patternmaking books, they will require darts with the same intake, because the difference between their hip and waist circumference is the same. However, if you look careful you will see, that their body shapes differ.
Do you think, a simple straight skirt will fit those two bodies equally well if we use same dart intake for both? Kate, on the right, has larger hips and will need more shaping for her side seams, while Liz has stronger buttocks, and will need more shaping in the back. The length of the darts will differ too, but more about it later.
Why am I going into length about a simple straight skirt? I do it, because in the course of my research I realized that
A (BEGINNER) SEWER IS IGNORANT ABOUT THE FIT. We measure our hips, draft or pinch out the darts, and as long as the skirt, in this case, doesn’t fall off the waist we tend to think it fits. I used to think like that, I admit.
B. WE MEASURE INCORRECTLY. Standard measuring methods are good for standard bodies. Besides, we tend to measure smaller. I call it vanity measurements.
C. A STRAIGHT SKIRT IS A FOUNDATION FOR MANY OTHER STYLES, INCLUDING PANTS.
D. WHEN IT COMES TO FIT, YOU WANT TO TREAT THE CAUSE AND NOT THE SYMPTOMS. Once you understand the fitting of a simple straight skirt, you will understand most of the rest. The principles remain the same.
I am a nerd, and I love homework. Of course, you don’t have to do it, but I promise it is helpful. Ok, for the next week, observe people’s bodies, men, women, kids. We will be observing the lower part of the body for now. Look at their waist, their hips. How big is the tummy in relation to the buttocks? Does the person have prominent thighs? Mentally draw vertical lines touching most protruding parts of the body, as if the person was wearing a cylinder, try to assess how much do they protrude in relation to other parts of the body: tummy in relation to thighs etc.
In the following post, we will continue talking about body shapes and how a garment is shaped. I will see if I can make it more interactive. Hopefully I can figure it out in Blogger...
Do share your thoughts here! I would love to hear what’s your experience with fitting, or fitting a straight skirt, in particular.
SSDA 9: Side Seam and the Front and Back Widths