Another very successful class! Yesterday we covered a lot of ground again, in three short hours the students learned more about fitting the body through some pictures and mock ups to show how to deal with real life issues.
Gravity, age, posture have all taken a toll giving a tailor a bit of work to fit the body. The important thing to remember is if the pattern/garment do not look like the “standard” you have done nothing wrong, you have been following the body and accounting for the issues which is a good thing! The most important thing is fitting the wearer properly especially an elder because of gravity, posture etc so try to get the vertical lines as perpendicular to the floor as possible and the horizontal lines as parallel to the floor as possible, sometimes the lines just look a little better if they are not perfectly perpendicular to the floor and follow the lines of the body to a degree; for example the front of a dress might look better with the line (if there are any) slightly to the left/right but the back looks better with the lines straight up and down even if it means back halves are different widths.
In a situation like this there is “cause and effect” factor, the mock up was sewn using the basic pattern as drafted, of course it didn’t fit properly there were pull lines going from the right to the left sides, the back seam along with the darts were pulling towards the left making the seam crooked, the front was too big around the bust, the back was too small at the shoulder blades. While she was wearing the mock up I ripped open the side seam where the lines were pointing and added some fabric to the opening, added some fabric to the centre back again where the lines were pointing, pinned the side seam on the right side where it was loose. This took care of some of the issues and brought out the secondary issues that needed to be addressed, this is why I always cut the lining before the fabric particularly when the fabric is expensive or in this case antique and cannot be replaced. Once the lining is fit exactly the way it will sit on the body, meaning it is to be fit inside out, I take into account any further changes and make them on the paper pattern then, and only then, will I cut the fabric. This way you have a fighting chance of making a garment fit impeccably on the wearer leading to a repeat client.
There was some discussion in class about possibly starting the pants next class, upon reviewing the syllabus and reflection on my part I decided it would be best to continue with the two piece sleeve and adding the Dolman sleeve along with a men's block to keep the proper flow of learning on the bodice. The pants are best to be started fresh on week 5 so we can focus on fitting them during week 6 (that is going to be the longer class) and continue with knits, skirts and anything else that is of interest or foggy during week 7. I hope this is OK with everyone.... During week 6 if you are making pants for someone else they are welcome to attend class as a fit model so we can assess the fit issues and solutions if any significant issues arise.
Homework is to draft a new pattern using personal/generic measurements with front and back princess seams, make the armhole adjustment for the sleeve and draft a set-in sleeve. Make the larger upper arm adjustment as well on a second sleeve. Next week we will be continuing with the two piece sleeve and then create a basic block for men’s wear to learn the Dolman sleeve. Please bring a fresh pattern to class using personal measurements complete with shaping and armhole adjustments ready to draft the two piece sleeve.
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"