Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reading Practical Dress Design: A Laboratory Manual in Fitting and Free-Hand Pattern Making, by Mabel Erwin (1933)

Ok, lovelies. This is the kind of thing that used to drive my coworker Joyce crazy. I think she thought my interest in old drawings/photos/books was a bit strange, and certainly not blog fodder.

The "vintage"  Math4Knitters shows have all been replayed! I'm working on a new series that I will launch at the beginning of 2016. 

In the interim, my Throwback Thursday posts will be all about me reading this sewing book from the 1930s. It seems to have a lot of great information in it on fitting and design details. I have a copy from my local library, but there's also a version online here

I'm ignoring her "purchase a new corset" advice and taking away the parts that I think seem useful! I think, at this time, a lot of sewing patterns were sold with just one size at a time, so grading in between sizes was harder. But, it still seems like sound advice for choosing a size to start from a multi-size pattern.

p. 5

How to choose the best size, when you are in-between sizes. 

- Try tightening your measuring tape to the smaller size and loosening it to the larger size, to really see the difference between the two on your body. You may be comfortably closer to one or the other. 

- The larger size can usually be altered easily by adding a tuck.

- In general, choose the best fit for the section of the dress/garment that has the most design details. For example, if a dress has pleats or yokes in the hip area, choose your size based on the hip measurement.

- If your measurements are very different from the ones in the pattern's size chart (bust is one size, waist is another, hip is yet another), try to choose dress patterns that have a waistline seam and gore lines, so that you'll have a better time fine-tuning the fit. 

The larger size might be best when:

- You have wide shoulders. (That's me!)

- Your body is shaped more like an oval than a circle.

- You have a high bust.

The smaller size might be best when:

- Your body is shaped more like a circle than an oval.

- You have a low bust.

- Your hips are small, in proportion to your bust.

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