Saturday, October 29

Measuring for garments/apparel...not an exact science

Just so you know, I learned the fundamentals of sewing back in the 8th grade.  For those of you doing the math that was sometime in the 80's.  Any-who, I found that I liked sewing, well creating, but I just didn't have the patience to do it right.  Well, I am sure you know what the lead to...collecting fabric for many years!  

So I didn't even think about it after class was over and I made my first knit jumpsuit.  I don't remember the grade I got but I was surprised by it.  Then I got out of college and wasn't playing sports like used to while in school.  So now I am kind of bored.  Then I remember that I enjoyed sewing so I went to the local store and the fire was lit, again. And I began collecting fabric and patterns, sewing every once in a while.

As I got older, I started to better understand how my brain works and how I can teach myself things, especially as the internet grew.  On another note, I learned how to knit and crochet via many sites on line...so now I collect yarn and knit and crochet patterns!!  

All that said, in recent years I realized, no, finally excepted that if I wanted the result intended, I NEEDED to take my time and do it right.  I also realized that my fashion design education needed a great deal more information.  So after work, sometimes during, I would research fashion design, pattern making programs, anything.  I realized that to make the garment after you have this wonderful idea or pattern for it, I have to have a good set of measurements.  

So, there I am searching for the exact instructions on what measurements to take, how to take measurements and so-on.  There are so many different ideas and measurements to take or not, I ended up so confused. Then after reading something in Don McCunn's Yahoo group (his blog) I am now realizing that this is NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE.  The relief I felt because I thought I was missing something (you're thinking "yeah, a teacher!"...me too). So I read more from different pages and did as I normally do when trying to teach myself.  I let the info marinate and I would process some, try a few of my own techniques out (because I am a visual learner) and worked out for me.  So now I am not as frustrated as I used to be when  I have to make changes to patterns or create patterns (mostly basic for now) and they fit better.  I understand better why the patterns would still feel funny when I tried them on, I was relying on the measurements alone.  I know now that I must fit my slopers in muslin if I really want a good fit.  I now understand WHY the professionals would say to use muslin.  See, I am hard headed and couldn't just take their word no matter how many times I might have seen it on a number of pages.  Until Mr. McCunn actually say that he's realized he should rely on measurements alone (paraphrasing) in his Yahoo group, I figured "i Have all of these measurements--they should work fine."
NOT!

Also, Mr. McCunn has a great book "How to make sewing patterns"  This book helped me understand pattern making which in turn help me how to better make pattern changes.  Check it out!

Thanks for reading!