Fitting Patterns

Fashion Corset v Historic Corset

There's a lot of talk around the negative aspects of wearing corsets but be assured that's not the whole story.  My experience with corsets is strictly fashion industry and what I share here in the blog and through the product I have listed on the website is all derived from that experience.  The articles and papers listed below will help you develop your own understanding of the debate around historic corsets if this issue is of interest.
History of Corsets:  the first wave of feminism - A reasonable introduction to the debate.
The Kurious Kase of Kim Kardashians Korset - A more thorough and academic investigation of debate around corsets.

Bust supporter and corsets. Copyright The Museum at FIT. Courtesy Google Arts and Culture.

To begin, a quick recap of previous posts for the Gil Brandao, Conjunto Pratico.  You can start with the first post, the self-draft instructions for this vintage bodice.  If you think you'd like more detail you can download my detailed worksheet - Vintage Style Pattern Making.  The instructions in the worksheet include information for drafting different sizes, from 6 to 22.  If you're unable to access the worksheet there is a post where I outline the grade rules to make the original draft in to other sizes - Grade Rules - Gil Brandao Conjunto PraticoTaking the vintage bodice further I have a post with the instructions for adding a skirt to the vintage bodice to make and wrap style dress -Vintage Bodice as Dress - Fist Sample.
Vintage Style Pattern Making

When you'e making your own clothes the first and most important bit of information is what size pattern you'll be using.  To work this out you need the Size Chart (body measurements used to make the patterns), your own basic body measurements (bust, waist and hips), and if possible the pattern measurements as provided by the pattern company.  My Pencil Skirt Sewing Pattern has been designed for woven cloth with no stretch and I've allowed 5cm garment ease in the fit of the hip on the skirt.  So once you know your own hip measurement it's important that the pattern you use is at least 5cm (2") larger in the hip.  This 5cm (2") is added to the pattern as garment ease for basic comfort and good fit.

This post is specifically dedicated to working a full bust adjustment (FBA) on my knit block.  This particular pattern alteration is important for anyone with a bra cup size above B & C.  Because we are working with knit, I'd prefer not to include a dart in any of my knit patterns.  If you add a Full Bust Adjustment to a woven pattern you'll usually end up with a side seam dart.  For knit patterns I have a different way of dealing with the extra fabric that results from an FBA and that would usually become a dart.
All details following:

These instructions will help you understand how to shift a side seam bust dart in your patterns or fitted dress block to suit your own bust point.  First you will have to take a couple of measurements to know your bust point location.  Please make sure you're wearing a well-fitted bra.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to have regular bra fittings, with a specialist, to make sure you do in fact have a good fitting.  If the garment you're making is for everyday wear, then the bra you wear when you take these measurements should be the bra you wear everyday.  If however you're making a special occasion dress then consider if the bra will be different or new.  This is very much the case for brides.  No measurements should be taken or calico toiles made until the bride has purchased her special day lingerie.

After so many pattern alterations to the first sample pattern, I'm excited to show you how the second sample turned out.  Below you can see the pattern alterations (brown paper) I made to the first sample pattern.  And I've selected a cotton/linen blend for the second sample.  You will find all the first sample and pattern alteration detail in this post:  Sampling the Flare and Gather Dress and Pattern Alterations - Flare and Gather Dress Pattern.

Now that the first sample has been made and fitted I'm able to bring you all the pattern alterations I have made to get this new design to work.  I'm still fascinated with this design and hope the final pattern is something worthy of all this sampling effort.  If you'd like to see the original pattern puzzle post you'll find it here:  Flare & Gather Dress

And now I'm ready to return to this little wonder!  From the original Pattern Puzzle post I've made an initial sample in calico to check the design and fit of this new design. Throughout this post I'll share each stage of the pattern alterations that I hope will end up in a delightful pattern.

In this post I hope to link up some of the illustration and patternmaking resources I have on the website so you can plan your pattern making creativity over the summer break.  These suggestions are a combination of free access blog posts, PDF worksheets with pattern making instructions and Digital Garment Blocks to begin all your pattern making projects.

So often I'm asked how I make my fitting toile's for Trouser Blocks, so I'd thought I'd put together a short post with some detail.  Many of the points are small but essential for a good #FirstFitting. You can access a download of my Trouser Block here.  I've also uploaded a worksheet that covers the detail for the first stage of fitting the trouser block.  The PDF worksheet includes detail instructions and technical diagrams to take you through every step of the process.
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