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how much ease? practicality versus looks
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rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 3/26/13 7:43 PM

Since I've been sewing for a couple of years now, I've had time to notice some of the finer details you miss when you first start.

Things like the difference between wearing ease, and design ease. When I first started I thought they were more overlapping.

From what I can see, some people like wearing clothing which are more fitted = less ease. I've heard people say they go down a whole dress size because of this. I'm more of a half and half. I like a fitted look. I also like being able to do the washing up and other practical tasks without having to get changed in to something looser fitting.

In short, I want a livable wardrobe which doesnt leave me with stuff hanging in the closet for only "special" occasions. BUT I am conscious that there may be tweaks I am unaware of to maintain this happy balance.

To give an example, Julia Bobbin's work is beautifully fitted, but I cant imagine doing anything other that a sedate walk in some her outfits.

On a slightly separate note, when it comes to waist lines in patterns, does anyone drop them even when they are in the right place according to their measurements? I'm particularly interested to hear from those with longer legs to torso ratio (which is what I've got). I'm curious if it would give me a more "balanced" look in terms of height (not that I've got any issues with mine!).

I'm really interested to hear from others. I'm thinking about this now more as I've got to design my own dress for a course so want to start with the best approach to ease.

goodworks1
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Date: 3/26/13 10:51 PM

I think you're right; there's a lot of variation in what people prefer.

Then when you add in style changes, it gets more complicated!

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Irina Grace
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In reply to rmusic1 <<


Date: 3/27/13 0:00 AM

When a fitted garment (like Julia Bobbin's work) correctly constructed, it is comfortable to wear. It is all about a balance between wearing ease and design ease. Fitted dresses are constructed with a minimum ease in hips and waist, minimum or no ease in bust-back area for sleeveless and minimum ease for bust for garments with sleeves. Correct measurement of a back (back width) and adding (or not adding) ease are the key to how comfortable the dress would be in a sited position (let say at the desk with both elbows on a top of the desk). The same for hips - just right amount of ease - let say 3 cm - will be enough for me for comfortable sitting.

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jacquiJB
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Date: 3/27/13 1:53 AM

Wearing ease is interesting, isn't it? I've found two intriguing things for me. First, as a plus-sized person, I need more wearing ease in skirts and pants. Why? Because fat spreads more. I've forgotten now where I read it (here, undoubtedly, but who said it and which expert, if any, they were quoting, I don't remember), but it's useful for plus-sized women to take two sets measurements in waist and hip: standing and sitting.

I've also found interesting cultural differences in clothes-cutting. In Asia, for example, there's a lot less ease cut into clothing. I've had several things made for me in Thailand (Bangkok is a wonderful place to have clothing made -- beautiful textiles and many talented tailors), but while the fitted blouses have been great, getting a good fit in trousers has proved elusive. They look good standing up, but uncomfortable when moving and sitting. They fit, but ... it wasn't right. And that's where wearing ease came into play.

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Date: 3/27/13 3:23 AM

Another interesting aspect of this is that more ease was more common in clothing in the fifties, though sizing was 'smaller' - ie a ten then was smaller than a ten now.
Natalie Bray's pattern drafting textbook deals with the question of bigger sizes needing more ease by telling you to take measurements a little more loosely for larger sizes, and more snugly for smaller sizes.

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Doris W. in TN
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Date: 3/27/13 4:09 AM

Now that lycra/spandex is available in more fabrics, we can wear clothing with less ease. The lycra allows the garment to "grow" a bit as we bend, sit, etc. Designing a garment with some lycra might give you the look and comfort you are after.

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Vireya
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In reply to rmusic1 <<
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Date: 3/27/13 3:56 PM

Quote: rmusic1
... some people like wearing clothing which are more fitted ...

Kathleen Fasanella has a picture on Fashion Incubator that illustrates this perfectly:
Two people wearing the same dress. Which one "fits"? They both fit, although the sleeve may be a little long on one. But they fit very differently.

Nancy K
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In reply to rmusic1 <<
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Date: 3/27/13 5:00 PM

Fitted does not mean tight. But, the more fitted a garment the better it has to fit to be comfortable. Good fit is more about hanging well on the body, not about how tight it is. A woman who is very thin needs less ease than a plus sized woman but the plus size woman can still look fabulous in a well fitted garment. Better than in the oversized patterns most of the big 4 show for larger sizes or that are often all that is available for larger women.
You have to decide how much ease you like, but the shoulders still need to fit, the sleeves need to be the right length and there should be no drag lines.

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rmusic1
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Date: 3/28/13 7:58 PM

I must say, the different responses given have been really interesting. I've always interpreted fitted as "figure hugging", but the detail in the answers given does make sense. I particularly liked the explanation about the impact size has.

In short, I need to allow more ease for my bottom half than my top (I'm pear shaped). Never thought of WHY the ease guidance was different for various parts of the body. I made a vogue fitting shell and just followed the instructions - never realising the methodology behind it.

The photos of the same dress on different people was a really good visual look at the impact of fit as well. It's true - it is very much down to personal preference.

The bit about sitting and standing does certainly ring bells. There has been clothing I've worn which is comfortable to stand in, but when I sit down it can dig in to my stomach if the waist band isn't right (I have a rounded tummy).

Thanks for enlightening me!

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