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Fitting & Dress Makers Form or Slopers
Jilly
Jilly
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CO USA
Member since 3/14/04
Posts: 17
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Date: 6/28/05 3:20 PM

Hello,

I love sewing but have problems with fitting. I don't really have a sewing buddy so I'm left most times to fend for myself (or my husband will attempt to help which is really laughable). I am thinking about buying one of those kits to make a body cast of my body (mytwindressform.com) or sending my measurements to personalfit.com and they will make a set of slopers that match my measurements perfectly. Questions are: What is your opinion on these two methods of fitting? Will it make my sewing/fitting easier? Does one work better than the other? Should I get both? Any comments are appreciated.

Mlle Laura
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Mlle Laura
Intermediate
FRANCE
Member since 2/27/05
Posts: 147
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In reply to Jilly


Date: 6/29/05 1:25 PM

I have had a lot of problems fitting in the past, but it seems to be getting easier. Two things have helped me enormously, the first is a duct tape double. You can make yourself a 'duct tape double quite easily and for a fraction of the cost of commercial made-to-measure dress forms. There is a good article in Threads online about making your own dress form. Beware of the plaster-cast method though, I tried this first, wanting the most faithful reproduction possible and fainted before the plaster could dry! Too restrictive I guess. I awoke to find my panicked boyfriend tearing away at the plaster (he cut my bra strap in the process!). Here's a picture of my duct tape double.

The second thing that I highly recommend is Kenneth King's Moulage. This is great for establishing a 'perfect' sloper of your own body (with no wearing ease) which you can then use to either draft your own patterns or check the fit of commercial patterns. Again, Threads has an article on this. You'll be astonished to find how well the moulage fits first try.

I hope this has helped somewhat. Best of luck!

linda_maries

linda_maries
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WI USA
Member since 11/30/04
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Date: 6/29/05 3:18 PM

The Big 4 pattern companies all design off of standardized slopers. A person can buy all sizes of the standard slopers if they wanted to. Go in the back of any McCall's pattern catalog book and you'll see this gingham checked dress. Vogue does this too. They are special order. These are what they make all the fashion patterns off of. They manipulate those basics with flat pattern skills that they learned at school. So all patterns will fit only "standardized" models...(they aren't real people...nobody looks like the sloper.)
Real people, then, have to change the patterns to fit them.
If you change the standardized sloper to fit you, then the same changes can then be made to all the other patterns...and it will fit you too.
If you create a sloper for yourself based on measurements, you will have a non standardized sloper. This is great if you then want to then go and do all of your fashion designing off of it. Your individual sloper doesn't jive with the fashion created off of standardized patterns.
BUT, if you compared your nonstandardized sloper with a standardized one, the differences would give you a clue as to what you had to do to the Big 4 fashion patterns.
The problem with standardized sloper patterns is that the independent pattern companies may or may not use the standard sloper to design off of. No one really knows what they design off of. If you stay always with this standardized sloper, you really can't explore all the odd ball companies out there who have great patterns!
So what to do?
Get a double dress form.

Jilly
Jilly
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CO USA
Member since 3/14/04
Posts: 17
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In reply to linda_maries


Date: 6/29/05 9:56 PM

Thanks for the info. I think I'll do the dummy double and check out the King moulage as well. Anything to achieve great fit.

Thanks again,
Jilly

hongkongshopper
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hongkongshopper
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 6/26/04
Posts: 650
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In reply to Jilly


Date: 6/29/05 10:43 PM

I have a paper tape body double that really helps with fitting. It was really easy to do. It is the number 4 on the article that Laura had the link to. My only issue with it is because the tape is around the body, it ends up a good size bigger. But the shape and all are the same. Worth having a go!

------
Vicki - Melbourne, Australia
Blog: http://hongkongshopper.blogspot.com

meanjean
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meanjean  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TX USA
Member since 5/4/05
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Date: 6/30/05 10:52 PM

Over the last 3 or 4 months, I've been figuring out how to get the fit right, too. It has been quite the learning experience, and I've had to use more patience than I'm used to. I hope my experience helps you.

I have no fitting buddy, and this has been a serious source of frustration until now. No matter how many hours I stood in front of the mirrors, I never got an adequate fit. I've come to the conclusion that fitting is an art, not a science. And I'm a scientist by profession. This story has a happy ending. Read on...

I started out by trying to follow the instructions in the Butterick sloper pattern and I went through the process 3 times without ever getting a good fit. I was SOOOOOOOoooo frustrated. Then I found this website and did a lot of reading. So many people referred to "Fit For Real People" (FFRP), that I decided to make the investment and buy it. What an eye-opener! My advice: Spend the money for this book. Whether you have a dress form, a fitting buddy, or neither, you will benefit from the advice in this book. The instructions that came with the sloper pattern had similarities, but were not equal.

FFRP removed a lot of the mystery. I decided to use these with a shirt pattern I got from Silohuettes as my new starting point instead of the Butterick sloper. It had a D-cup version, so I didn't need to do an FBA, but there were several other adjustments I needed to make. High round back, forward shoulders, square shoulders, and so on. I was actually able to turn out a couple of shirts that fit me!

Next, I decided to invest in a dress form. The My Twin dress form which I reviewed recently in "Sewing Supplies". Conclusion? Get yourself a dress form. What a difference it made!! It makes up for not having a fitting buddy since you can get the 360 deg view and you have two hands free for fiddling with pins and tissue. Lastly, if you put on horizontal and vertical balance lines on it, you can measure and evaluate much more accurately than on your moving body. I won't be able to live without it from here on out.

Over the last week I have worked on 2 skirt and 1 top pattern. The dress form has been a critical factor in my making these clothes. If you have a dress form, you can live without a fitting buddy. Today for instance, I used the dress form to make all my alterations in the tissue, then I cut a muslin of the top, did a pin-fitting on the dress form, did a fitting on me, made a few adjustments, and then cut my pattern. The whole process took me 8 hours (I'm still learning!). But without the dress form, it would have taken me days to get to the same point and probably with inferior results.

Sorry about being so long winded. I hope this helps.

------
Jean

"A woman of valor, who can find? ... She seeks out wool and linen, and her hands work willingly ..." Proverbs 3:13-18

sewcrazee
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sewcrazee  Friend of PR
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IL USA
Member since 4/23/04
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Date: 6/30/05 11:28 PM

Hi I have had similar frustrations especially when the body size just doesnt fit the pattern sizes...I found a company that has slopers and they will customize them to your body measurements for about $20.oo..its pattern.stringcodes.com It is a great help then you can design patterns off the sloper it includes a sleeve with 3 bodice and torso slopers and they have pants and skirts too...I also have an adjustable dress form and it is great for designing on and fitting patterns...hope this helps...oh and their slopers include numerous sizes as in missy..child...teens...plus...etc.

KarmenG
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KarmenG  Friend of PR
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MA
Member since 1/3/03
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In reply to Jilly


Date: 7/30/05 6:48 PM

The advantage to the MyTwinDressForm is that it will duplicate your posture which helps in fitting. Some people's necks are more forward than others; arms are more forward or back; high hip, different shoulder line, etc. I bought a MyTwin about 5 years ago and have used it SO much. I should have done it much sooner. I test my patterns using Pellon's PatternEase - baste them together and fit them to my dressform. I slash and spread the basted shell; insert pieces and handbaste into place, and then take it apart and use it as my pattern. My experience has been very positive with this new tool for my sewing room.

ryan's mom
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ryan's mom
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In reply to Mlle Laura


Date: 7/31/05 8:34 AM

I love your duct tape double. I'm taking that Dress Form class so I can appreciate your effort on making this. Did you make it by doing a class, or just on your own with materials to guide you with what were doing.

Must get that KK's Moulage too!

------
Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Coverstitch: Janome CP1000. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

ndesimon
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ndesimon
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NY USA
Member since 5/9/03
Posts: 527
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In reply to ryan's mom


Date: 7/31/05 11:21 AM

Quote: ryan's mom
I'm taking that Dress Form class so I can appreciate your effort on making this.

As my fitting-angst twin, you are obligated to report all in full detail! I've been eyeing up the my twin kit - but I need to figure out which friend or family member would be willing to dedicate an afternoon to plaster-wrapping.

I'm not sure if you found your flexible ruler yet...if you haven't be sure to check out your local art supply store and ask for a flexible curve

Nancy
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