Member since 1/3/10
Date: 3/17/12 10:14 PM
Finally, I know how to minimize the time spent altering patterns. whether lutterloh, bonfit, computer generated, or commercial. As Homer would say, "DOH!" Take a measurement, say bust. Then take the front half, then the back half. Figure the % that each 1/2 of the total is. Say the measurement is 40". Say the front 1/2 is 22" 22/40 = 55% so the back 1/2 is 45%. Round up the front to 60%. So if 4 inches of ease is desired at the bust, 2.5 should be in the front 1/2 and 1.5 in the back 1/2, not 2" and 2". seems small enough, but add the 1/2" discrepancies together, and 25% of the garment's ease at the bust is distributed incorrectly! This uses the wearing ease to try to get the garment to hang correctly. Every attempt to fix one problem leads to another! I settled for the 'best I could get' until I realized that what all pattern drafting does is attempt to find the 'average' that fits the most the least offensively. Computer software, Bonfit, and Lutterloh come much closer than most commerical patterns because they begin with an actual measuerment of the person. Lutterloh also takes in to account the proportion of body measurements which apply to most, but not all people.
Measurements can be taken at any point on the body, vertically as well as horizontally! Horizontal measurements can be divided into quadrants. Even a figure with one enlarged bust and one small one, one shoulder raised, one lowered, with a rounded back can be fit in this way. It only requires a little math. The resultant pattern must be carefully marked, but it is SOOO much closer to the desired result than anything I have ever tried before.
It accomplished what I have been trying to do for years, and even comes closer than computer drafting software. Take your best fitting pattern, and re-distribute the ease based on % of ease distribution. Many small adjustments add up to a different, hang, swing, fit, and feel of a garment. I have pivoted one bust dart point up by 1/4" of an inch, and the other down by the same amount. Usually the shoulder seams need to be pivoted back and forward by the same amount, but check. (Up and back, down and forward usually go together) Frequently hip darts and the height of the waistline need to be moved a fraction of an inch as well.
This is true in garments up to about 5" of ease in average sizes (up to about size 20.) Larger than that and 1) actual ease required increases with increased girth, and 2) larger alterations are required to be effective. Even so, changes of 1/2" to 3/4" in several places can correct seemingly insurmountable fitting problems.
Exercise can change bodily proportions, even when weight stays even. I once had a client go down two dress sizes and gain nine pounds. But the correct distribution of ease still works. I encourage you to try it.
Now, it is automatic for me to figure ease distribution anytime I do a fitting. It is simple, easy, accurate and reduces changes after a basted fitting to next to nothing.