A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Dress making

May 17, 2011
Emilie Phillips

After all the dress making I have done, I bought a book last year on how to actually make patterns. First it says to take 30 odd measurements of yourself. I had Tyson help me with that last week. Then it has detailed instructions for making a pattern by doing simple geometry. Sunday was a rainy day, so I set to work. The back pattern was simple enough and came out looking reasonable. The front pattern first came out with the arm holes way too small. I remeasured a few things which ment I had to redo the back a little. But the front still looked a little odd. The next step was to fit it. You start by pinning the shoulders together and making minor adjustments to get the garment to hang straight from there. I spent the entire morning staring in the mirror and repinning. Finally I gave up in disgust.

After lunch I worked on the skirt. Based on my rousing success with the top and the fact that I wanted to skip a few steps in the skirt design process, I took some of the book’s suggestions and an equal dose of my usual way of making skirts. In fitting I found a couple of things wrong, but they were easily fixed. I think the skirt might be a little too big at the waist, but I am waiting to finish the top to determine the final fixes.

That evening, when Tyson was home from his class, he helped me with the top. At first he made no more progress than I had. Then he figured out the issue was that my shoulders bend forward rather than being straight. Based on that discovery, we read the section in the book on rounded backs. It took work to get the shoulders fitted, but at least we had a clue which direction to go. Once the shoulders were fitted, we gave up for the night.

Lesson of the day – sit up straight or making patterns takes more effort.