Thanks for cheering me up!
When I talk about being in the third 'master pattern revision', it means that first 'master pattern' and the first two revisions included about 20 to 50 individual trial garments with each one requiring the draft of a new paper pattern. It may be arrogant of me, but during those years, I think I have gained quite a bit of experience in how to draft a pattern and how to do corrections for basic and obvious problems. For the problems I still see myself, in most cases I have no clue what to do about it, as each change I attempt (I haven't talked about sleeve fitting yet, mind you!) either makes the problem worse or inhibits movement. I am told by a friend that I imagine the problems, because *he* needs them pointed out. And yes, the experience I have gained in those past 6 years helps a lot.
I have a problem with all those store-bought or self-made doubles. The store-bought ones are not tall enough, they are geared at the average height at most (which would be 168cm here or 172 for 'tall' people). I am 181cm tall. In addition, they don't really allow the horizontal balance lines (bust line, waist line) to be shifted higher or lower. The self-made doubles all require help from someone in making them. I don't have that help.
About 6 years ago I started with the Pepin draft (which I think is proportional). By now I have developed my own order of drafting, which still resembles the Pepin draft but by now has incorporated a number of things learned from other systems. Also, going with a new drafting system usually requires the measurements taken a tiny bit differently or measurements that I just don't have and cannot take myself (talk about distortion). It was hard enough finding someone to do the latest set for me.
As for the gazillion auxiliary measures: In the lastest revision I am using the basic measures for the draft. I have found out that those auxiliary measurements are indeed not correct (and I did not really expect them to be, given that they were taken by someone who doesn't have a clue about pattern making and is old enough to forget the instruction to always go to the marked line/point we had indicated earlier), but they have given me a sense that there may be something wrong with the toile. And yes, so far something was wrong. Also, those auxiliary ones are not accurate enough to influence where I put something, even in my latest draft which looks almost good in fabric. But they are in fair proximity to the 'real thing'.
Yes, I own the 'Perfect fit' book and still use it as a reference. I had discarded the 'fit for real people' for several reasons. The book I use most is the Natalie Bray book, because she gives pages of reasoning for the changes she proposes (sometimes I have to switch to her patternmaking book, which also contains reasoning). When given reasoning, I am able to apply the principle (after all, I am a mathematician - we tend to always apply principles). The problem is that none of those books really addresses what to do when you have a differing left and right side. For instance, my first full pattern had the darts in the actual length indicated by the measurement (left side higher than right side by a few centimeters). Boy, did that look bad in the muslin! For some reason I had thought that the different height would not be visible. So now one dart is shorter than the true measurement, and the other longer. I trip on things like that. And none of the books warns about it.
This weekend, I hope to find the spare time to get the current pattern into a shape where I don't see problems anymore. Maybe you will. But then the fun will really start - when I try to get the sleeve in!
Reading about your pattern problem, I feel that there are several factors to take into account.
1 Your height, if you draft a proportional pattern for your bust size, your armhole depth will be too short, resulting in drags at armhole. To remedy this you need to use a size larger or even two sizes larger for the correct armhole depth and maybe your waist length, from nape to waist. Being on the tall side you will need greater length at these areas.
2 From your description of your body shape you need greater back balance from your bust line to neck. To remedy this you need to mark in the chest line on the back pattern, measure the distance from this line to the nape of neck and divide the measurement in two and mark in a second line across to the back armhole.
Now comes the tricky part! You can either slash and open each line or you can pivot the lines. This is what you need to do. On the chest line, pivot from the top of side seam, advance the top section of the pattern 1cm upwards at the centre back, mark the back seam to the half way line. Next, pivot the pattern in the same way from the armhole position and open the second line up 1cm, remark the top section of the pattern. This will give you the extra length needed in the back section and will also bring the pattern over to fit the neck section.
This will give you a more rounded seam at centre back and is not good for stripe or checked fabrics. If you wish to use stripe or checks, the best way for these is to mark around the top of the pattern from back neck to shoulder end and move the pattern down 1.5 or 2cm and then remark the rest of the pattern.
Whatever you do to the back you must do the reverse to the front, i.e. mark around the front from front neck to shoulder and move the pattern up a like amount, then remark the rest of the pattern.
If you use the first method, then you need to mark the chest line and pivot from the front side seam, only instead of opening the pattern, you need to take the required amount out. This will also solve the problem of your pattern swinging open at the front.
3 The difference between the two shoulder heights can be resolved by adjusting the pattern for a dropped right shoulder. This adjustment can be found elsewhere on the forum.
I hope this makes sense to you, but I am sure you have arrived at a stage to understand the logic!
The height factor is quite importent in fitting and in some instances it is better to make your pattern larger in size to give a more regular look for your height.
Edited by MANSIE WAUCH, 25 November 2010 - 07:56 AM.