Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ease on down the road.

Looks like my wrist fail is more of a stress injury rather than Carpel Tunnel. We'll see next week when I have my second visit with the physical therapist. I'm not in nearly as much pain but I'm far from 100%.

It's annoying. All I want to do is sew. I have a million projects dancing around in my head right now because my creative energy has no where to go. I've even pondered projects for the inevitable Spring Palette Challenge (2012!).

Crazy, right?

Also, I've read an alarming amount of reviews on Pattern Review. One of the biggest complaints amongst sewists (I actually prefer seamstress even if it seems a bit antiquated), is the amount of ease in the Big Four patterns. Ease also seems to be the cause of most fitting issues, especially if the finished garment isn't fitted.

But what I don't understand is, doesn't anyone just read the finished garment measurements on the back of the pattern envelope? They seem to be the only accurate measurements.

Depending on the pattern, I choose my size based on the finished garment measurements. I usually choose pattern sizes based on my upper bust measurement, which is 40 inches. I am one of those broad shoulder people. My measurements usually put me between a size 18 and 20 on the Big Four measurement charts.

I've found that with some styles, if I made them according to my measurements, I would be swimming in an ocean of ease. So, I look to the finished measurements for size guidance. Since I'm using my upper bust measurement of 40, I know that any finished bust measurement that exceeds 4 inches (again, depending on the style) may be too large. I won't choose that size even though it may correspond with my measurements on the size chart.

For example, the finished bust measurements of let's say, Simplicity 2059 view A, are 45 1/2 inches. The dress is loose-fitting and 5 1/2 inches is plenty of wiggle room for me (again 40 bust). According to the chart that would put me at a size 16, so I will make a muslin of a size 16 (maybe even 14) and go from there. If I went according to my measurements (falling between size 18 and 20), I would end up making a garment with almost 9 1/2 inches of ease!

Now this method isn't fool-proof or without its faults. I've been successful so far by choosing my size this way. If anything, it's a good starting point, especially if you're confused as to how to choose a size. It works best for shirts (not taking bust adjustments into consideration) or loose-fitting dresses.

Anywho, those are my thoughts. I wish I were sewing.

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