Until very recently, I taught sewing. (I quit so I could teach through other venues, and so I could blog more freely.) While teaching, I noticed a few general alterations that most people need to make in order to achieve a basic good fit.
My top three observations:
- Bust-waist-hip ratio- I find that more often than not, a person will be one size on top and one or two sizes larger through the hips and waist. A common variation is one size on top, one size larger through the waist, and another size larger through the hips.
- Full bust- I know some people don’t have to do this, but it’s another alteration I see all-the-time.
- “Sway back”- That’s the rippling folds of fabric some people find settle above their backsides.
When I work from regular patterns, I tick all those boxes and more. It’s what drove me to learn to draft, but I recognize that not everyone has that option. This week, I’ve been working on my perfect basic t-shirt pattern. Simple to sew, easy to wear, suitable for a variety of fabrics and just a little interesting.
Then I thought- Why stop with myself? I’d like to hear from you- from anyone out in the sewing world who wants the same things from a t-shirt. I’d like to develop a simple, multi-sized pattern for people who want to uncomplicate their sewing.
Is pattern sizing completely out of step with the modern body? Or is it just that people who don’t fit the “standard” size are more likely to want to sew? If most people have to perform the same pattern alterations, is it time to experiment a little to find a “new normal?” I don’t know. I do know I can count on one hand the students I’ve had who didn’t need to alter their patterns.
Tell me your fitting woes. You gave me some really great ideas for necklines, now I want to focus on the fit. For those who are dab hands at alteration, tell me what’s on your “laundry list?” For those who don’t alter because they don’t know where to start, tell me what doesn’t work for you. Where do garments sag, stretch, gap or bunch when they shouldn’t? I want to make a crowd-sourced t-shirt pattern.
This project has entirely captured my imagination. Help me make your perfect t-shirt pattern! I’ll show you mine tomorrow, and then I’d like to make a list of common pattern alterations (this is where you all come in) and work through the list one fit issue at a time. If I can’t find a useful tutorial, I’ll make one.
List and Vanquish!
If you’d like to contribute but would feel more comfortable emailing me, please do. stephc (at) 3hourspast (do t) com