Last week I was very pleased to invite Lesley of Sewniptuck, Marianna of Sew2Pro and one of my very kind followers Sheree round for dinner. Lesley lives in Sydney but was over here for a little while and I was so happy she could come round, despite her busy schedule. Sheree kindly came over from Essex (bearing sports socks for each of us – how kind), and dear Marianna cancelled her normal Monday night commitment to be there.
We had a special meal together and spent a little while talking about sewing and blogging.
But we also had some fun analysing our figures.
Marianna provided white pattern paper, and I located felt tip pens, a set square and some blue tac. We stuck the paper to the wall and then stood against it, chin up, and one of the others traced around our outline. It is more difficult than it looks. I wore a tight T shirt and my tights. And luckily Lesley told me she was a trained midwife just as her pen traced around my inside leg. As you can imagine four women and two bottles of wine can lead to some funny conversations.
Once you have traced your outline, mark the top of the head, the necklace line, the underarms, the shoulder, the waist, hips and knees. Using the yardstick draw lines across the drawing at all the above points. Connect the shoulder dots to the hip dots using the straight edge.
Then fold the paper in half (horizontally) so the top of the head comes to the feet. Then fold in half again creating a second crease.
The fold should fall at the underarm, the hips and the knees in someone with average or balanced proportions, with the waist half way between underarm and hips. (I am average)
If you are “long waisted” the waist is below the halfway point (between underarm and hip). Your legs are comparatively short.
If you are “short waisted” your waist comes above the halfway point (between underarm and hip). Your legs are comparatively long.
If your shoulders and hips are more or less the same size, and you have a narrow waist you would be shaped or hour glass. Most women fall into this category (all four of us did).
If your shoulders and hips are more or less the same size, but your waist is not clearly indented you have a semi-straight figure.
The straight figure has shoulders that are markedly wider than the hips.
The basic shape of your figure will determine which fashions and shapes you might choose to look your best.
The book has rather dated illustrations. We probably should have stepped in to our coloured spandex leotards and shiny tights (where are the leg warmers, by the way?) Marianna said we all looked like the subject of police enquiries once our images were laid out on the floor. All in the interests of better fit.
I am glad I have done this exercise as I can now go through my book The Perfect Fit, Apple Press, 2005, and decide on
- the slope of my shoulders (mine are average)
- arms ( average)
- waist (small)
- hips (full)
- thighs (full)
- bust (full)
- abdomen (flat)
- seat profile (full)
This is a helpful process because most commercial patterns are manufactured assuming the “average” proportions and attributes. If you are bigger or smaller, fuller or flatter, then you may have to adjust the pattern to get a good fit.
Overall I would say this is an experience worth trying.