fitting wrinkles 1

I may have been reading too many of my Girl’s Own Annuals again!

Anyway, fit has been on my mind a lot recently.

I think there is a fear of fitting, and I totally get why. It’s incredibly invasive! If someone helps fit you they have to lay their hands on you and move your body in unfamilir ways.

It is such a matter of trust there are only a few people I will offer to help one on one, and that is generally if I trust the garment, and the person is an adult.

So here is a very first start to a lesson series. Or guide, or tutorial.

 

I have three mannequins here. I can make them all the same measurements. here is the closest match to the calico covered form.

Ignoring the length differences, notice the height of the busts.

Busts:

Notice the shape and gravity defyingness. Also, the direction and placement.

When placing a dart under the bust or a seam over the bust and down to the waist there is a division of the front of the body. If I were to make the same garment for each, they would have to be adjusted for each form as generally the distance between bust points over sizes scales, the shape of the sides, and how they curve around the ribs changes.

I look at a garment on the stand and think it looks lovely, then I put it on and it is not flattering, to me I’m very circular in cross section so darts/seams don’t sit like on oval forms. So I test on all three forms for fit and balance. Nothing wrong in fit, nothing wrong in the shapes of us, just that they are different.

Hips:

The dark brown form has very round hips in cross section. They are set to the same size as the others but because the fullness is almost perfect even garments will hang very differently, and vice versa.

The bust points are also different and requires a bit of math to work out how to set the dials to bring them together/further apart- also the torsos are in four parts, there is not a lot of transformation possible!

The hips also slope slowly or curve out abruptly.

I am a mix of these three. I wind up using the dark brown form for upper hip and armscye fittings.

Backs and shoulders:

The forms also show very different stances! And when a pattern is made to fit, it will sit differently on me if I don’t match the stance.

The peachy-tan form has a ballet back! The back of the pelvis is turned under for a turn out.

The calico form has a slight sway back.

The dark brown form is bent forward slightly at the shoulders.

I haven’t called them flaws, because I stand like all three depending on circumstance. But it means I do have to really check what era is best matched 🙂

They also really are distinctive modern historic fashion stances. The dark brown in particular has a 1950s and 60s shape. The peachy-tan one looks very 1980s (the shoulders are not large but from handling this form it is easy to add shoulder padding, in fact easier than any other.) The calico form is much more modern. Built in shoulders mean no room for extra padding and an expectation of a muscular upper back.

Padding:

I use the calico form for nearly everything else as I am able to pad her to a victorian shape. I add extra hip and bust padding, which is squishy, so I can see the effect of pinching fabric in at the waist and how to taper darts or use an S shape in my dart to create an exaggerated bust.

So I use padding not only to match my shape but to match the shape I want. In the case of Mina.. that has been seriously challenging! As I am circular in cross section I cann’t squish underbust at all. So it always looks bigger in proportion. I have to wear extra.. enhancements to balance that, and even more to get that magnificent sweep of the bodice that made me fall in love with the gown.

I do generally add padding anyway.

 

 

There is so much more, obviously, there are shelves of books on the subject. Photos, diagrams, text.. anything you could want. But sometimes it takes seeing something unfamiliar to make that connection.

 

So that’s why I keep sharing my experiences. As both someone who has had to tackle fit for my own body and to make them both work for historical styles.

 

Being able to talk about the forms and their shapes

2016 year in review

I made nothing from what I can remember. Just straight up nothing. I started the year well but with the passing of my darling Booheart I started grieving and it just never really let up. I was not able to focus through to the end of anything. And then my disease management started to peter out (as it does after 6 months) and so I never had the chance to play catch up during that time. I was just trying to keep up with health.

Oh yeah, my site was hacked and destroyed do I spent a lot of time trying to rebuild that.

I did a heck of a lot of prep work though. I got projects started, and research sorted and tidied and a huge amount of headway on my book of patterns and some very novel research, I even got a lot of costumes nearly finished.

And I cleared away a lot of stash. A lot. My studio is also back to working and there is a lot of new space 🙂

 

So all of these will continue through next year 🙂

Research

Album Amicorum: started, patterns were made years ago but converting them to be hand coloured stalled- can’t find good watercolour paper that doesn’t pill. Pages on stitches put up but I may want to replace them if I can mimic 16thC hand better.

Two big research projects at the point of editing for publication. I just get myself down a citing rabbit hole. So I have had to take a break and am back to looking at layouts already established and the hook to get people interested.

Also older pages are back in my site, including scans from my Girl’s Own annuals, and pages of information from Der Bazar.

 

 

Sci-fi:

Ahsoka: patterned, leather work tooled some formed, sculpt finished, molded and three tests made. That was really a heck of a lot…

Mon Mothma: dress remade it’s far too short. Might just toss it unless someone under 5’2″ wants it! New fabric is resistant to dye remover so 6m of abstract blood orange lace anyone?

Senatorial Leia: new wig. Two lace fronts put together and the new buns look really good. Got that big central shape and a single turn around the outside. Got photos to add to my page on how to make the style. Boots to make over bought, as well as soles that are a better match (she has no separate heel) and very smooth flexible vinyl for the tops. Belt and dress got idied. I made it like 4? years ago? A. got to wear it, the belt got misplaced and I just got tired trying to replace it. But I have two full sets of plaques and buttons also to go to a new home!

Padme light blue: Well the 19m of fabric just barely made three full sets, so I do have two to go to a new home but my own has stalled due to my dress form bust being totally wrong in shape. Got to pad to body squish really.

 

Fantasy:

Elsa: new cape!!! And I did finally find a source for all the thousands of sequins I want, and have tested a tool for punching tiny holes 🙂

Maleficent: New horns sculpted (I am indeed just going to smooth them, digitise them, and do textures in Sculptris. I cannot get the texture the way I want and it may get lost in digitising anyway.) Gown remade! It needs sewing and my sewing machine hates it.

Freya: leather work figured out!!!!!! Now I get to do a scaled pattern and then create a full sized template for cutting. I’ll have to be super smooth!

Cersei: I have decided to use braid as pretend embroidery, and to paint the darn lions. Maybe. It may wind up my lazy butt non decorated at all frock.

Historic Early

Princess of Cleves doublet: ready to line.

Basquina y jubon, y manga redonda (silver); lining in progress.

Saya entera (Valois): lining of skirt in progress- might be changed to something easier to sew!

Cleves velvet; new hem half done- all hand stitched, all heavy, all wibbly fabric!

Cleves accessories: pearls and leaves and sequin additions are happening!

New cleves gowns: OMG!!!!! SO inspired, actually making twonow that I will have space wil the passing on of other garb 🙂

 

Historic Inspired:

Mina: new bodice lining made and fitted, stay tape decoloured, extra leaves made.

Marie Antoinette: hoops nearly finished, materials gathered, skirt draped!

Satine wedding: ummmm.. potential saree for border base found and paid for- waiting for banks to send payment through tomorrow)

Satine Pink Diamonds: fabric cut, bodice lining overlocked.

 

Historic Late:

Robe de Style. Okay I did make this from scratch. That is one project then 🙂

vvdovvdo2

Sheer dress started- princess undergown needs decolouring, and sheer layer is pinned only.

walking dress fabric set aside, pale blue striped, and embroidery relocated.

sheer saree day dress tested. Will go over the princess petticoat.

I think that is enough to try and finish…

 

form and function

Over the years I have come to the conclusion I have a very distinct style, even across multiple eras and genres. There is a very obvious pattern to what appeals when one is a maker first, fan second.

I am a fan of when function meets form. So working out a puzzle of construction is incredibly satisfying. If it has to be draped on the stand all the better. Fabric manipulation for fit especially.

 

Contrast. Big colour and texture blocks. But that can sometimes be subtle, like the seam details on the backs of late 18thC bodices.

I keep flicking between eras/genres and it’s because I want to understand how the very different constructions affect fit and perceptions of ideal body types. The 1920s velvet gowns I’m making superficially look like the bias cut gowns of a decade later but really rely on different fabric use to achieve it.

Right now I’d love to do an essay on how extant items can tell us more about how clothes were made than first appearance. But it is a bit reliant on getting some of my own gear finished. So that is the aim this year. Finish the historic projects to really highlight what I want to say.

Got a lot of writing and sewing to do to actually get there though!

I have not forgotton my passion projects-1

So:

frame17 frame18 frame15

marie-antoinette3 (1) tumblr_mx9hdlBrU21s735vao1_1280  tumblr_nb5hinsJtv1r1ad86o1_500

masca1

(last scan is mine, from the cover of Hollywood and History.)

And who doesn’t want a tea drinking gif that matches *actually that the the confrontation gown I love, and her self striped sheer.. bascually I want the wardrobe.

Obsesses since I got hold of the Hollywood and Fashion book in my teens and sort of feared it due to lack of frerences.

But the silk is bought.

Also we have similar features, this could be awesome.

Past posts with images:

Further weekend good times: changing fabric colours!

Panniers

I have made a page for this

I did find really lovely recreation:

Tanya Dawn at Magic Theatre as Marie Antoinette. Magic Theatre Act IV – preparations