Friday, June 26, 2009

The Problem with PMB

I wanted to answer some questions and comments regarding this recent bout of tweaking I've been doing.

Plus, I will be busy with house guests this weekend, so posting will be delayed...that is, I haven't had time to create all the visual aids to go with this new 'break-through' in fit! But since some of you are really anxious to know about it NOW, I will do the best I can with just and more will follow!

>>>I'm not sure about what 'mirroring' the front and back means <<<

When the bust dart is placed in the shoulder position, the front and back sideseams have the same (but opposite) relationship to the vertical grainline. One angles \ and one / but the angle to vertical is the don't have ( with / or anything crazy like that. When placed side by side, they are mirror images of each other.

I mentioned the "levelness of the waist" on the red overlay...aka, the dress sloper...but want to make it clear--

  • It is not the LEVEL of the waist...and not the height...when on your body, but the fact that the sloper (pattern)'s waist line is nearly 'level' on opposed to being 'low' in the center and 'scooped upward' on the side. I am NOT talking about the levelness of that waist seam on the fitting garment when on the body...just the pattern shape.
  • I know that 'level waist on the sloper' is the goal of WG's fit/tweak suggestions, but that is what I am saying is ruining the fit of the armholes and sleeves!

To make the sloper pattern's waist 'level', many of us have increased the cup size we were drafting with.


I did it, too, and now have some guilt over echoing the recommendation! I was trying to be a good team player (and we all see where THAT got me! :))...but I have since figured out that using larger cup sizes is exactly the WRONG thing to do!!!

>>>The top of the back fits fine since I reduce the back width, but as it goes under the arm is where the issues lie.<<<

And where it goes under the arm is the part controlled by the front/back bust-width distribution! There is no getting around this...cup size is the key!

>>>I need more darting in the back waist area than in the front.<<<

Me, too. You don't sound all that oddly-shaped to me! The problem is the F-B distribution of bust width AT underarm level. Once you get that equalized, you will be better off. And if your body needs MORE width in back at bum level than in front, well, then maybe you should give your back pattern MORE WIDTH at underarm level than in front, too! It is just that simple. Forget about whether or not the waist of your red overlay is 'level' or 'straight' across...let it scoop as high as it wants! is just a pattern! and it is NOT the pattern you will be sewing! Just get the F-B distribution the way you need it for your body, and everything else will take care of itself!

>>>You've told me what needs to be done - how do I do it?<<<

In a nutshell, if you want to go ahead and 'test' this theory with me, here is what to do:

  • Save your current best chart with a new name, like 'B-cup Trish'.
  • Reduce your cup size until your F & B patterns are equal in width at underarm level...using (-.5) Side/Arm placement (important)...probably need to use a B-cup.
  • You'll have to increase your CFL and FSS a lot to make up the front length difference. It takes MORE than just .375" per cup size lost! Don't be alarmed if the CFL grows to be the same number as the CBL! The FSS will be about 1" or maybe 1.25" longer than the back one...
  • Compare these new patterns to what you have now, to be sure the front length on the new pattern is as long as it is now (on the pattern made with your big-bust-cup chart). Adjust measurements until the new patterns are as tall (from shoulder to waist) as the old patterns.
  • Increase the BP-vertical to put the bust in the right place (it will be higher with the B cup).
  • REset AH shape tool to zeros...don't reshape for this test.

You will notice that your F-ah will be lower and more scooped in this B-cup pattern...this is a good thing! The back armhole will also be better, I bet! And if you compare the sleeves of this new one to the old one, you will also see a difference.

Ok, so now that you have tweaked the measurement chart to equalized the F&B pattern widths at underarm level, NOW you choose your drafting choices:

  • Use S/Arm position of (-1)...this makes the BACK pattern WIDER than the front at underarm level.
  • Use S/Hip position of (-5)...this makes the BACK pattern WIDER than the front at hip level...good, since most of us have a larger bum in back!
  • Use S/Waist of zero to start with, since the forward S/H point will make the back waist darts larger than the front ones. This can be tweaked at fitting.
  • Use 2.5" to 3" bust ease and 3-4" hip ease...whatever you'd normally use. I use 1" waist ease.

Print and sew!

Don't worry that your red overlay looks crazy! Mine shows only a tiny sliver of a bust dart, with a VERY upscooped side/waist.

Like many of you, I wear a D cup bra and was using an E-cup setting to get enough dart size. But I have already sewn/tested this at C-cup, and and got marked improvement! (Pictures to follow...what can I say, I am slow!)

I have already drafted and compared and determined the settings to use for the B cup one...just haven't had time to blog about it or sew the B cup one yet! But as I said, weekend company will delay the sewing a bit longer...but if you wish to test along with me, have at it!

And let me know how this works for you!

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