Sunday, August 23, 2009

Helping Measurements

As you know, I have struggled with getting the right fit in a sleeved garment. I struggle with getting a balance between adequate back width to enable comfort and movement and excessive width causing unsightly folds and wrinkles. I decided to use Minott’s book to assist me in evaluating my PMB blouse pattern.
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She takes a few different measurements than PMB, including the chest and blade width… so I had to mark my body and take those measurements. Using an eyeliner pencil, I marked the placement of a shoulder seam on top of my bare shoulder so that, when seen from the side, it is dividing my upper arm into front and back halves.
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Then I located the end of the shoulder bone, so that I had a + marked on the shoulder skin. With a necklace on, I could measure from neck to one line of the + mark to verify my shoulder length measurement, and use the other line to divide front and back.
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With arms to my side, I put a small ‘V’ on my skin at the top of the crease that forms between body and arm. I did this on both sides of my body, left and right, front and back.
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Then, with my hands clasped and lowered in front, DH measured across the back of my body BETWEEN the points of these ‘V’ marks to give me my BLADE measurement (16.75”). Then I clasped and lowered my hands in back and he measured across my chest, again between these ‘V’ marks (14.5”). [Interesting note: Clasping the hands (as opposed to allowing them to hang at the sides) increases these measurements (on me) by 1”.]
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Then we measured from the SHOULDER POINT line down in back to the point of the V (5”), and from SHP down in front to the point of the V (4.25”). This gave me the distance DOWN from the pattern’s shoulder to which I would apply the chest and blade measurements. In front, using a 15” FRONT SHOULDER WIDTH measurement gives me the needed 14.5” chest width across the pattern at the 4.25” level. This is without changing the ah notch placement up or down. I have decided that leaving the AH notch at the ZERO height position might be best for me.
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In back, I increased my measured BSW to 16.75” which gives me *almost* enough blade width at the correct level (5” down). This pattern is actually about 1/8” short of being wide enough there…even though I did 2 clicks outward on the AH SHAPE TOOL. I am considering changing that BSW measurement to 17 so that I will have the full 16.75 inches at the 5” level. I fear that doing to many outward clicks will give me an ah shape that is too odd. PLUS, Minott recommends a back shoulder dart of .75” wide for the average body….my own bk sh dart is slightly less than that now, but would grow to .75” wide if I increased the BSW to 17. PLUS-PLUS, I do have one prominent shoulder blade that would probably benefit from this larger bk sh dart, I suspect.
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In back, I increased my measured BSW to 16.75” which gives me *almost* enough blade width at the correct level (5” down). This pattern is actually about 1/8” short of being wide enough there…even though I did 2 clicks outward on the AH SHAPE TOOL. I am considering changing that BSW measurement to 17 so that I will have the full 16.75 inches at the 5” level. I fear that doing to many outward clicks will give me an ah shape that is too odd. But who can believe I would need to use a 17” back shoulder width? That is just so large for my height! I mean, I know I have wide shoulders…but that seems insane! That is an inch longer than my CENTER BACK LENGTH…and ‘average’ is to have these measurements be very similar. Also, my front shoulder width is not nearly that wide! This just seems so ‘off’…but I must keep an open mind! However, for now, I think just doing ONE MORE CLICK outward on the B-Armhole Shape tool will be enough.
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But here’s the rub: I have decided to lower my SLEEVE CAP HEIGHT again! I have been using (-.5) but I have decided to use (-.75) to get a wider sleeve. This will also provide more room for movement, so I am unsure if I actually need BOTH of these adjustments!
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Another measurement Minott takes is the BACK SHOULDER HEIGHT. Basically, she has you measure from the CB neck to floor, and from the back shoulder to floor and find the difference between these heights. This determines the difference between the CB/neck (before lowering) and the back SHP on the back pattern. PMB does take a BACK SHOULDER SLOPE measurement, which is diagonal from CB waist to shoulder…but measuring straight up from floor leaves no doubt where the starting and ending points are! My own back shoulder height is only 5/8” shorter than my Center Back height…because my shoulders are ‘square’.
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Minott measures Front and Back ARMHOLE DEPTHS separately by placing a plastic ruler under the arm, holding it perfectly level, and measuring from the + mark at the shoulder down the front of the upper arm and down the back…just like I did when I measured to the ‘V’ marks at the top of the armhole creases…but she is going all the way to the ruler in both front and back. This is an eye-opening measurement for me!!! My FRONT AH measured taller than my back! F=7.375, B=6.25 I am now wondering what I have that is ‘wrong’…or maybe, that is OK? Hmmm….
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ETA: Back AH actually measured 7" when remeasured the next day!

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From the SHP on the pattern, depth of the back AH DEPTH should be 1.25” more than measured. For me, 6.25 + 1.25 = 7.5…but my B armhole depth measures 7.99”. This ah depth doesn’t feel too low so I think I will try this, assuming the extra is ease for a blouse, as opposed to a sloper ah.
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Minott’s front ah depth is adjusted for cup size…but I am going to use the B-cup instructions, because that uses the AH measurement ‘as is’. My body’s F-AH measured 7.375”…but my pattern’s F-ah only measures 6.5”! Oh dear…I need it to be even taller! Well, this certainly explains the binding I sometimes feel in the F-ah! I can use the DART OVERRIDE TOOL, which will lower the F armhole and decrease the size of the bust dart (using a negative tool setting). I have tried to avoid using that tool if possible, but maybe it’s *necessary* for me. Hmmm. I have been getting too much fullness at the tip of the bust darts on many of these latest tops…indicating too large a dart. I guess I will have to explore the D.O. tool a bit more!
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Now that I think about this a bit...I might ought to consider that I am larger than a B cup. Minott subtracts from the measured F-AH height to adjust for cup sizes...1/4" for C-cup, 3/8" for D-cup, and 1/2" for DD-cup. Since I am in the C-D range, I will set 7" as my 'goal' for F-ah height and see what the D.O. tool gives me.

3 comments:

Marilyn said...

Where are the photos of you with the writing on yourself?

Debbie Soles said...

Patricia I thought you already used a wider BSW and didn't like the results..yes/no?

How does Minott adjust the front armhole depth for an A cup? What is her recommendation for armhole heights for an A cup? Just curious.

You like it so much you said it twice..lol..you have a duplicate paragraph.

So do you like the results you get using the B cup and inc. Bust Circ.?

What is the advantage of clasping the hands in front vs. standing with arms at side to take those measurements for the back width locations? I'm assuming it increases these numbers..yes/no?

I know, too many questions!:)) But I am glad you have taken those mid-armscye width measurements, those are key for me to get a good fit in that area.

Debbie

Trish said...

Hi Debbie!

Yes, I have tried wider shoulders before, but always got a huge back shoulder dart because I didn't have the FSW/SHL long enough too. I'm sure their were other things wrong, too....but this time, the wider shoulder seems to 'fit' with the rest of the pattern. Back and forth... :)

For an A cup, you'd add 1/4" to the measured F-ah depth to determine the front ah on the pattern.

Although she doesn't say why, I suppose the hands are 'clasped' to ensure that the garment is adequately sized for arm movement. The arms are only moderately displaced...not like the postion I usually assume in pics (outstretched like a zombie!). But, yes, holding the arms this way to measure adds about 1" to these measurements (on me).

Yep, I have gone back to the B-cup as I seem to need a larger front armhole! The extra bust circumference wasn't necessary...just the lower cup size. I might be able to use an A cup...but I am using the D.O. which gives similar results.

Oh, I see that...I duplicated a paragraph! Blogger is so hard to use...it runs my pictures together and won't let me move them...so sometimes I will paste in text to try to force a picture to MOVE!! I guess I forgot to delete! duh.

 
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