Follow along as I sew what I wear, cook and garden.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Fitting, an Endless Journey
It often seems like that, doesn't it? Learning to fit is a journey and along the way I've collected what seems to be every fitting book on the market and I still have issues figuring out how to solve some of my fitting problems. Enter a new fitting book, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen. It already has a large number of favorable reviews over on Amazon.com. however, one of the reviews complains about it's lack of specific answers to her fitting problems. But, to me that is the uniqueness of this book. There is no table of contents of fitting flaws, rather Veblen treats fitting in a much more organic fashion. Every action we take to fit cloth affects the rest of the garment. She teaches us to see the whole garment. To this end she introduces the HBL, or horizontal balance line. It is drawn in perpendicular to the center front or the grain line. It is always parallel to the floor. This is not a new concept to me, but not something I've used. But, after reading through her book, it's something I intend to start using. I have found that fitting can be very hit or miss because there is often no frame of reference outside of the change being made. Veblen's asserts that the HBL gives that reference and makes fitting that much easier.
This is a book that uses muslins for fitting. More than one in fact. Fitting is work and a process of training the eye first to see and recognize the problem. second, how to alter the cloth to get a good fit and third how to transfer the changes to your pattern. To facilitate that Veblen gives us lots of wonderful, large format photographs that do a great job of showing problems and how to fix them. The text is well written and easy to understand. She explains how she alters a muslin but more importantly, she explains why. Understanding why should make it easier to learn how to fit anything or anybody. I am hoping that her method will finally let me work out some nagging problems I've had in my fitting. Sleeves in particular come to mind and she covers this in detail.
I really like that she doesn't approach fitting as a list, because inevitably that list is lacking in the one thing I need, which is probably why I have so many fitting books.
I have been sewing since I was a teenager, mostly self taught. I sew for myself, with some some occasional sewing for my daughter. I love garment sewing and will only sew home dec if desperate. I love to cook and read and try to avoid cleaning as much as possible.