Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Elaina, SunnyQ, Gwen, Lois K, Becky and Summerset for talking back last week! Gwen of All My Seams asked how much ease people like in their garments.

As usual, the comments were full of valuable information, including a pointer to the Butterick ease web page, and if you are interested in ease, it’s worth reading the comments directly. But, as usual, I’ll do my best to hit the high points. ;)

There were two points of pretty consistent agreement:

The first is that too much ease can be unflattering to many body types (such as hour glass figures and pear shapes) and fitted or even close-fitted garments tend to be more attractive.

The second point that many people echoed is that there is no single answer to the question of “how much ease” each prefers, because it depends on the cut and style of the garment and the fabric that you are using.

The issue that people split on was how to adjust when their usual pattern size has too much ease. Several people are able to drop down to a smaller size – possibly making some minor adjustments, such as lengthening the sleeves.

Other people are not able to drop down to a smaller size, and have to make more complex adjustments to the patterns. The adjustments that were mentioned include adding darts and adding extra seams (like a middle back seam) where they can take in the fabric.

How do people assess the amount of ease in a pattern? A couple of folks directly measure the pattern pieces. Lois K compares the measurements to those of some of her “tried ‘n true” (TNT) patterns to get a sense of whether or not the new pattern will fit well. And several people reported tissue fitting and/or making muslins before touching the “real” fabric – in order to make sure that the fit, including ease, is just right.

Summerset checks the tables on the back of the pattern envelope that list finished garment measurements. She picks the size that has the finished measurements that build in the amount of ease that she likes.

Are some pattern companies better than others in terms of building the “right” amount of ease into their patterns? Elaina prefers vintage patterns over current day ones and Summerset is not impressed with any of the big American companies. She finds them to be unpredictable in the amount of ease that is built into each pattern and says that the Burda World of Fashion (BWOF) patterns are much more predictable.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to “talk back” about ease! I learn so much from you all every single week! :)

Oh, did I forget to mention the photo? Now, normally I don't post pictures of myself on my blog, but this time...

Oh, okay, I know I'm not fooling anyone! Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt

ETA: Oops, I made a mistake. The finished garment circumference measurements that Summerset uses are marked on the pattern pieces themselves, not the back of the envelope. Sorry about that, and thanks for the correction Summerset!


BConky said...

Ease to me is just a personal thing. I love lots of ease. I'm very heavy so don't want anything tight or clingy. But my 22 year old daughter likes very little ease, nor does she need it because her measurements don't change much from sitting to standing. But when you're overweight they change dramatically when you sit.

Summerset said...

Actually the finished garment measurments are found on the pattern pieces themselves at the bust, waist and hip points. If the envelope lists it, it is usually things like length, but not always circumference at B, W, H.

Cole's Corner said...

This is a great post. I always struggle with how much ease I want, too.