Monday, January 23, 2017

Fitting Dresses, Part 2....

Continuing with the "Fitting Dresses" booklet from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Following are the list of items that help toward a good fit:

1.  Cut with care.  Be sure the pattern is laid on the cloth with the straight of grain.  Never sacrifice the straightness of the goods to save material.  It's best to piece the goods, if necessary.  When cutting out, allow 1/2" to 1" on the shoulder seams particularly the back seam, the underarm, and side seams.  These makes changes possible.  However, be sure to mark the original seam lines for the first basting.  Allowing an extra 1" at the bottom my prevent some fitting problems.

2.  Sew Carefully.  For a good fit, do accurate pinning, marking, basting, and stitching.  Also take care that:

  1. Seams are straight.
  2. Darts when stitched have no ugly pouches at the ends.
  3. Tucks are straight.
  4. Fullness is distributed evenly without puckers or pleats.
  5. Facings and hems fit smoothly
3.  Press as you sew.  Seam lines and darts all lie flatter when pressed.  Seams should always be pressed before before they are crossed by another seam.  It is especially worth while to press each seam as it is finished when you work with wool or rayon.  One final pressing will not give the same results. Plan your sewing so it is not necessary to reheat the iron for every seam.

4.  Know the figure you are fitting.  Study the figure your fitting, using a full length mirror if you are sewing for yourself.  Individual differences in weight distribution and bones often cause fitting problems and must be given special attention when making a dress  They may cause folds or throw the grain of the goods out of line.

5.  Fit over correct undergarments.  Fitting should be done over the same clothes that will be worn with the blouse.  A properly fitted foundation garment makes for a good fit.

6.  Watch posture.  Do not try to fit a person who is wiggling, twisting, slumped - or standing poker stiff, either.  When fitting yourself, try to keep your body as natural as possible.

7.  Do not fit too snugly.  Test to see if the dress is too tight for comfortable walking, sitting, and moving the arms.  Figure defects are more noticeable when a dress fits too closely.

8.  Use all possible helps.  When you work alone, it may help to compare measurements with those of a dress that fits well. A dress form is useful but does not solve all fitting difficulties.

9.  Guard the neck and armhole line.  Do not trim the neck line or armhole without first marking a line and being sure that it is right.  Then leave a generous seam allowance beyond the marked seam.  If the neck seems snug, frequently it is because of the seam allowance.

10.  Use a dress hanger.  Keep the dress on a hanger when you are not working on it.  This prevents many wrinkles  It also gives bias sections a chance to sag into their natural shapes.

A couple of things to note:

1.  When did electric irons become common use?  I'm pretty sure that in item 3 when they are referring to reheating the iron that they are referring to something like this:

  I do have memories of my Grandmother having one or two of these on the wood stove.  I don't actual remember her ever using one but it may have been one of those things she kept me away from.

2.  In item 8, I liked that your instructed to use the measurements from a well fitted garment. That is something that Peggy Sagers is always saying to do when picking out a size in her patterns.

3.  In item 1, where they are telling you to cut extra seam allowance at the shoulder.  I don't see anything about not cutting out collars or sleeves before checking the fit.  If you used the extra seam allowance for item, I would think that it would affect those to areas.

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