you guys. its mardi gras.
fun fact: galveston has the second largest mardi gras celebration in the u.s. after new orleans, of course. i'm pretty sure its a distant second, but still...
not so fun fact: mardi gras is happening right outside of my window. and it goes on for twelve freaking days! wtf!! so. much. revelry! truthfully we don't get the revelers-in-the-midst-of-revelry outside of our window as much as we get the revelers-stumbling-to-their-hotels-and-cars. so. much. broken. glass. if you live anywhere near the downtown galveston area you will find your daily routine... impeded.
i think the world might be divided into mardi gras-ers and curmudgeons. i fall into the second camp. i've found myself putzing around my apartment and muttering to myself "don't these people have jobs?" more often than i care to admit. and yes - i realize that is the same thing that the grumpy 90 year old ww2 vet is doing too. i may also sigh and say "kids these days..." under my breath too. i always did feel a kinship with the over 60 crowd...
so to drown out the sound of blaring classic rock and drunken raucousness i've been doing what any sane sewista would do. i've buried myself up to my eyeballs in my patternmaking book, surrounded myself with measuring tape and pattern paper and colored pencils and erasers and rulers and muslin, in an effort to draft a sloper.
fellow sewers, do you slope? do you find it helpful to have this basic, made-to-your-measurement pattern on hand?
i am curious because i've always somehow felt that if i actually sit down and draft a sloper (or pattern block, whichever term you prefer - i don't really know if one is more correct than the other...) that it would magically open the door of designing to me. like all i needed was this flat pattern and then the world would be my oyster (sartorially speaking).
but the actual drafting of the sloper seemed so.... boring to me. first, you take your measurements. and these measurements aren't for the faint of heart. we measure things like bust arc and shoulder slope and new strap length (whatever the hell that is - i certainly don't know - but i measured it). you need these measurements for your front AND back. and this is where it gets tricky. unless you are skilled in the ways of dislocating your shoulders - getting accurate back measurements is impossible to do on your own. i asked my husband to help take my back measurements as i stood as naturally as possible while still craning my head in the mirror to see if he was doing it right.
then you do a little magic with your pencil and ruler and a little while later - you have a flat pattern of your upper torso. or so you think. i had to fudge some of my back measurements a bit because somehow my across waist measurement was bigger than my across back. i may not have the sveltest of waists, but even i was pretty sure this was a measuring error and not some quasimodo like proportions.
and this is where it gets deathly dull. because even though you thought you were all careful with your measurements and stuff - you have to test it. so you sew your sloper up in muslin. this is, without a doubt, the most boring garment sewing ever. but whatever, at least it goes fast. then you try on your sloper to see how it fits.
prepare yourself for awful photo booth pictures (and say hi to my messy apartment and winter belly - hi!)
this is my second test fit. the first was a good 2 inches too big all around. not sure how that happened - but rather than remeasure and redraft i just pinched and tucked out the excess then transferred those markings back to my flat pattern.
i'm pretty happy with the fit of the front. i may trim off a teensy amount in the shoulders to fit the slope of my shoulders more accurately. you can see the little bit of drag lines from the neck to the armpit in the first photo. when i lifted the shoulders just a smidgen (we're talking maybe 1/4 inch) the drag lines disappeared.
edit: perhaps you can see the wrinkles better in this equally bad photo?
is the back... i mean... whats going on back there? ignore the weird flipped up bottom. i'm running into the same problems fitting my back as i did trying to get measurements. unfortunately, my husband (bless him) isn't really much help in this matter. last night i thought perhaps i could talk him through helping me fit the back. it didn't go so well.
me: can you see where the big wrinkles are?
me: can you maybe locate where they are the worst?
i got an impromptu back scratch. perhaps to signify they were everywhere?
me: can you maybe find the big ones and pinch them out?
he pinched my butt.
well fine. this is why i have the internet. fellow sewinas (i just made that up) can you help me figure out whats wrong with the back of my sloper? is it too long back there? is it just too big all over? how do you fit the back of your garments? and most importantly - does anyone else use photo booth to help them assess fit?
if you're into mardi gras - may you have a fun filled and safe twelve days - and for gods sake keep it down!