Updating my previous entry, I got my custom fitting shell in the mail yesterday. From order to delivery, that was only 6 days which definitely qualifies as fast delivery particularly when you realize these were shipped from Canada.
Again as I said before, these were made up with minimal number of measurements, namely bust, waist, hip and CB length so it would be inappropriate for one to expect a highly refined pattern from the result. Still, some measures are telling to a pattern maker. For example, if the unseen customer has a comparatively large bust (36.5″) when compared to waist (25″) and hip (35″), one could draw conclusions that a modification for cup size would be needed. True or true? Here is a photo of what I got:
As it is, when I ordered a “two-dart” sloper, I was expecting two darts in the front, not one in the front and two in the back. I don’t think the average woman is well served by just one front dart so my expectations were that I’d be getting two so call that my failure to double check.
The back of the pattern doesn’t look bad but the front is wonky. The front is way too short. The pattern maker did something that I’d consider odd. If you look at the red line in the photo below, I’ve marked off the length which is 15.5″.
Fifteen and half inches is my CB length. I do not know why the pattern maker made the longest line of the front to match my CB length. I don’t get it. I’ve never seen anything like that. The pattern is at least 3″ too short in the front in its travel over the bust. Typically -assuming you don’t have kyphosis or inordinate figure variations- that front line should be about an inch shorter than the CB length plus one inch for each letter in cup size over an A cup. In other words, an A cup would have the front line an inch shorter than the CB, a B cup would be equal, a C cup would be an inch longer et cetera. This pattern was made for a B cup which is incongrous with a full bust that is 11.5″ larger than the waist. I’d like to think that just about any pattern maker would note the disparity and be mindful of resolving the differences because the front just wouldn’t look right. In the photo, the front looks squashed and artificially short. At least it does to me but then my eye is accustomed to my front looking longer.
Still, as I said before, it would be inappropriate to expect a basic fitting shell based on such few dimensions to represent an ideal pattern. You can only expect the pattern to be the starting point. In this case, I’ll increase the length of the front, managing the extra length with a dart originating from the side seam. The front neckline is also a little small so I’ll have to scoop that out. The back neckline looks fine. The sleeves are another story; they’re 24″ long. Normally I have to add sleeve length, I rarely have to cut it down (my sleeve length is 20″). If it were me having to make these things for clients sight unseen, I’d be asking for their height. I use a really old system of drafting based on body divisions of 8, however, the system only works on people who are height and weight proportionate. If you divide your height by 8 (called a “head”), your arms are (+/-) about 2 and half heads long. Your center back is typically two heads and so on. Even with that rough scale, I think the block approximation would have been closer.
I have yet to look over the pant block in any detail but other than a fine looking camel toe in the making :), it looks pretty good. Scooping out the front crotch curve a tad will eliminate the latter readily.