For the last week, I've been spending the majority of my sewing energy reading up on fit, in preparation for a plan I have for the end of March. Hubby has to go to a meeting for several days, so I decided that I'm going to use that space of time to try to conquer the Peony dress. It finally occurred to me that knowing how to do various alterations is no help if I don't have a good grip on the alterations needed for my body. Thus, I've been reading both the book my mom gave me for my birthday, as well as Fit for Real People, which I bought a few months ago. The other day I got to the part about making a Body map, and decided I wanted to try it out.
The book has step-by-step instructions on how to do it. You are really just transferring major points on your body to a large piece of paper and then tracing around your body (hence the need for a helper). It's not very clear because we did it in pencil, but here's my full map:
|The only big paper I had was gift wrap!|
I have to admit that there was a part of me that thought his exercise was kind of hokey. And yet, it both confirmed some ideas I had about my body, and pointed out other things of which I wasn't aware. The gist of the exercise is that you are comparing your body to the ideal proportions of a body - not measurements, but proportions based on height. The reason why the paper is folded is that the proportions are based on dividing your body in eighths, so you fold your outline in half from your feet to the top of your head, and then fold both those in half again.
So here's what I found out:
1) my legs are short
2) my head is small
3) my shoulders are a tiny bit broad
4) my hips at their widest point are the same width as my shoulders
1) My waist is exactly half way between the top of my head the the bottom of my feet - the ideal proportion! I've always assumed I'm long-waisted because when I knit sweaters, I generally have to add an inch or two in length at the bottom. (And this opens up a whole other topic that's been on my mind lately: the difference between getting the right fit with hand knits and getting the right fit with sewn garments.)
2) My right shoulder is about 3/8" lower than my right shoulder. Which explains why my right bra strap is constantly falling down!
3) Although my legs are short for my height (which these ladies said is most common for women under 5'6") my lower legs are long.
4) My left hip is fuller than my right hip, which explains why I often feel some bagginess in the right hip on pants. I really thought I was just imagining it!
5) Because my shoulders and full hip are the same width, I have an hourglass figure (how glamorous!). Until yesterday, I've always believed I was a triangle.
6) My left hip is lower than my right (interestingly, by the same amount that my right shoulder is lower than the left). I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the bursitis I have in my left hip . . .
7) Although my shoulders don't slope enough to be considered "sloping," my armpits are slightly higher than the norm, which may explain whey I often feel that the shoulders are too high in garments.
|At least something is where it's supposed to be!|
This isn't the whole story, but it does provide me with some initial clues that I'm hoping will help me find the fit I'm looking for in fitted garments like the Peony dress.
Have any of you ever done this exercise? Did you find it valuable?