Monday, August 27, 2012

Sewing for the Hourglass

Contrary to what a lot of people think, being categorized as an hourglass has nothing to do with boobage size. It's all about the side silhouette.

The hourglass has shoulders and hips that are approximately the same in width, and a waist that is noticeably smaller--around 10" smaller.

Sewing for this shape is relatively easy, if you don't follow the pattern instructions. When it comes to pattern instructions, we hourglasses have to go our own way if we want our clothes to fit.

Pattern instructions for tops or dresses that join a bodice to a bottom usually advise you to sew the front bodice to the back bodice, and the front bottom to the back bottom. And then it instructs you to sew the top to the bottom.

If you are an hourglass, don't do that. If you follow those directions, it will be difficult to contour the sides of what you are sewing to your hourglass side curves.

Instead, sew the front bodice to the front bottom, then sew the back bodice to the back bottom. Sew the shoulder seams, and then baste the sides.

Try it on and pin the back closed. The minimal amount of pinning that you will probably be able to get away with will be to pin at the neckline, waist, and hips.

After you have the pins pretty much holding the back closed, take a good look at the fit of the sides in the mirror. If you see that you need to take it in a little more at the waist, pinch the fabric to see how much you need to take out. Split that amount between the side seams. If you pinch out 4 inches, pin out 2 inches on each side right at the waist. From that point, place your pins so they taper back to the regular seams. Baste, then try it on. 

Keep adjusting until you are satisfied with the fit.

For styles without a waist seam, sew the darts or princess seams, then sew the shoulders. and baste the sides. Pin the opening (front or back) closed so you'll be able to see how it fits. If you need to take it in a little, split the amount you need to take in between the side seams. If you need to take in a lot, split that amount among ALL of the seams (darts, princess seams, sides seams). You can play around with the amounts to take out of each, so you'll get the most flattering fit.

If you follow this method, you will be able to sew fitted clothes for yourself that follow your shape, but that are not tight.

It always works for me, and it should work for you!

Make this day a good one!  

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