Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Five things I've learnt from Lorraine Henry

In case you missed yesterday's post where I sang the praises of Lorraine Henry, you basically only need to know that she's amazing. Here are five things I've learnt from her:

1- We don't perform adjustments to correct body problems. We perform adjustments to address figure variations. There are 88 figure variations as per our bible, Fitting and Pattern Alterations.

2- There is such a thing as the "seam method for alteration".  Performing a small bust adjustment or a full bust adjustment on a princess seam is very easy with this seam method.
Source

3- Everyone has a unique crotch and taking an "imprint" of the crotch with a flexible ruler or a "flexicurve" allows to make the perfect, comfortable pants. If you'd pick apart your favourite pants, chances are you'd discover they're a perfect match to the contours of your body -- whether J-shaped, L-shaped or, in my case, O-shaped (I made that last one up, but it's the most representative of my crotch I swear).
Source
4- It is possible to have a tilted hipline (i.e. with the front being higher or lower than the back, or vice versa) as well as a tilted waistline (rarer). Also, someone's pelvic bone can be tilted. And tilted pelvic bone results in... a sway back adjustment! THIS IS WHY there is always that annoying extra fabric at the front of your crotch if you're one of those who need a swat back -- it's because of a tilt in your pelvic bone.
No, these are not gravestones nor a kiddie drawing but my attempt at drawing
a "normal" pelvic bone vs. a tilted pelvic bone in a pant pattern
5- The golden rule in alteration is "L before W", meaning that you want to deal with the length issues first, before tackling the width issues. Then you want to tackle alterations that affect both front and back, before tackling alterations that affect only one side of your figure. There are other rules after that, but these are the most important.

5 comments:

  1. This is fascinating Adrienne! I particularly find that point 5 would come in especially handy when drafting. Not that I'm in any hurry to draft my own trousers ;o)

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    Replies
    1. Lol. I know what you mean about drafting your own trousers...

      I'm glad you found this useful!

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  2. Those are all really good tips. I need to sit down one day and draft some pattern blocks that actually match my shape...

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I really recommend this. But you'll most likely still have alterations to do to the blocs that you draft, even using your own measurements, depending on the method that you're using. So it's useful to know your way around the finicky details of alterations. Another easy thing to do is to start from a commercial pattern that you alter until it fits you like a glove. This is also possible.

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  3. It is a great attitude to address figure variations - not problems. I really liked that.

    She was really good at visually explaining things. I loved the blue board that she could prop pattern pieces up and move the SA/hinges/etc as needed so it really made sense.

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