Apr 28, 2011

That's Why It's Called a "French Curve"

As expected, I got another B+ in patternmaking class last night, for my too-big striped trousers, which I will fix after this semester is over and I have a little more time on my hands. In my favour, however, my professor surmised that my fit problems were not due to an imperfect pattern; my fabric stretched along the bias as I was sewing, which is a sign I need to get my act together and stay-stitch everything if i want my clothes to fit properly — and get an A.

Afterward she stood there for a long time as she was checking my jeans pattern I was working on, her eyes on the hip curve. "You think it's too curved?" I asked her.

"It's very coorved," she agreed. (She's Russian).

Then she looked at my lower half and added: "But you are also very coorved."

And then she shrugged, which I think means "Glad it's you and not me, lady."

A closer look at my jeans pattern
The thing with hips (or any curves, for that matter) is that they make it just so much harder to get a good fit. It wouldn't be hard to make a pair of pants fit two sticks with a pumpkin on top. But throw in a few curves and you need to add darts, seams, pleats, tucks — any of these things can add dimension to your garment to make it fit around areas of the body that won't fit into a pillowcase.

Of course, stretch fabrics eliminate some of these issues. The design doesn't have to be as exacting when a little spandex can compensate for an extra bump here or there. But when you find a brand that fits you just right (for me, that has been Citizens of Humanity, which I cannot afford anymore), be loyal; they use the same general shape for each different pair, so you're likely to fit the brand's other pants too.

The denim I choose for these jeans doesn't have much stretch to it, and as you can see this pattern is for a classic pair of jeans with a touch of flare to the leg. If I can, I'll start cutting tonight.

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