The focus of my efforts recently has been to develop my basic size 6 pattern. I do have a basic “sloper” as it is known in the industry that I made from a generic size 6 PGM dress form. However, as my husband pointed out, the dress form doesn’t look like a 50 year old size 6 woman.
Consequently, I’ve been doing some research into sizing and with the help of Kathleen Fasanella’s blog Fashion Incubator I have made some headway. From Ms. Fasanella I found that sizing standards do exist and can actually be downloaded (for an affordable $42) from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). I went ahead and downloaded The Standard Tables of Body Measurements for Women Aged 55 and Older. I was extremely pleased that I had found the information needed and was on my way. I thought I would simply compare the measurements from the ASTM table with my dress form, make the necessary adjustments and be on my way. Then I started comparing and to my dismay realized that many of the measurements the ASTM lists I am not familiar with and they actually measure the whole body instead of half the body as patternmaking books do. Furthermore, some of the measurements were up to four inches different than my dress from. Needless to say this is going to take much more thought and planning than I had originally considered when I was happily downloading the measurements from the ASTM website.
Lucky for me a couple of months ago I met a local designer who makes her own patterns and I actually kept the business card she gave me. At the time I knew we had met for a reason as I do believe all things happen for a reason. I have sent her an email offering to hire her to not only make my patterns but to teach me along the way. Hopefully she accepts. I know I could hire a patternmaker and be on my way but I want to be fully proficient in the entire design process. For me, starting this clothing line is not just a business but something I am truly interested in learning about. It’s a challenge that I want to conquer. Until next time…
Kristin Potenti, Self Assured