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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Badly Proportioned Figure

The fit of my skirt draft seems to go from bad to worse. I just can't get it to fit properly over my seat.

The first basted version of my skirt, I thought, had a waistband that was too large, so I didn't even bother posting about it before taking it in. Here is the first basting.

And here are photos of my most recent attempt, with a different dart configuration on each side to compare.

I'm still getting the vertical wrinkles just above the fullest part of my bum, but it fits the largest part of my seat and in the small of my back. I don't know how to get rid of this extra fullness! It seems like the maybe the darts need to be shaped differently? I've already made them fairly shapely, bowing the legs of the darts to be more anatomically correct. Maybe I need to change the side seams?

I was hunting through Cutter and Tailor and found this post of a book that had a small section about fitting a skirt to my type of figure ("large back hip measurement and a small back waist"), which is where I got the idea to use the three parallel darts, and where I came across the sentence "The result will bring further emphasis upon the pattern of the fabric and will reduce the obvious appearance of the necessary darts required to shape the fabric to the badly proportioned figure". Wah! I know my figure is difficult to dress. It's hard to shape a flat piece of cloth around curves. But I can't help how I'm shaped! I eat healthy. I exercise (my butt and thighs only get more prominent with exercise). My mom has the same figure. My sister's pretty similar. This is just how my body is.

Pretty much the only time I'm unhappy with my figure is when I'm trying to dress it nicely, which is almost all the time.

So I don't need any reminders from some stuffy, misogynistic douchebag that I'm not everyone's ideal body type.

Wow, OK, got a little off-topic, there.

I'd really love to have a skirt that fits properly. I pretty much have nothing to wear to work right now.

On another note, I spent $70 on jeans (I don't want to talk about it) and $60 on fabric that's in the mail. I don't know why I'm buying more fabric. I can't seem to get anything accomplished these days!


  1. Gosh! That must be so off putting. I've had a couple of similar experiences as well. If people don't know how to draft for a figure variation, they should keep their mouth shut instead of saying how badly proportioned the subject is.

    Have you tried Burda pencil skirt or pants? Burda draft fits ample rear and smaller waist.

    You can also try Sewaholic patterns..

    1. Hi KayoticSewing,

      I haven't tried Sewaholic but I've become frustrated with commercial patterns because I find that they always have way too much ease, so things just don't fit right and I have to do a bunch of adjustments anyway. I'm hoping that I can use this skirt as a working pattern to make my own styles, without having to re-fit everything with every new style like with bought patterns.

      So frustrating, though!

  2. Hi Dana, please don't get discouraged! That book is full is sh*t. There are no figure flaws -- only figure variations! I have a very similar figure as yours -- and so do all the women in my family -- and we can attest that IT IS possible to make a skirt that fits properly! Hang in there!! And yes, Sewaholic tends to be really good for our figure, I found.

  3. Heyo. I don't know that much, but a few thoughts, hare-brained ideas, etc.:

    1. Online forums are great, but there is nothing better than finding an experienced tailor (in person) to help you through some rough patches. If you are just looking for advice (no work done), they are usually happy to help you out. Bring your pattern block, the skirt, etc. Some will draft a pattern for you for a fee. . . .

    2. There may be an opportunity to shrink/shape that ease between the seat and waist using an iron--especially in wool fabric. This is something you may not want to do if you plan on taking out the basting to try another approach, as the darts may get pressed in, but wool can be shaped pretty dramatically with an iron. I get the feeling the pattern is close, but needs to be pressed into shape. Again, an expert would be helpful.

    3. Put the skirt on inside out and have someone pin/mark the darts to get the ease you want and rebaste.

    4. Make the center darts longer than to the two outside darts. My thinking is that you need to have a more double convex dart, like this: () , with the top of the dart hitting the waist and the bottom of the dart closer to the wider part of the seat, and also be able to pull the fabric tighter in between (hence the convex shape) to remove the ease between the waist and the seat.