Normally when you draft a block, you take a bunch of measurements, then use fractional amounts of them to draft half the body. Often, you add ease directly into the draft, so it’s not really the same size as the person you measured. And the hardest part is always getting all of the measurements back down relative to each other – getting the bust at the right hight, getting the shoulders in the right places, stuff like that. So I feel like it makes more sense to use the measurements directly on the body. You could drape things directly on a Real Live Human Being ™, but you need to be pretty good at handling muslin for that, and your RLHB needs to be really good at standing still. Really, really still. Most people suck at this. But it turns out that there is a really, stupidly simple way to use body measurements direction on the body, and it’s relatively fidget-proof.
This draft owes a lot to last semester’s Flat Pattern students. I was all proud of the work I’d been doing, and I showed them, and one said, “Melissa, I really do not think this is very practical.”
So I changed materials.
The original title for this was “Missa’s No-Ease, No-Assumptions, Sense-Making Mathless Draft”, but my SEO plugin says that that’s too long of a title. There are actually a few assumptions built into this situation. I assume you want a princess-line draft (because you do, trust me – it’s easier and less dicey to go from princess-line to a one or two dart block than to go the other way), and I assume you want an easeless draft (because it makes you a custom dress form cover and it’s great for historical work), and I’m also assuming you’re at all interested because either a) you believe you hate math, or b) mathsy-drafts have always betrayed you but you assume it’s your body.
If you’re in camp b on that last one, I want to let you in on a little secret: it’s not your body. Every mathematical drafting system I’ve ever seen has assumptions about body shape built in to it.
You’re gonna need some stuff. Specifically:
You will need a willing collaborator, because you won’t be able to do this on your own body. Sorry. You will also need muslin, a pencil, and a crap-tonne of pins. (Notice how there’s no rulers or measuring tapes on that list?)
I’m going to use a model-ish sized stand for this demo. Don’t fret. Last spring’s Flat students were deeply concerned that it wouldn’t work on a normal body, so I worked part of it it up on myself in front of them. Then they told me I was skinny (which really doesn’t happen often, honestly, what with me being 5’3″ and a 10-12, but it was cute). Then one of them went home and tried it and came in raving about how it worked on all the bodies. This isn’t exactly the version I gave them. I’ve improved it just for you, internet viewer.
I’m going to make the assumption that I’m working with a basically symmetrical figure, and work primarily with the right-hand side of the body. If you are working with a body that is definitely assymmetrical, you’ll need to do every step on both sides.
Here we go!
next: vertical measurements