Thursday, December 30, 2010

Measurements & Body Shape


I'd like to be matter of fact about my body shape and measurements in this blog. I'm unclear if this is taboo in the sewing/blogging community but, for the record, I definitely don't think it should be. How else can we achieve perfect fit if we're not honest about and accepting of our bodies?

So, I took my measurements last night:

Height: 5'6"
Bust: 38"
High bust: 35.5"
Waist: 30"
Hips: 40"

I've been doing some reading on the subject of body shape and how it might influence the patterns I select. According to Fit for Real People, and several other fit books I've browsed, I'm an hourglass. This is because A) my shoulders are the same width as my hips and B) my waist is 10" narrower than my hips.

I have to say, I've never felt like an hourglass, but I'm starting to realize that may be because the stereotype isn't really the definition. For example, as far as I can tell, you can be an hourglass without necessarily having a full bust. Further, a quick browse through Trinny & Susannah's Body Shape Bible at the library yesterday revealed this little detail:


"Your waist is short and your crotch is long."

Well, that was a light bulb moment. After consulting Fit for Real People on how to determine waist length, I went back to the measuring tape and sure enough, I am short waisted. (2 inches of difference between my waist-to-armpit measurement and my waist-to-hip measurement - 8 inches and 10 inches, respectively.) Between that and my full bust, no wonder I always feel so swallowed-up in high-waisted styles!

The other thing I liked about the Body Shape Bible (a book I wasn't overly thrilled with in general) was their choice of models for each body shape. While I've never felt like I fit the stereotype of an hourglass...

...I see that my proportions are very similar to the model they chose here (on the right):

So now the question is - what style of patterns do I choose? Should I avoid the high-waist forever? (That saddens me.) Should I really avoid all ruffles and bows and other bust embellishments, as Trinny & Susannah tell me? (*Ahem* - enter one of the tidbits of information I didn't agree with in their book.)

The mind, it boggles. I think for the moment I'll just ruminate on how this may affect the fit and possible alternations of the two blouse patterns I bought yesterday. Baby steps, small doses, manageable bits... right?

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