My Story

Part 10: On My Own

A custom fiberglass form

I had tried to get help many times and had just thrown money away.

I decided getting a personalized body form – a custom-made replica of my body made with fiberglass – would be a better way to spend money.

Then I would just figure it all out.

The body cast isn’t ideal…

Although the body cast has it’s problems, and it’s not the best as a dressmaker’s dummy for draping clothes, I am still so pleased I had it made. I could finally see my body from all directions from an outsider’s perspective.  It helped immeasurably to finally figure out what the issues were.

Recreating the wheel

So …eventually, it all fell into place.  I understood the disconnect between the block making instructions and the result as it related to my body.

I learned so much in the process I thought that I share the information; I hoped to save others who experienced some of the same problems from having to recreate the wheel.

I decided to write down everything I learned in the process to help out others who are having similar problems to mine.

And here’s the website for that purpose.  I have bodice making instructions which I hope will help a few other people achieve what I wanted to achieve, without as much angst. So they don’t have to spend as much money as I did in the pursuit of a set of blocks that can be used to make comfortable, well-fitting clothes.

I hope to add a lot more information over the years.

7 Responses

  1. I feel absolutely identifed by your experience. Frustration, thinking of giving it up.
    I love you for sharing so hard history.

  2. I’m glad you find it useful or interesting. I would be interested in hearing other people’s stories. I hope you have either ended up with a well fitting block, or continue until you do so. It is worth it in the end; it makes such a big difference wearing clothes that fit well.

  3. Hi Maria
    At last dress pattern making instructions that make sense. I can’t thank you enough for the encyclopaedic knowledge you have made available to us all. I’ve only just started on my pattern making journey and within the first day I realised that the course I was doing was fundamentally flawed as it was based on “Standard” body shapes and sizes neither of which I am. I did a lot of searching and stumbled on your website ~ I am really inspired by you and your years of struggle, determination and tenacity. I would have given up at around the second fence. Thank goodness despite everything you faced you didn’t give up. X

  4. Hi Deborah,

    I’m so glad that I never gave up, though sometimes I doubted my sanity in not doing so. I get such a lot of pleasure not only making garments that fit, but knowing that I can make styles I want that suit my figure.

    I hope you continue and achieve what you want in patternmaking, and I’m glad if you find the information I have supplied useful. I hope to put up a lot more information over the years.

  5. Wow, what an adventure you have have had in making blocks! I’ve made half-hearted attempts to make blocks in the past, but was never very satisfied with the results. I take long breaks from sewing to do knitting, as the results are more forgiving. Coincidentally, a well known knitter/designer, Amy Herzog, also uses across chest and upper bust torso measurements with her design instructions. I seem to recall her mentioning that if you use a commercial (knitting) pattern, it’s better to match the across chest measurement for good fit in the shoulders than picking a size by bust circumference. That’s my long way of saying, I fully support your use of upper bust measurements to draft better sewing blocks 🙂

  6. I found patterning so daunting having attended about 4 different classes. I’m glad I found your page. Thank you for the knowledge shared

  7. Hi,

    I just found your website and finished reading your story. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your knowledge! And I’m looking forward to make my own blocks

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