Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review: Fit For Real People

Update:  Okay, so I made a mistake and published three book reviews on the same day. I meant to space these out, but I forgot to go back and check when they were scheduled to publish. Oh well. Enjoi!

This is a must-have book.  Like others, I read it from cover to cover.  This brings me to my first minor complaint. Perhaps it was information overload, but I wish this was a little better organized.  After reading Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration (2nd Edition), I really appreciate how "clean" the layout is and how the information is organized.  This book reads like a conversation, which is great when you are reading it all the way through, but challenging when you're using it as a reference book.

Back to the must-have part.  FFRP uses the slash method of alterations. This book gives a lot of detail on how to do the alterations.  As a beginner, I find this very helpful.  The book covers alterations for the back; neck and chest; bust, shoulders and armholes; sleeves; and the waist, hips, tummy and thighs. There's an entire chapter on darts.  I love that in some instances (I wish all), the book tells you the maximum amount you can adjust.

There are separate books dedicated to fitting pants and jackets, so you will find very little help on fitting those garments here.  I prefer the pictures in The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns to the illustrations here, but the drawings work.

I usually take issue with people telling me what the ideal is (especially if they use that word) in terms of what looks good.  I think that's really based on culture and even age. Needless to say, I have to ignore some advice in this book, like how the aesthetically pleasing proportions determined by the Greeks apply to skirt length. (Seriously?) I dare you to say that Serena Williams or Beyonce can't wear mini skirts because they have big legs.

Bad fashion advice aside, this book is an excellent resource for alterations.  The Sewing Techniques that Affect Fit chapter is a great bonus.


Faye Lewis said...

Believe me, I am thankful for your comment about my coat. My muslin is made of a medium weight linen (like) fabric. I think the swayback adjustment will do the trick. Aren't you making this coat too?

How did padding your dress form turn out? I'm thinking about padding mine too to make it more usable.

NuJoi said...

@Faye. I'm not making the coat. I'm still trying to make a knit top! Padding my dress form turned out okay. The cover really compressing things, so plan on padding it slightly larger than the real you.