March 28, 2022
If you are here reading this post it is because you are interested in the best way to collect and collate the measurements of this sewing community- including a chart for the mature body.
It is a big idea and I am a bit daunted- but the only way to start is to start.
Ideas and constructive observations are welcome. Please post them as comments so that this important information is in the same place- and if something relevant is discussed elsewhere, feel free to cut and paste it ( with permission )into the comments below.
I would like to use this space for a month to decide whether this idea is wanted and feasible. Also- we might need a budget.
Just to catch you up if you didn´t read it; here is how I shared the idea with Judith and Sandy of SewOver50 on Instagram.
Thank you for asking to know more about the idea that burst into my mind. There is a free measurement "tool" on my website.
I got into a bit of a flap trying to make trousers that fit everyone- I call these my windmill moments.
No trouser will fit everyone - accept the bigpants but they have been ruled out by some folks for looking a bit strange.
Back to the trousers- I searched for a reliable measurement chart for crotch lengths- then I asked on instagram for people to send their hip measurement and crotch length to me so that I would be able to make an informed decision about my new trouser .
THEN I thought wouldn´t it be great to have lots of people ,40K for example, measure themselves and collect this information as a community database for all designers. It is possible to create a form that feeds into a database that could eventually be a useful series of measurement ratios.I believe this is needed by many designers especially in the plus size area.
I wondered whether you knew some clever people who might be up for such a project.I will do what I can, however I am dyslexic and if it exists also have ADHD.
The thing with pattern grading is that clothing engineers like neat ratios to feed into their sizing programmes.
The starting size is also often a teenager´s body. An Size table for Mature bodies is lacking. Sewover 50 is the perfect place to make such information on available because of your " United Nations " status - which would put research above politics.
So that was a long instagram message, all the very best, Lindy
The task is to gather the measurements of up to 40K people and to find a way to make sense of the data. This information would be in the public domain.
Why Measurement ratios are important.
A pattern is geometry. It is a series of measurements mapping the body.
The sizes are generated by telling points on the pattern how much they should "grow" This image shows the usual way a pattern grows. I have heard it said that grading is "just pushing a button " ..and it can be - after the correct information has been entered in the form of "x" values. This is a system used in the programme Grafis. It provides the option of having the patterns grow as you tell them to.
It is possible to change the way patterns grow, as it is to change the proportions of the original style, when you know that the pattern will be the best starting point for the most people that fit within a size group.
Altering patterns for different bodies
There are some very good lessons to be found in books and online about the best way to adjust for a full bust or a big or not big bottom. There will still be those that use one size for the top and another for the bottom.
When a measurement chart exists there will still be need for alterations; however, consider a full bust adjustment.. The measurements might show that in the majority of cases that the front side seam to side seam measurement over the bust grows at different rates in different size groups. This could mean that a pattern goes up a cup size automatically in the grade- a win for the size group.
Where to start?
I have already noticed room for improvement in the free measurement tool on my website: there is no place for age; no place for height and no place for gender.
In fairness it was designed for people to use themselves and they know their age height and prefered pronouns.
This is fortunately an easy fix. There maybe other measurements not on this list? let me know.
Will people send in their measurements? incentives?
Will they measure themselves correctly? Measuring events ? a how to video
Do all of the measurements have to be filled in? Not necessarily
No judgement. We are as we are and are a bit irritated about the whole "bikini body BS"
The technology for gathering the information
I hope I can find help here. There should be an easy to use Online form.
For those who have difficulty filling it in ? perhaps there are volunteers to help with data entry.
It would be interesting to know how many measurements are required to make a dent in the system. Here we need a sociologist or anthropologist.
This has to be the interesting bit... do we have any mathematicians hanging about?
I have some theories about how the numbers might work- particularly in the larger sizes.
The sizing system for mens suits
This system recognises tall, standard and short men.
3 sizes ... 98, 48, 28 have the same horizontal measurements and different length measurements.
There are also sizes for men with a prominent stomach they share the horizontal measurement for the waist and hip but the waist is larger. these sizes are odd numbers 99,49,29
Why did I mention suit sizing ?
This example demonstrates that data can go in several directions. In the case of crotch lengths I suspect a high rise and a low rise.
That is it for now... what do you think?
UPDATE April 2022
This is a massive theme and I will need help to make it work .
I don´t have the resources to do a good job .. YET
There are several tasks.
Creating an easy to use digital form for collecting the data
A video showing exactly how to take the measurements.
Data entry for those unable to use the forms- yet kind enough to share their information.
And eventually data crunching.
These jobs will take longer than an afternoon so they will need to be paid.
Crowd funding might be the way to go- although with all that is going on in the world, I almost don´t want to ask.
I have started to make enquiries at design universities. I will keep you posted.