Aug 4, 2015

Dealing with an Asymmetrical Body

Do you have asymmetrical body issues?  Very few people are truly perfect and symmetrical from one side to the other of their bodies.  Often a leg is slightly longer, or a shoulder might be sloped more than the other.

Ask yourself these questions:
1. How severe is the asymmetry?
2. Does it affect the look of my clothes on my body?
3. Should I make the effort to change my pattern?

If there are just slight differences from one side to the other, generally we do nothing, as it's simply not enough difference to affect the hang of the garment on our body.

However, if your garments hang crooked or form obvious drag lines toward the high or low point, then you will likely want to make asymmetrical adjustments to your pattern.

This typically entails creating a right and left side pattern that reflect the height and width dimensions for that part of your body.  Once the change is done for both sides (if necessary), they will generally then need to meet in the middle - typically CF and/or CB.  Once you've created a right and left side for your pattern and you're happy with the muslin test fitting shell, then you can use this pattern for future style changes.

You will always need to mark which is right and left side, and which side is going to be cut 'right side up'.  It's definitely more effort, but well worth it when your clothes hang better on your body.

In some instances, like a high/low shoulder, sometimes you can get away with a temporary solution of adding a shoulder pad to the low side.  This then will give you a more balanced look, particularly in jacket construction, and offers and easy solution.  Always try to evaluate your options before doing major pattern adjustments.

You will find asymmetrical high/low hip adjustment directions on page 17 of the Dress Kit Instruction Book.  The same basic concept applies to the waist line level of your pants pattern.  If you'd like to see a short video regarding the asymmetrical hip heights, watch this video:

Often times, you will also need to make circumference tune-ups as well since one side can be wider as well as longer.  Then you definitely need to create a right and left side pattern - for both the front and back of your skirt or pants.

Here's and example of pants that are now hanging fairly well on a definite asymmetrical body.  The waist line is substantially tipped forward and the right buttock is definitely higher and fuller than the left.  With persistence, and the creation of right and left side patterns for both front and back, these pants are now hanging smoothly.

Here are the happy customer's comments:

I finally have a great fitting pair of pants, thanks to the Sure-Fit Design system and the incredible assistance I received from Glenda.  In my opinion, she is the star of the system!  My original draft was easy to develop and certainly fit me better than any " straight from the envelope" pattern I've ever tried.  But my "great fit" is entirely the result of endless patience and guidance from Glenda, addressing my severely tilted waist, uneven hips and various other figure issues.  Over the course of about three weeks, we exchanged many emails working through all of the problems.  Her service is exemplary, and I highly encourage anyone with problems fitting pants to give Sure-Fit Designs a try!
KK, Sew Fittingly You, Victor, NY 

Happy Sewing!

Glenda...The Good Stitch

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