Body mapping – a beautiful technique

Check out this video on the technique of body mapping. Body mapping is a technique of making a base pattern of a person through draping and systematically pinning away fabric. We use chequered fabric in order to see clearly what lines are not yet horizontal.

It’s in Dutch but I don’t let that bother you. I am guessing you can make out what this beautiful technique has got to offer you.

Hope you enjoy!

How to hire a fit model?

In order to fit clothing samples and check the comfort of a garment, apparel companies use dress forms and live fit models. This post covers the process of selecting the correct fit model.

Before you can determine whether a fit model is appropriate for the job you need to have a standard body measurement chart of your requested fit model size. If all is well… your company has one. If not…. it is high time you went into the process of achieving one.

When in the process of hiring a (non professional) fit model make sure to mention the following to the candidates:

– Long standing and quickly changing clothes is required.

– Weight gain or weight loss above 2 kg can disqualify a fit model for the job. Generally a weight change of 4-5 kilo’s (8 to 10 pounds) makes for 1 apparel size difference. There needs to be a commitment to keeping the weight and shape the fit model is hired for. However, as a company you might want to make sure that you do not hire somebody who will get into psychological trouble with this commitment and develop an eating disorder. Which is why I generally opt for older people with a stable weight. Or women who, by daily profession, are used to dealing with body image such as people in sports or people with a medical background. Of course the 2 kg rule does not apply to children and teens that are still growing.

– Determine a BMI that is that of your customers and set a range as to how much a fit model may vary from that. Models with low BMI typically have very straight shoulders which are very wide in comparison to the rest of the body. The woman in the picture below also has breast implants so most likely she will hit the chest circumference of an size 4 or 6 but her shoulders are more built to carry a 8 or 10. When selecting a fit model you want to be looking for an average BMI. Unless your clientele consists of top models there is no reason to choose a person with a low BMI.

20150505 SKINNY MODEL STRAIGHT SHOULDERS

– The fit model job is in no way an entry into fashion modelling. A lot of people who do not work in fashion will think fit modelling is an opening. You might, in your add, explicitly want to mention that having a pretty face is not a requirement – but nicer. Nicer is better.

– Minors must be accompanied by a caretaker at least for the interview and the first 3 fittings. You want to make sure a minor feels comfortable at your firm. Do not make any exceptions to this rule; minors can be especially sensitive to comments on their appearance.

– In order to make the selection a little easier, make sure the models already send you the following measurements: bust, under bust, waist, hip at the widest point, upper arm, upper thigh, total length and weight. Make sure to send measuring instructions and a form with it.

– Bring several different heights of heels, warm slippers, a bathrobe, hair elastics or clips, a black panty hose or legging and a body hugging singlet with small shoulder straps to the fitting. Do not wear make-up which can stain on clothing.

– Always wear the same size and model bra with the same type of support. Wear underwear that does not cut into the skin. Generally a normal bikini slip or briefs are ok, as long as you are comfortable with it.

– A fit model needs a thick skin. The function is to fit clothing, in the process of the clothing will be discussed but also how the body of the fit model affects this. It is of course never the objective to be disgraceful towards a fit model but it happens that comments come out wrong. Instead of saying: ‘This skirt length is not suitable for your length.’ somebody might actually say ‘Eeeeeh, this makes your legs look fat!’ A fit model needs to be able to deal with that.

– Inform the fit model upfront that, when he/she is suitable for the job, measurements and photos will be taken. You might want to invite people to bring a friend along for the job interview – just to feel more comfortable. The subject of how to take and photograph will be a next blog post.

– In the first or second interview, take the following body measurements. Mail me at Martine@ztec.nl to receive your own digital Excel copy to adjust to your companies standards. German and Dutch translations are available. Click to enlarge.

Based on your standard measurement chart you will have to choose what model is closest to your ideal. Check out my post on ‘How to photograph fit models for assesment’ to decide between possible fit models. Take your evaluation of the posture assessment into account too.

Generally I think that placing vacancies at fashion schools, sport schools are the best way to go about if you like to select a non-professional fitting model. Or you can look to combine e.g. an office assistant or janitor job with a fit model job. Professional fit models can be hired from modelling agencies. However, rates as high as mentioned in this article are not common in The Netherlands.

I hope you enjoyed this post, you are welcome to leave questions or comments below.

Best regards, Martine

Basic body measurements – draft 3

20150504 WOMAN TOTAL ALL MEASUREMENTS

Yes! The draft 3 version of the basic bodies including all the markings and elastic bands you need for measuring. I would like to also thank you for the comments I have received on earlier work, they were of great help, so thank you!

Again, there is a little disclaimer to draft 3: a few tiny details are not totally aligned – but I can live with that. And again, please let me have your thoughts on these figurines.

Since I am not sure yet how I want to market the work in this blog I have added an all over print of my company website.

There is only one reason to mark the body as I have done and that is to measure correctly. No markings, no correct measurements.

Basic tip 2: Mark your dress form or fitting model before measuring. The results of your main and detail measurements will NOT be correct if you do not start with marking.

Want to know how to mark the dress form or fitting model? Stay tuned!

Please feel free to place your comments or questions in the reply area below.

Best regards, Martine

On tape-measures – 1

Hi there,

I’ve started this new blog to share the fun and expertize I find in puzzling with patterns and the fitting of clothing. And also to inform you of things that might help you produce a better fitted garment, to safe time, money, Fedex costs and environment.

If it is your job to comment on samples, to do fitting, make patterns, specs or garments you might want to bookmark this blog – so you will not miss out any of the tips and tricks that will be published. Also, when you study fashion or garment technology you are very welcome here.

It is my intention to blog about subjects that are important to the whole field of garment technology. I have decided to start of with the basics: very important but often forgotten or not paid attention to because ‘too busy’. I found that not paying attention to certain details in the process actually delays it and will ensure that you either have bad fit or miss deadlines.

So here is Basic tip 1:

I once visited a company where everybody had different types of tape-measures, some were professional, some were dollar-store quality, Some were new, some were old, some were used a lot, some not. Well, exactly like in almost every fashion company. And eventhough the lettering of all tape-measures said they were 150cm in total – at measuring them we found out that several actually had a different length….

No! Not kidding you. Friends of mine in the industry have found exactly the same. The difference might be 1cm but I have found 4cm too.

When checking this one face turned bright red…. ‘This explains why I always argue with my interns about ‘them not measuring the long measurements correctly’. Auch!

So, here is tip one: make sure you have a metal ruler of at least 50cm in your office and check your tape-measure ever so now and then. Chuck the stretched ones, the broken ones, the ones without lettering out. Better: cut them in pieces IMMEDIATELY. 🙂

Drop by in the near future to see what more we bring to the table.

Regards, Martine