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!

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Basic body assignments

In line with the basic body measurements I have come up with some assignment that I would like to add to my educational material. If you are interested you can do these and maybe even publish them on your own page? Please let me know how you have experienced them.

INTRODUCTION ASSIGNMENTS BASIC BODY

When working in the industry of fashion it is very important to get an idea of what your customer looks like and what size he/she has. Working towards the real size of your customers will help the Design department to design styles that are suitable for the body type of your customers and use fabrics that suit style and body types. Having knowledge of the customers will help Development, Quality assurance and Fitting with their specific processes. Trying to find a fitting model for a size 6 while your average customer is a size 12 is….. illogical but not at al uncommon in the industry.

Obviously (?) Design, Marketing and Sales will mention that for ‘esthetic reasons’ the company does not work with women of a size 12 in advertising – but from a fitting point of view it is very logical to fit in the size you sell the most. In the end all comes down to taste, ethics, marketing and responsiblity. And… I am thinking we live in an interesting time where discussions about anorexic models are finally being held within and without the industry.  More needs to change though; I just Googled ‘beautiful woman’ and the first hit for somebody of African descent is at place 155. For ‘beautiful girl’ that is place 355. And these are just some figures showing how strange and out of balance internet and…. I am guessing, or, I fear, that our perception is.

And now the funny thing is, that everybody realises that there is something wrong with our perceptions when we come to make such comparison in race. However…. in the whole list of beautiful women or girls there is not one who is above a size 8 or above the age of 30. Obviously this blog is not about politics but I do want to, with some examples, point out that our perception is skewed. I have experienced that not seeing things as they are, does not help at all while making patterns and fitting clothing.

So, on you go! Here are some assignments to help you improve your ability to really see and understand bodies.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 1

Set up a photo gallery, Pinterest board, PowerPoint presentation or what have you to gather material on the following subjects on the internet and / or in books.

– ideal female body
– ideal male body
– ideal kids body (notice that you will mostly see measurement tables here)
– body proportions
– drawing a female body
– drawing a male body
– body perception

Objective: to get an idea of how the media show bodies and to get an idea of the discussions going in the media concerning body perception.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 2

Draw a male or female body from on paper. Make sure the figurines are at least 20 cm (8 inch) high. Draw a front view, side view and back view. Do so out of the top of your head. Spend at least 15 minutes on the assignment but no more than 30.

Possibly this is a frustrating experience, it does however directly confront you with what details of the human body you have no concept of in your head. It is important to develop at least a sense of proportion when working with patterns and fitting.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 3

Now do the same excercise as above but keep the tutorials that you browsed for earlier at hand. This will teach you how to look at a body and teach you about the proportions of a body.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 4

When you are, or want to be in kids clothing, do the assignments 1 to 3 for children.

BASIC BODY ASSIGNMENT 5

When you like you can scan the drawings of the assignments and save them. Following that, import the scans in a digital vector drawing program and copy them using vector lines.

If you have not worked with digital drawing programs before you might want to check out my blog post ‘Digital drawing’ (currently not available). Digital drawing is mainly not a requirement in positions where fitting is the main objective but it can be very handy when you do have these skills. Start developing them from early on and you will have learned a lot by the time you have finished the assignments on this blog.

Hope you enjoy!

Best regards, Martine

Basic body drawing for measurements – draft 2

20150427 WOMAN TOTAL DRAFT 2

The second draft on the basic bodies, liking this one better, even though some points are eligible for improvement.

For this assignment I have chosen to draw a woman standing totally straight, so the arms from the side view fall within the body silhouette and do not cover the hollow in the back. In real life the height of the head is repeated 7,5 times in the total body length. I have chosen 8 times too in order to make it easier to draw a body because I could follow the online examples.

Also, I have chosen not to draw a standard size 36 (6 in the USA) because already in the Netherlands 70% of the women have a size 42 (12) or larger. I prefer real images but I did not draw her boobs on the normal, lower position because I need them to be high so I can easily and clearly draw different measurements. In the end these drawings are a compromise between reality, ideals and educational purpose.

Food for thought: I find it VERY educational to show real bodies. Most people going into the fashion industry are attracted by the glamour and the arts of the branch. I believe that is why it takes people in design, styling, development and engineering more time than necessary to catch up with the reality of fitting to an actual body. Did I just say that? Yes, I did. I find that, like in real life, ideals seem to blind us and be counter productive when it comes to actually seeing things and dealing with them appropriately.

As mentioned, these drawings are to be used as drawings for educational material online and in classes. Please let me know what you think. I especially interested in hearing about the proportions, the posture and whether or not she should be wearing undergarments….

I prefer no garments for several reasons; one being that the exact places of the measurements are clearer and there is going on in the drawing. On the other hand…. nobody in fashion will ever measure somebody naked. So…. choices, choices….

If you have got time, please let me know what your thoughts are.

Thanks and best regards, Martine

Basic body drawing for measurements

20150424 WOMAN TOTAL DRAFT 1

That took a little longer than I expected but herewith draft 1 of the drawings I would like to use for explaining body measurements. They are to be used as drawings for educational material online and in classes. As you can see drawing does not exactly come naturally to me but they are here! Please let me know what you think. I especially interested in hearing about the proportions, the posture and wether or not she should be wearing undergarments.

I deliberately chose an adult women in not your ‘standard’ size 36 (6) because, well, I have had it with idealizing bodies which are not reality to 95% of our worlds female population.

Looking at this now I can see the bum of the side view might be a little low in comparison to the back and front view. I will be redoing the feet of the front view and fill in the hands of the side view. But not now ;-).

If you have got time, please let me know what your thoughts are.

Have a nice day!

Regards, Martine