Whereas many contemporary sewing bloggers say they particularly enjoy sewing because it gives them the opportunity to sidestep the whole issue of size and just make clothes that work for their bodies, I find that most of my sewing books from the 50's and 60's discuss fit in terms of hiding "figure faults."
"Have you got a figure problem? Creative Hands sympathises with you and sets out to help you solve it."
It's actually sort of quaint.
My copy of the Bishop Method of Clothing construction actually lists 47 (yes 47 !) different types of "Figure problems" with suggestions for alterations. I have Figure problems 7, 8, 17, 27, 28, 35, 37 and 40. Some of these are depressing like: "small flat bust." It makes me wonder can you have a small, non-flat bust? Or a large flat bust? (Looking at my Good Housekeeping Sewing Book, I see they have it covered. You can be Full-busted and Flat chested.)
"Fullness across the back of the hips" (the big booty problem) don't seem all that bad.
And I'm not sure if my arms are "full or large" (problem number 27) or "muscular" (problem 28) "too large and muscular" (#29) or just plain "large and fleshy" (#30).
Mix in too tall, and too short and it actually seems as if problem combos could be infinite with some sort of calculus required to figure out your peculiar figure problem niche.
Not only that, but the books warn that measurements can "vary between morning and evening" and throughout the month. Not only should you take a.m. and p.m. measurements, it is suggested that you measure for the time of day in which you intend to wear a garment.
I have to admit that since I usually sew at night, I have noticed that my waistbands are often too loose during the day. Does anyone else have this issue? When I cut out my next evening dress I will definitely use my p.m. measurements.
That raises the issue of the PMS measurements. Another book recommends sewing a few outfits for those days of the month in which a girl "plumps up." Do any of you all make "fat pants?" Are you considering taking some p.m. PMS measurements-- or on those eveinings do you just put on pjs and call it a day?
On one hand, the definition of all these "problems" is discouraging. When I sew, I ususally am more interested in the idea of a garment than facing figure facts. Yet, it seems that some sort of honest appraisal of our bodies is needed to get clothes to fit the way we want.
Anyway, what do you all do? Do you have "figure problems" or do you prefer to think of the garment and having fit issues?