Posted by on Mar 3, 2015 in Sewing, Theory | Comments Off on Putting your skirt at ease

In the Fabric Predictor I designed, I added in a little something called “ease,” but I thought I should talk for a moment about what that means.

Have you ever tried to put on a piece of clothing that is exactly your measurements? I doubt you have, but It’s pretty uncomfortable. If you have a garment that doesn’t stretch and is the “perfect” size, you would find it binding, tight, and just all kinds of sucky.

That’s why we add in “ease.” There are two kinds of ease, wearing ease, which makes your clothes wearable, and design ease, which changes how the garment looks.

Wearing ease is pretty self-explanatory. You add a little bit to your measurements when you design a pattern to make the item comfortable. For skirts and pants, this is about 2″ to 2 ¾” at the hip and ½” to ¾” at the waist. These measurements are already added into the calculations of the fabric predictor.

On the other hand, there’s quite a bit of variability involved in design ease, and that depends on how you want your clothes to look. Most of us know how we like our clothing to fit. Some of us like it to skim our body gently while others want them to be loose and flowing. Because of this, there’s a chart.

bottom ease

Yay charts!

Because not all of those are easily understandable, I’ve tried to make a couple of sketches that explain what each of those fits would look like. Remember, I’m not much of an artist. These are just a visual idea.

skirt fitsAs a rule, assume that the minimum wearable ease for your elastic waistband skirt will be 2 inches. If you want it to be any looser, add to your ease as you wish.

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