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K Franklin
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« on: October 17, 2015, 01:08:01 PM »

Hello All!

In order to properly learn the skied art and science of cutting and refine my skills of making-up, it was put to me by Ms. Elaine Kessinger the task of creating a vest in each of the main tailoring manuals of our period. Namely, I shall endeavor to create a vest according to:
   Louis Devere's 1866 "Handbook of Practical cutting on the Centre Point System."
   Wilbur S. Salisbury's 1865 "Sailisbury's System of Actual Measurement and Drafting, For All Styles of Coats, Upon Geometrical Principles."
   Edward Minister's 1856 "The Complete Guide to Practical Cutting."

The first order of business was to take measures of my form per the three systems, which Ms. Kessigner was wondrously helpful in assisting me. It was of some great aid that she assisted me, as in addition to taking measures, she provided me with a great deal many pointers, such as the need to ensure the armscye allows the free motion of the ball of the shoulder. Furthermore, after working with her, it appears I had been laboring under the misguided delusion as to the location of my waist; I had placed it a two or three inches below the true natural waist. Naturally this had stymied my prior attempts at creating drafts.

It should be noted that I currently lack a well fitting vest, so all measures were taken over a period shirt. Unfortunate, but no other good manner to attack the problem.

Devere 1866

So to start I will work with drafting system which there appears to be the greatest amount of literature on, namely Devere's 1866. To begin the measures were taken as per the text outlines. I have submitted the relevant passages below.

Quote
MEASUREMENT.
(Plate 13.)
   In taking the measures of a Waistcoat, we have, even for very disproportionate structures, much fewer points to ascertain than for a coat. The scye of a Waistcoat is so large, that we need take no measures for the shoulder, and the only ones indeed that are required, are shown on fig. 7: they are the first five measures of the First Series, as described for coats, and shown on Figs. 7 and 8, viz. :-
   Breast, Waist, Curve, Bust, and Side.
   If the customer is very particular as to the exact style required, we may add, as supplementary measures, the Depth of Opening, and the Length to bottom of Front.
   If the client is ordering a coat and waistcoat at the same time, there are of course, no measures required to be taken of the waistcoat, except, perhaps, Nos. 6 and 7. But if as sometimes happens, the customer requires a waistcoat only, then the first five measures must be taken, in the same manner as for a coat, and will be fully explained in Part 1, pages 9 to 12, and plate 4.
   No. 1, Breast. Taken on the Waistcoat.
   No. 2, Waist. A little tighter than for a coat: say 15 1/2 for the proportionate man.
   No. 3, Curve. From the top of back to the centre point, as for a coat.
   No. 4, Bust. As for a coat. N.B.-In taking the  bust and curve measures over a loose fitting coat, the fronts must be laid over and drawn together, so as to make the coat fit close at the back; unless this is done, the centre point cannot be marked at its proper place, and the Curve may be taken too short and the Bust[\i] too long.
   No. 5, Side. As for the coat, except that it need not be taken up quite so high; as it is of no importance in a Waistcoat, if the scye should be a little lower.
----
   No. 6, Opening, or length of neck seam, from the middle of back neck to the top button, measured neither too tight nor too slack, see figs. 7 and 8.
   No. 7, Front Length. Measured from the centre of back neck, to the bottom of front. See figs. 7 and 8.



On calculating the Centre-Point which is essential for the later measures.

Quote
The finding of this [Centre-Point], has hitherto depended upon great accuracy of calculation, for it is place at two-fifths of the waist measure, from the seam in the middle of the back...

So given the above we determined my measures to be as follows:

           Breast as Measured:  50
No. 1  Breast:  25
           Waist as Measured:  46
No. 2  Waist:  46
Centre-Point [2/5 of Waist]:  9 1/5
No. 3  Curve:  20 1/4
No. 4  Bust:  26
No. 5  Side:  6
No. 6  Opening:  13 1/2
No. 7  Front Length:  24 1/4

   
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 01:41:47 PM by K Franklin » Logged
K Franklin
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2015, 01:40:58 PM »

Devere 1866 Continued

So for any person who has enjoyed the wonder that is Mr. Devere's system, you have encountered the wonder that is graduated inches and been left mystified as to how they map to a proper measured inch. So first I considered and digested the following passage:

Quote
The GRADUATED MEASURES, are a series of measures, which are successively graduated larger and smaller than the common inch measure, and are used to draft patterns for larger or smaller sizes than the 18 3/4 breast [the breast size of his ideal proportionate man]. The "CENTRE POINT SYSTEM" can be worked correctly by DEVERE'S GRADUATED MEASURES only. All other measures are drafted on a wrong base, and would make the patterns too large.

So while I personally don't have a copy of  DEVERE'S GRADUATED MEASURES handy, if I read this and other passages correctly, in addition to standing on the shoulders of giants such as Ms. Kessinger, Mr. Jim Ruley, and Mr. James Williams; it is a simple matter of ratios that ?graduate? the size of the inch successively as the breast measure increases or decreases over the 18 3/4 ideal proportionate breast. I should note that all breast and waist measures are taken in half in Devere's work, so the ideal proportional 18 3/4 breast is in fact 37 1/2 inches. So the size of a graduated inch for my breast size of 25 inches should work as follows:


  My Breast Measure
-----------------------------   = One "graduated inch" in Measured Common Inches
Proportionate Breast

  25"
------------    = 1 1/3 Inch
18 3/4"


So now I am left with two means of attack to draft the pattern.
1.  Draft via "THE PROPORTIONATE PATTERN"
2.  "DRAFT TO MEASURE"
Given that I am aware of the fact I have a longer torso then the proportionate man, and a larger stomach, I feel it may be prudent to revert to the second method of drafting to measure. That said the proportionate pattern does figure heavily in draft to measure, as measurements are taken for all points.
Quote
The principles upon which the Draft to Measure is based, are extremely simple. In forming the pattern, we rule the dimensions of all the parts of the patterns which are given by the measures, according to the measures themselves. All the other points of the patterns, which are not given by the measures, and which do not vary according to the structure of the man, are ruled by graduated measures, without any trouble whatever, copying the number of the proportionate pattern.

In my next post I shall start to actually draft my vest according to Devere's 1866 method! I do welcome any and all input.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 03:52:51 PM by K Franklin » Logged
K Franklin
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2015, 02:02:21 PM »

Devere 1866 Continued

So below is the text regarding drafting the waistcoat to measure. I have added my sizes in square-braces [ ]. In places were there are graduated measures used, I have used the scale of 1 1/3? measured inches to the graduated inches that I resolved in my prior post for my breast size multiplied by the graduated inch measure given, to determine the common inch measure to be used. i.e.:

2 1/2 graduated inches coverts to 3 1/3 common inches
2 1/2 *  1 1/3 = 3 1/3"

1 1/2 graduated inches converts to 2 common inches
1 1/2 * 1 1/3 = 2"


Quote
DRAFT TO MEASUREMENT
(Plate 14.)

   The front of a Waistcoat being cut in the material, and the back only in lining, we draft the two pieces separately, instead of placing them side by side in two squares as for coats.

   THE FOREPART,-FIGS. 1 & 2.
   Fig. 1. First draw a long straight line, and mark on it the length of Bust to measure [25"]. Starting from the bottom; measure off for the slope of waist, the 2 1/2 graduated inches [3 1/3"] required for the back neck, this will give the bottom of side seam, and from this point measure upwards the length of SIDE to measure. Draw lines square across at all points, and mark on the bottom line half the length of WAIST to measure, plus 1 1/2 graduated inches [13 1/2"].
   Fig. 2.  Mark all points indicated on this diagram, with a graduated measure corresponding to the Breast measure of the client, and complete the pattern by drawing the curves as before explained.

   THE BACK, FIGS. 3 & 4.
   Fig. 3. Draw a straight line, and mark on it the length of the CURVE to measure [20 1/4"]. Mark upwards from the bottom of the length of SIDE to measure. Draw lines square across, and mark on the bottom line, 1 1/2 graduated inches more then half the WAIST [13 1/2"]: this 1 1/2 is an extra allowance given in the middle of back at the bottom only, and will afterwards be taken in by the strap and buckle, see fig. 8.
   Fig. 4. Mark the other points of the back by the graduated measures, and complete it by drawing the curves, as shown on Plate 13.



So perhaps next post I shall get to the step of pencil and paper to actually draft the forepart, and back according to Devere.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 02:34:46 PM by K Franklin » Logged
K Franklin
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2015, 03:34:40 PM »

Devere 1866 Continued

So now I followed the above to get the rough shape, but I still need to draw the curvers.

Quote
HOW TO DRW THE CURVES.
   The curves of a Waistcoat are very simple, and very easy to learn.
(Plate 13.)
   In the FOREPART. The neck seam is hollowed 1 graduated inch [1 1/3'], at 2 1/4 [3"] from the shoulder point. The shoulder seam is rounded 1/4 inch [1/3"], and the side seam hollowed 1/4 inch [1/3"]. The scye is hollowed 3/8 [1/2"] at the top, and 7/8 [1 1/6"] at the bottom, from straight lines drawn from the front of scye, to the shoulder and bottom of scye.
   In the BACK. The back neck is curved up 3/8 [1/2"]; the shoulder and side seams are each hollowed in 1/4 inch [1/3?]: the upper part of syce is drawn square with the dotted construction line, and the lower part is hollowed in 1 1/2 [2?], from a line drawn from the top to the bottom of back scye.
   These curves are always to be drawn in the same manner, for all sizes and structures; of course using the graduated measures, for all sizes larger or smaller the 18 3/4 breast.

So given the fact I am rather portly I have thought to take that in consideration, by drawing the side seam straight for the back. The additional amount of allowance in the front and back is not needed as the measured draft should compensate for this, along with my long torso.:

Quote
Stout Waists, on the contrary, require extra allowances given at these places, according to the size, half being given to the front and half to the back. It should be observes that for Stout waists, the extra allowance in the front, is sloped off to nothing at the height of the breast line, and also that the side seam of the back, is for Stout men, drawn in a straight line.

So finally! Here are the drafts, now to transfer them to drafting paper and muslin. I do confess I am rather suspect of the short side, but we shall see shortly the manner in which it fits.



« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 03:45:00 PM by K Franklin » Logged
Joseph Stevens
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2015, 06:56:35 PM »

In order to properly learn the skied art and science of cutting and refine my skills of making-up, it was put to me by Ms. Elaine Kessinger the task of creating a vest in each of the main tailoring manuals of our period. Namely, I shall endeavor to create a vest according to:
   Louis Devere's 1866 "Handbook of Practical cutting on the Centre Point System."
   Wilbur S. Salisbury's 1865 "Sailisbury's System of Actual Measurement and Drafting, For All Styles of Coats, Upon Geometrical Principles."
   Edward Minister's 1856 "The Complete Guide to Practical Cutting."

A more accurate statement to probably make is "each of the three main tailoring manuals available to us from this period." Is that what you had meant?


So given the above we determined my measures to be as follows:

           Breast as Measured:  50
No. 1  Breast:  25
           Waist as Measured:  46
No. 2  Waist:  46
Centre-Point [2/5 of Waist]:  9 1/5
No. 3  Curve:  20 1/4
No. 4  Bust:  26
No. 5  Side:  6
No. 6  Opening:  13 1/2
No. 7  Front Length:  24 1/4

A problem you will no doubt encounter in the mockup stage, as has been experienced by some of us, is that using a Breast Measure of 25" (50") to determine the proportionate scale for drafting the pattern is going to potentially create some skewed results through the shoulders. The reason you run into this would be quickly noticed if you drafted a full range of patterns and nested them together. For sake of conversation, this could be a range of say 32 breast up to 50. The patterns thus created are, arguably, graduated from one another. However, as the sizes increase, the proportions of the draft remains the same, which is not the same thing as modern grading. They just keep getting proportionately larger, and don't necessarily align with how human beings are actually shaped in larger sizes (neither does modern grading in some cases).

Jim pointed out in one of his posts where he's personally began to get weird results at (I think it was somewhere around 44-46 breast). He also offers a solution for bringing the neckline back into a better range for the measures you're working off of. This is also discussed in The Victorian Tailor, with a fix included in there as well when working with the patterns found in it.

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K Franklin
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2015, 07:04:02 PM »

Joe,

Yes, I stand corrected! :p

And no kidding about the shoulders! I just finished the muslin, and there is some room for improvement to say the least.
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2015, 07:12:12 PM »

Let me offer a couple of pointers which may help get you back on track:

Your measured "curve" and "bust" were 20-1/4 and 26.  This gives a "balance" (bust minus curve) of 5-3/4.  The "proportionate" man has a balance of 2-1/2 graduated inches, which works out to 3-1/3 inches for your 50 chest (25 "breast").  This puts your pattern well into "extra erect" territory, with a much shorter back than "proportionate".

Does this accurately describe your figure?  Many portly men have a "crooked" figure (shoulders back from proportionate) but are not necessarily short backed.  One of the defects of DeVere's measurements is that "bust" is extremely difficult to measure accurately.  It can be affected by the client's stance as well as the thickness of his shoulders, and how hard the tailor pulls on the tape. 

For this reason, unless the client is visibly "stooping" or "erect", my fifteen years experience with this system strongly suggests you are better off to measure the curve, but calculate the "bust" by adding the proportionate balance (2-1/2 graduated inches) to the curve.

Quote
Given that I am aware of the fact I have a longer torso then the proportionate man...

Actually, you don't.  The "proportionate" man's curve measure is equal to his breast, which in your case would be 25.  Most large-chested men fall into the category DeVere calls "short bodied" because, as Joseph Stevens pointed out, his "graduated" method of pattern sizing means the proportionate man is exactly the same shape for all sizes. 

This means a "proportionate 25 breast" should be about 7 feet four inches tall.  Does this describe your figure?
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 07:24:41 PM »

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And no kidding about the shoulders! I just finished the muslin, and there is some room for improvement to say the least.

Once you've re-drawn it with the proportionate balance, I suspect the shoulders will be too wide.  Many portly men have sloping or "round" shoulders and you will have to adjust the slope to account for this.  Finally, since DeVere uses a flat back it will pull away behind the shoulders in any case.

The beauty of DeVere's system is that he at least discusses some of these issues ("disproportions") and how to adjust for them.  I believe Minister touches on them, and am not sure Salisbury touches on them at all - please correct me if I'm wrong.

If your end goal is a well fitted vest, DeVere's system probably is your best ca. 1860's option (that I'm aware of) to get there in an orderly and logical fashion.

If your goal (or secondary objective) is to compare the three systems, you might do better to find a gentleman who better approximates the "proportionate" model they are based on and work with him.
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2015, 07:29:32 PM »

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So while I personally don't have a copy of DEVERE'S GRADUATED MEASURES handy

Sadly, Mr DeVere is no longer with us; and Mr Williams has also fallen silent lately.  However, re-created graduated measures are available that may be printed on your very own legal size paper!  To learn more follow this link:

http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=6454.0
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K Franklin
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2015, 07:52:20 PM »

Mr Ruley, thank you very much for the suggestions and aide. They have given my a great deal to process and consider. I'm going to have to tackle it tomorrow night when I re-attack my draft; unfortunately tonight I was rather distracted by the Star Wars hoopla.
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2015, 06:03:52 AM »

Let me offer a couple of pointers which may help get you back on track:

Your measured "curve" and "bust" were 20-1/4 and 26.  This gives a "balance" (bust minus curve) of 5-3/4.  The "proportionate" man has a balance of 2-1/2 graduated inches, which works out to 3-1/3 inches for your 50 chest (25 "breast").  This puts your pattern well into "extra erect" territory, with a much shorter back than "proportionate".

Does this accurately describe your figure?  Many portly men have a "crooked" figure (shoulders back from proportionate) but are not necessarily short backed.  One of the defects of DeVere's measurements is that "bust" is extremely difficult to measure accurately.  It can be affected by the client's stance as well as the thickness of his shoulders, and how hard the tailor pulls on the tape. 

For this reason, unless the client is visibly "stooping" or "erect", my fifteen years experience with this system strongly suggests you are better off to measure the curve, but calculate the "bust" by adding the proportionate balance (2-1/2 graduated inches) to the curve.

I had much the same doubts, I think the long length of the bust is caused by my girth. I'll give that  a try. I'll overlay the two drafts for the sake of documentation.

Quote
Quote
Given that I am aware of the fact I have a longer torso then the proportionate man...

Actually, you don't.  The "proportionate" man's curve measure is equal to his breast, which in your case would be 25.  Most large-chested men fall into the category DeVere calls "short bodied" because, as Joseph Stevens pointed out, his "graduated" method of pattern sizing means the proportionate man is exactly the same shape for all sizes. 

This means a "proportionate 25 breast" should be about 7 feet four inches tall.  Does this describe your figure?


True, my bust in comparison to my height is large, but my inseam or back length would be large compared to my height. (30" measured inseam for 6' tall) It's funny how perspective completely alters that; but you are quite right that for Devere I am "short bodied".
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2015, 06:16:09 AM »

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And no kidding about the shoulders! I just finished the muslin, and there is some room for improvement to say the least.

Once you've re-drawn it with the proportionate balance, I suspect the shoulders will be too wide.  Many portly men have sloping or "round" shoulders and you will have to adjust the slope to account for this.  Finally, since DeVere uses a flat back it will pull away behind the shoulders in any case.

The beauty of DeVere's system is that he at least discusses some of these issues ("disproportions") and how to adjust for them.  I believe Minister touches on them, and am not sure Salisbury touches on them at all - please correct me if I'm wrong.

If your end goal is a well fitted vest, DeVere's system probably is your best ca. 1860's option (that I'm aware of) to get there in an orderly and logical fashion.

If your goal (or secondary objective) is to compare the three systems, you might do better to find a gentleman who better approximates the "proportionate" model they are based on and work with him.

Interestingly I found Minister actually goes to much greater length about the disproportions and matters of ill fit. [I noticed the 1856 Devere goes to nearly the same depth of Minister, but by 1866 Devere has removed much of this information from his book). Salisbury doesn't even really touch on it, but his system which uses the center back and the shoulder placement may do better for me, but that waits to be seen.

I want to compare the 3 systems for my own edification more then anything. I do realize given I'm, to a certain degree, a edge case for the period gentlemen that the drafts may not be the best; but I think that it will be a worthy exercise for forcing me to become familiar with the systems and get a handle on cutting. Also I can then see which of the cutting systems works best for me. I'm thinking of this like a College level 200 or 300 class assignment; the question isn't novel, and it may not be entirely useful, but the techniques used to complete the assignment are what you are really learning.

Thank you again for all the help!
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2015, 06:21:23 AM »

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So while I personally don't have a copy of DEVERE'S GRADUATED MEASURES handy

Sadly, Mr DeVere is no longer with us; and Mr Williams has also fallen silent lately.  However, re-created graduated measures are available that may be printed on your very own legal size paper!  To learn more follow this link:

http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=6454.0

I can't image why Mr. Devere is no longer communicating! :p I did give those graduated measures a go, but I confess I like using the calculations to convert to common inches. (Fortunately I have a decimal rule handy to layout 1.3 inches and other odd measures)
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2015, 03:49:25 PM »

Mr Ruley and Mr. Stevens,

You both are quite correct about the squirrelly business of the shoulder! I have used a calculated bust measure, as per recommendation of Mr. Ruley, to much improvement in the overall fit of the garment!  The calculated bust worked out to 23 4/7 versus the 26 as measured (the curve was measured at 20 1/4). I find the back of the vest is bunching to a degree in the back of the neck, and I suspect that I may be slightly erect in posture. Also, the shoulders will need to be much reduced for a better fit (as you both have already mentioned). The only reason I didn't bother with altering the shoulder in this draft, is I knew that altering the bust neck would greatly change the hang of the garment. Thank you both. I shall see if my fiance will oblige me with her time and take a quick photo of two of the muslin as worn.

In general, to reduce the shoulder, I assume that any reduction should be taken from the outside and worked inwards towards the collar (if that makes sense)?

Thank you both so much. The input has already dramatically improved the fit from burlap sack.  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2015, 05:11:29 PM »

Quote
I can't image why Mr. Devere is no longer communicating! :p I did give those graduated measures a go, but I confess I like using the calculations to convert to common inches. (Fortunately I have a decimal rule handy to layout 1.3 inches and other odd measures)

If you really prefer common inches, have a look at Plate 42 and DeVere's discussion on "Draft to Measure with the Common Inch Tape Only" (pp. 125-130).  He shows how to find all the principal points for the basic coat, waistcoat, paletot, and sleeve drafts using fractions of the lengths and the breast measure.  This assumes you can take all measures of the "first series" accurately, but you can also convert the "proportionate balance" of 2-1/2 graduated inches to common inches and add it to the curve to derive a "proportionate" bust.

This is the way I usually draft a new pattern, since it saves having to alternate between "common" and "graduated" inches.  As Kevin says, a machinist's scale is useful so you can work with decimals instead of difficult fractions like thirds and sevenths.
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2015, 05:20:54 PM »

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In general, to reduce the shoulder, I assume that any reduction should be taken from the outside and worked inwards towards the collar (if that makes sense)?

The shoulder slope correction for coats is shown in Fig. 1, Plate 6; and can also be applied to vests. 

I recommend spending some time with the section on "Misfits" (pp. 117-121) before trying to correct the shoulder issues.  Although the methods illustrated are for coats, many of the same corrections can be applied to vests as well.
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2015, 05:27:14 PM »

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...my inseam or back length would be large compared to my height. (30" measured inseam for 6' tall)

I'm not sure what this refers to as I didn't find this measure mentioned earlier in your postings.  The back length of your vest (for drafting purposes in DeVere's system) is equal to your measured curve, i.e. 20-1/4 inches.  This should be very close to your actual measure from the collar seam to natural waist.  You may need to lengthen the draft a bit for style, such as to cover the trouser waistband at the sides; but if you are wearing your trousers at their proper height you will not need anything like 9-3/4 additional inches.
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2015, 05:44:51 PM »

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In general, to reduce the shoulder, I assume that any reduction should be taken from the outside and worked inwards towards the collar (if that makes sense)?

The shoulder slope correction for coats is shown in Fig. 1, Plate 6; and can also be applied to vests. 

I recommend spending some time with the section on "Misfits" (pp. 117-121) before trying to correct the shoulder issues.  Although the methods illustrated are for coats, many of the same corrections can be applied to vests as well.

Will do good sir. On the whole the simple correction of adding 2.5 graduated inches to the back curve markedly improved the draft.
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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2015, 05:50:54 PM »

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...my inseam or back length would be large compared to my height. (30" measured inseam for 6' tall)

I'm not sure what this refers to as I didn't find this measure mentioned earlier in your postings.  The back length of your vest (for drafting purposes in DeVere's system) is equal to your measured curve, i.e. 20-1/4 inches.  This should be very close to your actual measure from the collar seam to natural waist.  You may need to lengthen the draft a bit for style, such as to cover the trouser waistband at the sides; but if you are wearing your trousers at their proper height you will not need anything like 9-3/4 additional inches.


My apologizes. I'm mixing several different systems in my head. (I've also been learning modern tailoring for pants). And I see very much what you mean by that for Devere I am short bodied, since it is all based on the breast measure.
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2015, 06:00:26 PM »

Quote
In general, to reduce the shoulder, I assume that any reduction should be taken from the outside and worked inwards towards the collar (if that makes sense)?

The shoulder slope correction for coats is shown in Fig. 1, Plate 6; and can also be applied to vests. 

I recommend spending some time with the section on "Misfits" (pp. 117-121) before trying to correct the shoulder issues.  Although the methods illustrated are for coats, many of the same corrections can be applied to vests as well.

Going through his six kind of misfits as listed on pages 117-121, and in plate 39, none seem to deal with when the shoulder piece is simply too wide. I think I shall give cutting from the outside to enlarge the armscye so that the ball of the shoulder is free a go; although Devere doesn't even touch on the case in which breast and shoulder differ (from what I can find). I also check the 1856 version of Devere and he doesn't make any mention there either.
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