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Design and Sew Balanced Garments

Threads magazine - 144 – Aug./Sept. 2009

Like all excellent design, beautiful clothing possesses the sometimes elusive quality of balance. Balance, as described here, is a design principle that’s achieved through an agreeable allocation of elements and features. If you’re a sewer, having an understanding of balance enables you to produce beautiful, comfortable garments.

The balance of a design determines how a garment will feel when it is worn. When garment weight is evenly distributed on the body, the wearer feels comfortable and forgets about his or her clothing. He or she is free of constraint or the need for constant wardrobe adjustments.

Balance also determines how a garment looks. The distribution of visual elements such as texture, color, and focal-point placement allows you to develop a well-designed garment, whether in the form of a handsome silhouette or beautiful surface characteristics.

We know when a garment doesn’t feel right; balance is often intuitively sensed. And the deliberate absence or presence of balance can become a designer’s trademark. It’s the stuff that makes an iconic designer. When someone says, “you have an eye,” they mean an eye for the “most pleasing distribution”. Balance is everything, so put it to work for you with this method from Sandra Ericson. 

From Threads #144

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  1. user-925118 | | #1

    Where is there info on techniques to re-establish balance in a garment when the various posture variances are present?

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    Start by looking at Sarah Veblen's "Foolproof Skirt Fitting," which you can find here on the website. She shows you how to work with horizontal balance lines to bring a garment into balance during the fitting process.

    Carol J. Fresia, Threads Senior Technical Editor

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