I recently found this book at Powells and found that it had all kinds of patterns in it that used ideas that I have been curious about. I have started thinking that most of the patterns that I draft are too flat. By this I mean that the shaping of seam lines is less varied than the shapes of the body part it is covering. I imagine that this is due to many iterations of pattern drafters truing all the subtleties out a garment. Whether or not this is true I have no idea but it makes sense in my head. At work I do many patterns on much smaller things than the average frock coat but I have learned to love the tiny 1/8" and 1/16" of an inch adjustments that take a pattern from fine to awesome. The most interesting thing I have discovered about these adjustments is that they often take the pattern away from the mathematically idealized version and involve asymmetric darts and extra "bend" allowance in areas that are hard to stuff properly. (I'm thinking more of back pack straps than frock coats.) This has led me to think that all of the areas in sewing where we make straight lines on curved parts of the body might be the wrong way to approach things. So while I was thinking about this I found a book called "Standard" Work On Cutting (Men's Garments) 1886. That's right this book was written in 1886. Now before you start thinking that you don't want to make a frock coat for the corpulent figure (pg 20) let me ask you a couple of questions I have been wondering.
Why is it that the shoulder seam for men's dress shirts doesn't sit at the apex of the shoulder (or there abouts) and is in fact cocked forward by a large amount, and what exactly should that amount be?
How come it is so hard for me to find pants that fit well in the rear? And why do we draw a strait line in the rear crotch curve when its one of the curviest parts? For more on this look at the fashion incubator site for insight on butts, camel toe, and jeans fitting.
How come the interior line of a relaxed hanging arm is so much smaller than the exterior line but our sleeves are patterned symmetric?
There are these and many more questions but I would like to show you this book.
Look at these crotch curves! It all makes sense!
Look at the angles of the shoulder seams?! Look at everything.
And finally because this book was written so long ago it's copyrights have expired and you can download it for free from Google books. Take that Powells! Wait, No! I didn't mean it. Come back Powells. I love you. I swear I'll never cheat again, I promise!
P.S Sorry for all the exclamation points. Sometimes I just get carried away.