The book suggests getting a roll of drawing paper, hanging a length on a wall and basically mapping/tracing out key points of your body. You use this information to better fit your sewing patterns. So for example, Kent traced my basic outline and added in dots at the top of each shoulder, under each arm pit, at each side of my waist and so on. The reason for this exercise is to see exactly where you deviate from the standard (the book calls it “ideal” and I just hate that term in reference to bodies – seriously, ideal to whom?).
Anyway, what struck me the most about those dots and lines on the paper is that I’m not very big. That doesn’t line up with my mental image of myself. I don’t mean to say I think I’m a Sherman tank or anything, because I don’t. But I consistently think I’m a lot bigger than I am. Case in point, for every exercise DVD I have that uses more than one person, I always find something I think I’m built like. I shared that with Kent one time and he was genuinely shocked because, he said, I was built nothing like that woman. But in my mind I was.
So there’s a cognitive dissonance between my internal image and the external reality. I don’t sit around thinking all day that I’m a giant woman, nothing like that. It’s just another data point for me to keep in mind.
The other point? My left shoulder is a bit lower than my right. I’m guessing all those years of carrying bags on my left shoulder or babies/kids in my left arm to keep my right hand free took a toll.