The Phantoms for Which Clothes Are Designed
by Chase Twichell
Sewing patterns are designed for imaginary
people, based on average measurements
taken in the 1930s by the WPA
and adjusted over the decades by the Industry.
I sew a Misses 14, designed for a woman
5’5” to 5’6”, 36/28/38,
which is to say no one,
so I alter the pattern to fit a phantom of me
instead of a phantom of her.
She doesn’t need any more dresses.
About This Poem
“I do a lot of sewing (clothes). Construction is easy compared to fitting, which is basically math coupled with anticipating how a fabric will behave in 3-D. I’ve probably made a hundred dresses that are perfect on the hanger but don’t fit well enough to wear into the world.”—Chase Twichell