I am actually here Lizzy. I am glad you have found my book useful. I originally wrote it for costumers but the initial publisher thought it would be better if I rewrote it for contemporary clothes. So I did even though my background is as a costumer and my heart belongs to period clothes. I guess he was correct as the book is still around 40 years later.
As to the issue of the natural waist I always refer to it as the location half way between the rib cage and the pelvic bone at the side of the body. For every man I have seen this corresponds to the location of the navel at center front. The navel is lower on women unless they are pregnant. I worked with a model when she was pregnant and was intrigued to see her navel rise to the natural waist level as I define it. But Mother Nature makes interesting exceptions for some bodies so I avoid "absolute" answers.
Most contemporary clothes lower the waist for design purposes below this level although I have seen men wearing their pants at the natural waist.
It is interesting to interpret how to fit period clothes on a contemporary body. Looking at imagery from the Tudor period the waistline for men in back does appear to be the natural waist line. Many of the designs curve the waistline down in front. My costume professor was very adamant about always checking primary sources as contemporary references for costumes sometimes take the easy road rather than strive for accuracy.
But the logic is that the "natural waist" is a useful "clothes hanger" when the clothes are cinched to fit. For men the stomach is in the front of the body so the idea of using the bone structure around the back and to the side as a "clothes hanger" makes a lot of sense.
> I have started to make all of my own patterns. I bought this book, actually I bought many. but I found this one the easiest to read and use. Also the author has a yahoo group and he actually answers all of the question you post to it. It's great and the book isn't that much. This is just a suggestion not a selling point I don't get any money at al if you buy it. Promise. It's how to make sewing patterns by Donald McCunn . If you go to the yahoo groups just put in his name and the group pops up.