Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pattern preparation

I got the jacket pattern ready today. It took a lot longer than the skirt pattern, partly because there are so many pieces. I also have to make more adjustments to a top or jacket pattern than to a skirt pattern. This is because there are more pieces. Some of you may have noticed that I am shorter than average and so all of the main pieces have to be shortened.

Now, I'm sure that some of you are thinking that this isn't all that hard... and that's partly true. I know how much I need to shorten each piece, I know how to take amounts out (perpendicular to the grainline of the piece.... that's very important), I know how to "true" the seams, and I know enough to "walk" the seams afterwards to be sure things will still fit together. Even with all that, when taking out a lot (like I have to), it's important to make sure that the total amount removed is distributed over two or three spots on the piece. It's also important to make sure that the amounts I'm taking out are coming out at about the same point on both sides of a seamline. If these guidelines aren't followed, then the seamlines can end up distorted or the pieces don't fit together.

Those are just the basic fit adjustments I always have to make to any pattern. There are other adjustments that should be made because, well, some say I'm really short (I maintain that everyone else is giant-sized, but not many people are with me there). In particular, some design lines need to change a bit to maintain the right proportions. So, for example, if I have to take out 1/4" on the shoulder (which I do), and I'm shortening the lapel in two places, then I also need to make the lapel narrower by 1/8" or so. Otherwise, the lapel will look too wide and short once the jacket is done. Similarly, if a skirt has godets that are being shortened (which, coincidentally enough, is the case with the skirt I'm making), then I have to make them slightly narrower or else they'd be too wide.

Once I've got all the pattern pieces altered, I need to add seam allowances. These patterns come from the Burda sewing magazine, and the seam allowances are added after the pattern is traced out and modified.

So anyways, all of that's done for the skirt and jacket. Sounds like fun, huh? Tomorrow I'll cut out the pieces.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I maintain that everyone else is giant-sized as well :) I even work in an environment made for giants. I mean really, I could take a bath in some of the mixing bowls. Silly world made for giants :)