Patternmaking

Just a quick blog as I’m still plugging away finalising details on CollectionOne.

At the moment I am completing the patternmaking and cutting out the material for the manufacturers.

For all non-fashion people who don’t quite understand patternmaking here is a little definition:

Patternmaking: Is the construction of the 2D shapes that the clothes will be made out of.

You know when you were in school and you had those tests that showed you the pyramid and then you had to guess which was the “net shape” would look like if that pyramid was unfolded?

The answers would be all of the below.

This is, essentially, what patternmakers do.

I am pretty amateur at this, I did a short course in 2008 and 1 semester at uni. I’m also just not very good at being exact and detailed.

The problem with not being exact and detailed is that someone might not understand how to put your pyramid back together or, if they do, the pyramid won’t actually go back together as you’ve made them all the wrong shapes.

The process you go through is as follows:

You start with a picture. It is usually something that the designer draws and is similar to this:

You then look at this, analyse how this piece might go together and draw up a technical drawing that would look more like this.

Yes. Apparently that drawing was of overalls.

This drawing shows all the buttons and the seams and where things open and close.

From this the patternmaker will start drawing out how the piece will look when laid out in its flat net shape.

(You use “blocks” which are standard shapes that fit standard sizes and them you alter them)

This is a Japanese explanation of the dress. The picture on the right, and the 2D pattern on the left. This pattern does not yet have the seam allowances (The 1cm that you leave around each shape for the sewer to join the pieces together)

There are also notches – little 2mm snips out of the side of the pattern – that guide the sewer in exactly how to put each piece together.

Women are a little harder to make patterns for as they have bumps and curves. Men (well some) are shaped mostly as rectangles.

So this is what I am doing.

I am then getting zips, buttons and fabric. I am cutting out the fabric and the fusing (to make some bits stiffer) and packaging them all up with a specification sheet – a sheet that tells the manufacturer everything about the pattern and shows the technical drawing so there are (hopefully) no mistakes.

In a couple of days I will give this, and my toiles (tests that make sure the pattern actually goes together properly and can fit on a human body) to the manufacturer and they will sew them all together.

I’m am REALLY nervous as I’ve never had to do this before and am scared that they won’t understand my patterns (or will secretly laugh at them)

The only time that I’ve ever done anything similar was for the Social Studio on Smith St, Collingwood.

The Social Studio are a fantastic group that help disadvantaged youths and have created a haven where they are able to sew their own designs and have recently opened up an amazing restaurant/cafe next door.

I helped out with the patternmaking for their lastest collection making the patterns for two pairs of pants and a skirt.

These are the men’s pants…

And this is the skirt.

(They obviously did not give me a sketch like the one at the start of this blog. That was a joke)

Check out the Social Studio at: http://www.thesocialstudio.org/

Go in to the shop and buy a garment that I patternmaked (that’s not a word)

Or drop in for a fantastic meal or go on Wednesday nights for the full African night. Ethiopian coffee ceremony, music. Everything!

I’m back to finishing the en bloc CollectionOne patterns.

Almost there!!

**All pictures for this blog were randoms off the internet image search, apart from the Social Studio images which you can get the full winter lookbook PDF from their website.

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