Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Experiments with Pattern Drafting

As well as simply tracing patterns, I took the plunge and tried my hand at drafting a shirt using the diagrams in my Japanese magazine, Female Spring 2012.

I used "dot and cross" pattern-making paper, which has markings on a 2.5cm grid.  So it's not quite as controlling as squared paper: it lends itself to drawing curves just as well as right angles.  I managed to draw out the back and front pieces quite easily, but the sleeve?  The collar?!  Oh my word that collar was hard work!

And when I thought about it, these are the very areas where commercial patterns can go wrong:  misfitting collars and sleeveheads that don't quite align with the armhole.  Now I understand why - they are really hard to draft!

My first attempt at the collar was clearly wrong.  The neck edge is drawn using the back and front yoke edges as a template... which makes sense as those are the adjoining edges.

But you still need to allow for the fold / turning, the additional layers of fabric, oh yes - and the actual neck that will go inside.  Bodies are three-dimensional, don't you know? 

I thought there were a couple of measurements missing from the drafting diagram, defining the dimension of the neck opening but on reflection, maybe this is the point where a proper designer would flourish their pen and just... draw. 

So... I have drafted something that looks something like the picture.  Only cutting and sewing the fabric will prove whether or not it works.  And that won't be this week.
Maybe I will order some plain white organic cotton shirting so that it will be ready and waiting for me when I get home:  how exciting!


didyoumakethat said...

Drafting sleeves scares the bejeesus out of me. Good luck! I am very jealous of your week of relaxing and doing exactly what you feel like doing.

Snickerdoodle Smith said...

You are a brave woman Roo! Good luck!

feresaknit said...

My great Auntie Betty was a seamstress and once showed me how to copy a dress using newspaper for the pattern pieces. I can't tell you how easy she made it look. :D