Patterndrafting in the world of fashion is a highly skilled and highly developed field of endeavor. Every garment that is made must first be drafted and then constructed. It involves the process of design. It starts with an idea, and that idea grows into a visual drawing.
After painstakingly taking measurements, they take a form, or body double and drape it. This is done to make sure that the measurements are accurate. Now, the design can be divided into the shapes that will ultimately become the pattern pieces. A slope or block is used to achieve this.
Drawings were made to capture the image to be created. Then, the pattern makers used various tools like the French curve, or the hip curve to make the right shape for the armhole, neckline and hipline. It was very important that they took accurate measurements. Wrong measurements resulted in ill shaped garments.
Every part of the garment had to be carefully measured and calculated to insure a proper fit. This was the beginning of what is referred to as grading. Once, the right measurements were taken they could be transferred to paper. All of this was done by hand, and it took a lot of time to do it right.
Today, technology has taken the process to a new level. It makes the task less tedious and more efficient. There are now programs that are available to the home sewer as well as the professional. They integrate the use of mathematics with creative thinking.
There is no more guessing and hoping that the measurements are the correct ones. The system is designed to take everything that is put into the program and produce an accurate result. It will even provide a three dimensional image of the finished garment.
There are a few good programs on the market today. They are a part of the Computer Aided Design system. They are usually referred to as CAD. It doesn’t matter which program the person uses they all calculate the measurements the user enters into the computer. The end results are the same.
Before commercial patterns became available, only the royalty or the very rich could afford to have their garments made to fit. This changed around the 1800s. For the first time mass produced patterns were available to the anyone who could sew. The person responsible for this breakthrough was Ebenezer Butterick.
These prototypes were printed with size adjustments. He sold them and the birth of an industry was born. This came around about the same time that the industrial sewing machine became more practical to the home sewer. The two industries together opened up the world of the home sewer, and gave freedom and more efficiency to the commercial patternmaking business.
The strides that have been achieved by patterndrafting in the world of fashion have enabled the average home sewer to achieve excellent results in fitting and tailoring. The home sewer can enjoy the beauty of original designs the once only belonged to the world of high fashion. The playing field has been leveled.
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