Pattern Cutting

27 Jul

I spent this weekend with four lovely ladies, learning Pattern Cutting! For my birthday G. had got me a Pattern Cutting weekend at Ray Stitch with Alice Prier. It was AMAZING.

On Saturday we learned how to make blocks (or slopers for any American readers) – her method for teaching this is based on the AB template which was remarkably straight forward. We started by taking each others measurements and I was particularly surprised by a few. Most sewers know that your ‘hip’ and ‘waist’ measurements are not taken at your hip bone, but actually the fleshiest bit of your bum and the ‘waist’ is  not where your low riders sit hang out.

But I was interested by how we took our ‘bust’ or what I can’t help referring to as my upper bust, as it allowed me to accommodate my shoulder blades. And my ‘chest’ measurement went around snugly under my armpits and then DOWN around boobs, straight across nipples. We also measured bust distance’ AKA the space between your nipples.  As we were measuring each other and were so not being English about it, we were quite explicit in our nipple placement commentary. I expect we’ll all be bosom buddies now (hehehe I couldn’t resist – please tell me that made you laugh too!)

Anyway after taking a gazillion more measurements, dividing some in half and other by 3/4 we were ready to begin drawing! There was this funny yellow ruler, which made me feel like I was back in geometry class we used (instead of a bunch of math) to calculate angles, lengths etc. And slowly before my eyes, I saw my block growing. We did both a top and skirt bottom (which can be joined to be a dress), and sleeves. By the end of Saturday I had my block made and a tester done out of medium weight calico! I was quite pleased the only thing I needed to alter on the block was to slightly lower the armpit as I think it would be irritatingly close on a garment. Though without a good press it was hard to see if there was any finessing I might want to do to it in the future.

IMG_6098On Sunday we learned how to work with our blocks to create patterns and designs. I learned that there’s essentially three ways to change your block: pivot the darts, turn darts into seams and ‘slash and spread’ your darts. It all boils down to what is a function dart and what is a design dart.

If you look at most tops (dresses or blouses), either patterns or in the shops, there are maybe six fundamental designs (see the picture on the right, taken by my new ‘bosom buddy’ of Alice’s drawing). After that a lot of it is just design shenanigans.

Suffice to say the weekend was exhausting but soo inspiring. I’m planning on jumping right in and having a go at making a most wonderfully fitting shift dress (side and waist darts, rounded neck and pockets). I can’t recommend this course enough!

 

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4 Responses to “Pattern Cutting”

  1. Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! July 27, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    Nice job! I took one slower making course that had so many numbers in it, I thought I was headed for the principal’s office. Looks like you covered a lot!

    Like

    • rosemary July 27, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

      Thanks Linda! I’d really recommend the AB technique. Her book, while expensive, looks great and I want to get it to make blocks for sister and BFF.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. navybluethreads July 28, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    Looks like a fantastically useful course. I think all those numbers would be mind boggling though… Be interested to see how this converts to adapting patterns.

    Like

    • rosemary July 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

      Hahha the numbers were initially mind boggling you are right! But it was so simply explained how to use them. I think the adapting this to a pattern is going to be relatively straightforward…. fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

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