Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Pattern drafting

The lounge suit I made for SDP last term was very similar in cut to this one; just a few changes in the style areas. Pattern drafting has traditionally been my weakness as I have often been very underconfident in this respect. To draft this suit I used standard tailor's systems which had been recommended by Graham. As I had done this once before I found the process much easier to understand. (The systems are often difficult to decipher as they are written with an assumption of knowlege and great experience; additionally it is troublesome constantly converting inches to centimetres. Purchasing an imperial tailor's square would be very helpful in the future as it would definitely speed up the process). Nonetheless pattern drafting still took a good amount of time.

I tried to work as independantly as possible, doing my best to make judgements according to common sense and notes I had previously taken. I followed the historical research and Rose's design quite closely, in order to work out the placement of pockets, shape of lapel, etc. There were also the back vents to consider, which meant an extra side back seam. Luckily there were good illustrations of jacket backs in Men's fashion illustrations from the turn of the century (Mitchell Co, 1990) which was after all a fashion catalogue.

I was quite worried about the suit being too short for the actor as he is so tall (6ft 4in) so I added extra length. I also used theatrical seam allowances instead of following the traditional tailoring practice of 1" Inlays and 1/4" Making Up Allowances. This was partly in order to allow for future alterations, but also because as there will be no toile, and this is only my second suit, I wanted to give myself breathing space for changes.

After I completed the jacket and trousers drafts I carefully compared them to the Actor's measurements, changing things which seemed too tight or loose. I then showed Kat. She didn't see any obvious changes to be made in the trouser draft. However she immediately changed the side seam line on the jacket to be less of a curve. She pointed out that this style of jacket should not be so fitted as the look was to be fairly square and masculine; the waist wasn't emphasised. This really made sense and as I compared this to the contemporary fashion illustrations (Mitchell Co, 1990) the barrel-chested figures immediately related to the draft I'd created on paper.

Kat's ability to immediately visualise the draft in terms of how they relate to a figure was really inspiring and is definitely something that I aim towards achieving myself, as I grow in confidence, experience and ability in pattern drafting.

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