Saturday, September 16, 2006

I. ENGINEERING DESIGN, 3. Engineering a pattern “rub-off”.

Diane made a comment on my first post (Sept. 2), when I was still baffled by blogging. She said: “Claire McCardell learned pattern making by taking apart RTW and sewing it back together. I'm doing the same. If there is a better way I'd love to see it!” I replied that there IS a better way that I designed in the 1980s. Today I will explain it, but words may not give the best understanding, but I will try. I have always done this by a demonstration that students could visually follow. Perhaps I’ll have pictures later.

When Claire McCardell was designing, every designer, pattern maker and manufacturer copied another’s pattern design by ripping apart the garment. This would always make for a loss of quality information, especially if the garment had been worn with the fabric stretched out in places. My method is similar to draping a technical pattern on the dress form, and I call it “RUB-OFFS”.

1. Prepare a piece of muslin fabric that would accommodate the area, plus some extra, of the first pattern piece you want of the garment. Accurately draw four-inch squares, making sure the lengthwise ones are parallel to the selvage.
2. Get the entire pattern area to copy (rub-off) as flat as possible – over an ironing board is good. Study the grain lines in the garment and start by pinning one grainline of the muslin to the grainline on the garment. Carefully smooth the other grainlines until reaching the “edges” or “seams” of the pattern area of the garment.
3. Clip and cut away excess in order to get an accurate edge. You can use a dark color wax chalk to mark the seam edges in some areas but a sharp pencil is good for accuracy. You can also use the wax chalk to rub-off some pockets or other details.
4. The most important observation is to study any easing or stretching that was done by the maker of the garment, and include it. A dart (shaping within one pattern piece) needs to be put in exactly as in the garment. If you make sure of plenty of notches on each seam of the area, you can have accuracy as you rub-off the matching seam in the next area.
5. Once you have rubbed off all lines, details, etc.. then take out the pins. After every pattern piece is rubbed off, then “true the pattern pieces, by making sure the lines are smooth, and all notches are matching, unless you know the reason why, such as ease or stretching.

For anyone who reads this I would really like to know if it is understandable. Please comment and let me know, so I can see how I might improve it.

Thanks for reading


Diane said...

Thanks for the info. I've tried doing some rub offs on children's wear and the results were OK but not great. However, I used a totally different fabric in my copy so it didn't resemble the original at all. Of course, I KNOW BETTER after working with fabric for the last 40 years!

intercad said...

The student version of SolidWorks attaches a watermark to documents indicating that they were created in the student version, and are not intended for commercial use. Manufacturers who receive those files know that they should not be using them.. . Using cracked software is always illegal. If you are using SolidWorks to design something for commercial use, you should contact a SolidWorks reseller to purchase a commercial license.. . Matt / SolidWorks

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