Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sketch Pattern Shapes That Will Make This Volley Ball

The volley ball is pictured with two views. Try “sketching” the shapes of the pattern pieces - the FEWEST PATTERN PIECES - that it takes to cut the fabric pieces for sewing together to make the ball. The 2D “shape” is what is important, and the relationship of shape to each other pattern pieces.

So many have requested my “Fashion/Pattern Design for Beginners” online, that I decided to try this first step of a class I teach at the Brookline Adult & Community Education (Boston area). This first step is a test for whether my pattern making system can be taught online.
This is a very different approach from any other pattern making book, class, online, etc. It is a non-mathematical pattern making system called Stylometrics, that I developed through National Science Foundation research grants on engineering design for the fashion industry. The purpose of my system is "to build the ability to SEE inside the mind, and for designers to CREATE solutions to their pattern problems”. Most pattern makers use math & rules, set up in books, and answer the same problems over and over again – which is OK for mass production of commodity styles, and competition between designers and pattern makers, and CAD systems – but not for creative high fashion designers. It’s what Frank Gehry, the world-famous architect, said when he began designing jewelry for Tiffiny’s: “Beauty Without Rules”. My dream is to set up STANDARDS in “Primitive & Generic Patterns” so that designers can evolve "creative high fashion styles easily" and also mass produce them easily. From what I have learned from others, I believe I had the only “mass-produced high fashion clothing manufacturing in the world” in the 60s, 70s & early 80s. Eventually those standards will involve consumers and dressmakers, so consumers will be responsible for their own "fit" (variation from the standard) with their dressmakers. It's a whole new fashion industry.

The Pattern Shapes for Cutting and Making the Volley Ball

Here’s the pattern shapes. How did you do? Go back and forth between the pictures of the ball and the pattern pieces. The “fewest pattern pieces” are 2. First note that there are six sections of 3 cut pieces that are alike. Then note that there is one center piece of that 3-pc. section. That is the one pattern piece pictured that says “Cut 6”. With further study you will see that the pattern pieces on either side of the center one are alike in shape, but, like our hands, are left and right. Just as we call a PAIR of gloves for the hands, we can use the same pattern piece for the left and right, by cutting a PAIR. There are 6 pair of this piece for the ball. So, the conclusion is that the “fewest pattern pieces are 2.” Please comment or email me about how you did, and what you think of this exercise.

Judging from some responses to an earlier post, and the difficulty in what must be expressed in words for online, I cannot set up any kind of online teaching of my unique pattern making process, Stylometrics. I will be continuing to answer the many wonderful questions I get from these posts. So, keep your questions and comments coming.