You didn’t know I was a Mathematician, did you?
Well I’m not, but there is a lot of math involved in the next part of the design process known as Pattern Making. Pattern Making is the creation of the template or shapes used to cut out the fabric. It is how we go from sketch to garment. It takes an understanding of body movement, shape and specific fabric characteristics. It is how we make a circle skirt as opposed to a straight skirt, or even a gathered skirt.
*A H+S pattern piece used in a few different H+S styles;
A little confused? If you take a garment you own, cut along all the seams, and then lay the pieces flat, you would see the basic pattern behind your garment. There are two basic forms of pattern making – flat pattern and draping. Flat pattern is when you start on a flat surface and create the pattern from measurements. Draping is when you drape fabric over a mannequin, pin, cut and shape it to your liking, and then lay it flat and make a pattern. I prefer the flat pattern method (hence my mathematician claim earlier). Although, sometimes I like to mix it up :)
*The above image shows my boys shirt pattern in a range of sizes used creating the Flat Pattern Method.
So what do I mean by measurements? For my patterns, I use child body measurements from the ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials). These measurements are “consistent with the current anthropometric characteristics of the population of interest (American Children). .. Should in turn reduce or minimize consumer confusion and dissatisfaction related to apparel sizing.”
These tables provide over 50 different body measurements that I use in creating each pattern. I usually create the pattern in one size, make multiple sew samples until the pattern is perfected, and then I grade the pattern. Grading is the term used to describe creating the pattern in multiple sizes. I have developed my own system for grading my patterns based upon the ASTM measurements.
*The H+S Legging Pattern cut out, graded and ready for production
All the patterns used at Holley + Sage are created by me. Because I make my own patterns I am able to create any shape I imagine. Pattern Making gives me a freedom that you can’t find when you have to rely on store bought patterns. Also, because I make the patterns using these standard measurements, all the garments are uniform in size. You can always refer to my size chart here or send me an e-mail if you have any questions. I am also able to make any garment to custom measurements!
I hope you enjoyed this part of my “inside the maker’s mind series” and that you learned a little. Please leave comments with any questions!