Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creating a Pattern

I am working on a few new patterns to add to my Classic Couture for Children line.  Next up is my basic yoke pattern, a basic a-line apron and a tucked apron.  I am fortunate to live about an hour from the Los Angeles garment district, which is convenient for patterns!  The last time I was at StyleCad, I took a few pictures.  The first picture shows my 3T dress form.  This form is wht my basic sloper is fitted to.  Once a I had my slope, all of my patterns will be based on this and then graded up and down from size 2 - 6.  I also have a 12M dress form and my baby patterns will be graded from this.  The baby sizes are graded a bit differently than the children's sizes, so itt is more accurate to grade this way.

Once I have a paper pattern, I place it on the scanner and scan it into the computer.  Each piece is scanned separately.  Once this has been done, I can pull up each piece on the computer and work with it, truing up the lines, adding seams, making notations, etc.

The pattern pieces are checked to make sure all of the seams match, the notches and markings are in the correct place, etc.  After that, the grading rules are put into place and the computer grades the pattern.  I am slowly but surely learning the software and Marina is a whiz and a huge help!  After the grading is finished, it is like a puzzle to find the best way to lay out the pattern on the paper.  The more paper the pattern takes up, the more expensive it is to have it printed and to ship.  Nesting (all the sizes of the same piece on top of each other) is the most economical, but not always the most user friendly!  Some times the pattern pieces have to be printed individually or maybe only odd sizes nested and then even sizes nest.
   Once I think it looks good, I print a copy and look for errors.  I have someone else check it also - 4 eyes are better than 2!  When it is ready, I add the cover and the directions and it is ready to go!
And that is a day in LA!


  1. what a fascinating process! Thanks for posting details for us!

  2. You are welcome! Sometimes I am just as interested in the process as the end result! Stay tuned for more!

  3. Wow! How interesting! So what exactly is StyleCad?

  4. StyleCad is a company (like TukaTek or Gerber) that is computerized pattern making software. Kind of like CAD for patterns. When we were on the Williamsburg tour, we were given a tour of the costume department, and they use a similar program to create the patterns they use for their costumes.

  5. Vaune,
    Very interesting. I love history and learning the "history" on how things have come about is alway great.
    My suggestion for the 3T dress form is, Violet Grace. Two of the sweetest people I know have parts of that in their name and they just love to play "dress up".