Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pant Pattern Theory

Before heading to the drafting table, I did some more reading last night. The process of drafting pants is very mathematically. Why this surprised me, I don't know. When I first learned how to do an FBA, it was a similar process. I cut and spread according to measured amounts. In altering my existing pant patterns, it was adjusting by eye all the time. I find that I like the math approach better. It just fits my brain better. Whether or not it will fit my body better, I will find out soon enough, I suppose! I have a pattern printed off from Pattern Maker that I have yet to tape together and sew up. I think I will sew that one up after I have the self drafted pattern done to compare. I have not seen that one reviewed before, so it will be interesting to compare the two. The information that follows is taken from the Helen Joseph Armstrong book Patternmaking for Fashion Design, 4th edition. I am trying not to copy it wholesale, but I do think that for those of you who have not self drafted a pant pattern before, (like me) some of the information behind the process interesting and maybe even helpful.

The intial idea of drafting my own pattern from scratch was quite daunting. How would I handle the shaping of the pieces? How do I determine the crotch curve? How would I draw it? Once I realized that the whole pattern's shape grows as you use the measurements, it seemed easier. The shape starts with a vertical line with a number of horizontal points marked on it according to your measurements. These points are then extended to horizontal lines whose lengths are determined by your measurements and some minor math (all of which is easily diagrammed in the Armstrong book). The curve is also drawn this same way.

I had initially intended to start with the culottes, but closer reading revealed that culottes are based on an A Line skirt with a crotch extension added. Not what I want right now. While the thought of drafting a skirt block also appeals to me, my project this summer is to perfect the pant! So, which one to choose first? Armstrong's trouser pattern is the next logical place to start. The slack is based on the trouser pattern, but my real goal is a nice city short/pedal pusher as an end product. But first I have to draft the trouser, so I guess I will end up with both in muslins!

My time at the table is limited this weekend as I promised Monkey Girl that the next thing off the table is her new bathrobe/housecoat. I am using this cute Simplicity 4767 for her. I made her some PJ's last winter. She loved them but decided that the absence of fabric on her neckline was too chilly for winter temps, so this is now a summer PJ pattern. I cut the robe out of a nice soft yellow Minky that I found at Wal Mart last year for a great price just for this purpose. And I had just enough to sew this up. From now on, I go for my standard yardages for fudge factor. I had hoped to cut the robe longer to allow for the inevitable growth spurt that follows each sewing session for her! Not a chance ... although, there was probably enough last year when I first bought it ... It is all cut out and once I re-thread the serger with lighter threads, I will finish the edges first as it is very messy.

I aim to have it finished for tonight's bath routine, but I do have some shopping to do this afternoon. A coursemate of the Pilot is coming tomorrow with his family. When we were in Toronto, I was given a crash course in Pakistani cooking at his home. Tomorrow I have to recreate what I learned. Tomorrow I get to make Biryani, a wonderful spiced meat and rice dish that is spicy and oh so yummy! To top it off I plan on making a traditional dessert as well. As the family is Muslim, I have to get my meat from a store that stocks Halal meats. No biggy ... I absolutely LOVE going into ethnic grocers ... the smells are divine and I always get new recipes and techniques to add to the Kitchen. I have my list and am waiting for Pilot and Hamster Boy to get back from Rugby. After some lunch and some other errands, we are off to get groceries! I may make the meat tonight and then let it sit in the sauce so that all I have to do is the rice tomorrow.

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