CUSTOM PATTERN MAKER & PERIOD PATTERNING
I spent years of "blowing
up" Janet Arnold scaled period patterns by using an opaque projector
on brown paper taped to a wall, moving the projector back and forward
until the chest measurement was the size indicated in the book or what
seemed like a logical size and then resizing those paper patterns to
fit my client's specific body.
Some of the men's coats in Norah Waugh's "The Cut of Men's Clothes"
were another compelling challenge. The scale in the patterns was not
accurately produced in the book. The "scale ruler" on the
page does not accuratley measure to depict the size it purports to be.
One inch as it appears on the page is not actually 1 inch. The result
is that there is no simple "blowing up" of a "xeroxed
copy" to 100%.
It was the frock coat on page 145 that pushed me over the edge in
determination to come up with a more facile method of making sure I
could acurately size patterns to each side of the body. I had a portly
actor. We had taken his measurements using traditional methods. It was
only during the muslin mock-up fitting, that I discovered that his left
shoulder area was severly different due to muscle loss from a car accident.
This fact was not easily apparent unless you could see him without his
Custom Pattern Maker is not
a "magic bullet".
- Yes, you can digitize
a scaled or full-sized pattern into CPM.
- Yes, you can make those
scaled patterns "full sized" in CPM.
- No, you cannot just digitize
a pattern in from a period pattern book, type in new measurements
and get a resized pattern. I
know that's what everyone wishes they had. So do I.
--- But ---
CPM makes the traditional
process so much easier!
--- And ---
When I am going to be "building"
costumes from a particular historical time period, I know that I have
to "get inside the heads" of the pattern makers from that time period.
I have to understand how they were using the combination of grain placement
and seaming to produce the period style silhouette inorder to be able
to produce the same silhouette, porportional and posture illusions on
(NOTE: I've been working
long enough now that I have been through this process for every know
historical style period. When I teach advanced pattern making for costumers,
this is the process I teach.)
I most often choose to recreate
a pattern, using contemporary flat patterning methods, from my custom-fit
blocks that are created with Custom Pattern Maker. It always gives me
delight to discover that the grain placement comes out identical to
the period patterns I have been researching.
I have read accounts of archeologists
who have job specializations in moderns times that parallel artifacts
they are looking at from the past. That sense of reaching though time,
back to touching another artisan and seeing them solve a technical problem,
seeing and understanding a kindred spirit, produces a feeling of magical
awe. I get to have that sense also when I do "archeological pattern
The CPM makes the flatpatterning
process much easier than standing up at a cutting table with a pencil,
curves and angles, scissors and paper. Once I've been through the flatpattern
process with a specific period "cut", I find it easy to know how to
resize manually using CPM's editing capabilities to other bodies. The
process, using CPM, is easier and neater than the traditional "slash,
piece and tuck" method used in real time and space.