The traditional process of drafting patterns requires an amazing amount of mind-processing of mathematical, geometric, past experience knowledge and visual intuition. It requires a totally focused mind to perform without mistakes. Mechanical technical accuracy in drafting is very important. The combination of artistic mind-power and fondness for technically accurate detail required for pattern making does not commonly occur in human beings. For these reasons, truly good pattern makers are a rare commodity.

Set designers and technicians, as well as management, tend to assume that the patternmaker's skills have a direct parallel in those of the set designer/technical director. What they do not understand is that the set designer and technician is almost always dealing with a media that is ridged and therefore has a constancy in its "fit properties": whether it is a form of wood, metal or plastic, a section of 12' x 12' will fit into an opening that is 12' x 12' and it is ridged.

Anyone who has experience working with garment making and textiles, however, knows that every piece of fabric has a different "hand" (flexibility) and "fit" quality. When one purchases a bolt of textile from a manufacturer that is purported to be the same "model", but not from the same "run", one cannot be sure that it will have the same "hand" (not to mention the same color).

Like all art forms, haveing a "feel for the hand of the fabric" is something that some rare individuals are born with. Most of us develop this skill over years of experience in handling a wide variety of textiles in a wide variety of construction and fit situations. It is unfortunate that the general public and most of our employers have so little knowledge, understanding of this and therefore place little or no value on this skill. There are fewer and fewer patternmakers who can afford to dedicate the time needed, at current pay rates, to develop the high level of skill needed to be an efficient patternmaker.


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Can We Talk? | A Rare Commodity | Time Saver | Basic Blocks
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| Measurement Chart | Block Drafting Process
Slash & Spread Process
| Cost & Equipment Requirements | User FAQ

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