CUSTOM PATTERN MAKER
An attempt to explain about computerized "automated" drafting and resizing
Why I created CPM and what it means to me as a costume pattern maker
Let me talk to you as one pattern maker to another. (Yes, this is rather long, but it may save you the cost of a phone call.) Suggestion.... you may find this easier to read if you print it out.
We are all looking for that magical patterning software:
In my way of thinking, it doesn't make sense to dismiss CPM as the tool you will use just because it hasn't yet reached that "holy grail" of computer pattern making.
CPM still makes patternmaking soooooo much easier and more pleasant. It would be foolish not to take advantage of what it can do while you wait for us to achieve the ultimate goal.
One reason that most of the garment industry software costs so much money is that it is very expensive to develop the complexity of programming that is needed to do what it does.
So far the big software companies have not seen it prudent to try to accommodate the additional complexity of our special needs and also make the software affordable for us.
An attempt to explain about computerized "automated" drafting and resizing.
There were many times, since 1985 when I first began to "tilt against the windmill" of accurate-fit pattern making software, when I would have happily let CPM disappear into cyberspace if some one else came up with an acceptable software.
I have rushed to look at and evaluate every one as it came out, in hopes that I could just relax and buy it to use. But each time the new software flunked either "accurate fit" or the "affordable" test. Most of them flunked on both counts.
There are now a number of software programs out there that profess to automatically custom resize any pattern you have entered or created in the program. Most of these programs are extraordinarily expensive and aimed at the mass production garment industry. None of them do a good job of accommodating really oddly shaped bodies or postures.
You may have noticed that it has become fashionable for clothes to fit badly. This is an inspired marketing concept to easily solve the problem of getting garments made from woven fabrics to fit the the wide range of body sizes and shapes that exist in the real world.
This marketing ploy may be working for the mass fashion industry, but it is not acceptable for the custom-made trade. We have to make sure that our clothes fit correctly. That is one of the reasons customers come to us. Additionally, when one is making a costume, character definition comes through fit as well as through style.
Garment industry oriented patterning programs do not use drafting systems that ensure an accurate fit for tailored woven fabric garments by accommodating the angle of the shoulders and the neck on the torso.
The majority of them use
proportional formulas to establish some crucial measurement points that
should be the actual measurement of the client. CPM includes a couple
of those drafting methods in its set of basic drafts, just for the sake
of illustrating this.
Why I created CPM and what it means to me as a costume pattern maker.
For centuries the solution to making custom-fit garments in an expedient manner was to create a custom-made fitting-form that matched the clients body shape, size and posture. It used to be, for instance, that in the Hollywood Costumers Union, there were people who were specifically designated as "form makers". With the cost of labor being what it is now, the expense of having a "French form" created for every client is almost prohibitive.
When I came into the costume business in the early 1960's, I was privileged to see the "old ways" still in practice, but just late enough be constantly told that, within 15 years the business would be very different. The cost of labor was one reason, but the other was that young people were not longer willing to spend the years of apprenticeship that was necessary to develop to the skill level of professional clothing artisan.
As a result, a good deal of my concentration during my career has been on finding methods and tools that would help speed "process" and to methods of teaching that could speed up the time it took for young talent to gain a masterly control over the medium of textiles and garment making.
As I began to understand the time that could be saved by starting with an accurate "fit block" when starting to create a costume pattern, I put a great deal of research into drafting systems until I finally arrived at a method that worked for every odd shaped body anyone could put in front of me. (The 5'4" 58" bust jazz singer, the portly fellow who was missing a lot of shoulder and chest muscle on one side due to an auto accident, etc.)
When I began creating CPM, my goal was to be able to skip the muslin mockup and cut straight into the fabric. I wanted to be able to hand over the creation of basic fit-blocks to students, non pattern maker staff and shop volunteers, instead of having to stay late, come in early, or work on weekends to be able to find the quiet time my mind needs for concentrating on drafting "the long hard way". It was pure gravy that I got more than that.
I looked on pattern making as a tedious task I could not escape. I am good at it, but it requires me to put my mind process into a mode of working that is not natural for me. It's very energy draining. Seam allowances, facings, linings, marking off hooks, buttons etc. all were tedious bores.
The only part CPM doesn't do yet is the automatic resizing of any pattern to typed in measurements. This is my goal just as it is everyone else's.
I'm making CPM Available now to everyone because it already saves so much time and makes pattern making so much more palatable a process, it seems silly for everyone wait until the last ultimate goal is reached. Start using this wonderful tool now to save time.
What is CPM? | Why AutoCAD®? | How Does it Work?
Front Page | Demonstration
Can We Talk? | A Rare Commodity | Time Saver | Basic Blocks
User Friendly | Custom Programming | Style & Fit | Period Pattering
Measurements | Measurement Chart | Block Drafting Process
Slash & Spread Process | Cost & Equipment Requirements | User FAQ
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