Pattern making is a highly skilled technique which calls for technical ability, and a sensitivity to interpret a design with a practical understanding of garment construction. For successful dress designing, pattern making forms the fundamental step. This function connects design to production by producing paper templates for all components such as cloth, hemming, fusible etc. which have to be cut for completing a specific garment.
The three methods of preparing patterns:
- Flat pattern
A two-dimensional basic method of preparing a paper pattern. The pattern is prepared on brown paper using personal measurements of the wearer. The garment prepared by this method fits exactly to the satisfaction of the wearer. It is economical to draft one’s own pattern. Also, changes in style can be made adopting the basic pattern.
This was the original method of constructing garment patterns and is still widely used in the clothing design houses in Paris, Draping is a free approach and is always to a certain extent experimental and cannot be described as a precise technique.
The designer works from a sketch or a mental picture and gives a 3-dimension form to an idea of a garment. The wrong side of the fabric is draped on the dress form or a figure. The effect of the fabric as it flows and drapes is readily visible on the dress form. As the fabric is draped on the dress form pin, and mark the stitching line with a pencil. The muslin pattern which is the end product of draping is removed from the stand and each component is copied on to the paper pattern and necessary allowances are then added to give the design effect as planned.
A pattern is simple to make, economical and practical. Designs can be obtained by relocating the darts and changing them into various forms. Yoke, collar, sleeve and skirts designs can be created using basic slopers. Many designs can be created by simply relocating the dart or by converting the dart into various forms such as gathers, pleats, tucks, princess panel etc. Basically through flat pattern method a basic pattern is created and this is used to create various other new designs by manipulating it in different ways specific for a particular design.
The two basic methods in flat pattern making
- Slash and spread method
- Pivot method
(a) Slash and Spread method
In this method, new line is drawn anywhere from the edge of the bodice pattern in such a way that it touches the bust point. The pattern is slashed at this new line until the bust point but not through it. The old dart is now closed. Now the slashed line opens out in the form of dart. This creates relocation of the dart without changing the fit of the garment.
This method does not require slashing of the pattern. It is a faster method but requires little skill for the designer.
First place a working pattern on a piece of paper which is wider and longer than the pattern. Pin it down with a push pin at the bust point. Mark a point on the pattern where the relocation of dart has to be made. the relocation is done to the midpoint of arm hole. Now place it on the paper and trace the pattern from dart leg to the new located point on the pattern. After reaching point, pivot or rotate the pattern in such a manner that the original dart legs meets. at this point it can be seen that the dart is closed. At the same time it can be observed that point also moves. Now trace the pattern from the new location to combined dart legs. Remove the top pattern and it can be seen that a new dart is seen on the paper at armhole point only.