Sunday, August 29, 2010

Altering patterns

I have been thinking about computer pattern drafting patterns a lot this weekend. PMB has a new update for the program coming out in October. They have been unveiling the program on the forums Wild Ginger - 15 Weeks to Wild They are adding new styles and making some nice changes. I've had this program for a minute and think that I finallly have fixed most of my fitting issues. I'm excited about the changes and will be happy to play with the upgrade. Yesterday, I played with the download for Bernina My Label. I like the program but have a granddaughter that I would rather spend the money on.

I'm really hard to fit and need a lot of changes to get commercial  patterns to fit. I started thinking about the changes that I need so I decided to make a list. 
  1. Neck and shoulder adjustments. I cut out patterns at least two sizes smaller along the shoulder and neck down to the armhole. Sometimes I need a forward shoulder adjustment.
  2. Bust adjustments - Full bust adjustment and lower the bust dart. Make a petite adjustment between the shoulder and the bust.
  3. Armscye adjustments - Narrow and raise the armholes for a closer fit to the body. Take out excess ease under the arms. Sometimes I need to narrow the biceps.
  4. Make a rounded back adjustment and a broad back adjustment.
  5. For pants and skirts - I need to increase the waist, take out the hip curve, make a large abdomen adjustment and a flat seat adjustment. I have to peg the sides and backs of all skirts.
  6. I need to add length to every pattern piece usually divided into two-three different areas.
It is a lot of work to get patterns to fit. For a long time, I stopped sewing out of frustration because nothing fit. It has taken me two years to figure out what changes are needed. I have learning a lot over the last two years and think that I can make things that fit most of the time......

I have had a love/hate relationship with PMB. The learning curve is steep and there are times when I wanted to throw the computer out the window. I made peace with the basic program when I realized that it is just a computerized way of hand drafting a pattern. I make the same decisions that I would if I was drafting a pattern using a basic sloper. I have to make all of the design decisions. How wide should the collar be? what shape? How does one change impact another?  All in all, I think that it is worth the price of admission because I don't have to make fit adjustments for each pattern.

 I've learned to make muslins and I keep a supply of muslin in the sewing room. I'm working on developing a set of TNT designs that I can use as basic slopers.

Sorting and purging

My sister has lost weight and need some clothes that fit. We are close to the same size but I'm am taller and more busty. She was the inspiration to clean out my closet two weeks ago. I did it in two stages. I pulled out the things that I knew that I wouldn't wear again. I waited a day and then I went back over the remaining clothes. I asked myself if this is a garment that I would pull out first when I was getting dressed. If the answer was no, it was out. Not much has remained. I need to replace a lot of clothes.

I clean out my main closet at least once a year. This is the first year that I got rid of the "one day, I might wear it" clothes. I did keep a few of the "maybe" clothes to see if they get worn over the winter. I still need to sort out the clothes packed away.

A couple of things need to be altered. There are some advantages to having fewer clothes.
  • It is easier to see what I wear on a daily basis. The clothes that are left behind reminded me that I mainly wear knit tops and pants for work.
  • I know that I wear a lot of somber clothes and need some pops of color.
  • I have a big need for a couple of suits and dressier clothes for church.
  • I need a black cardigan as soon as possible.
Next on the agenda is to figure out the sewing line up for the next few months.