Art Journal

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Drafting my Back Block - Learning Pattern Work with Moulage/French Pattern Drafting

Version 1 of my Back Pattern Block Draft
I'm taking Lynda Maynard's Moulage class at Cañada College. Moulage is the traditional style of pattern drafting used in France. Lynda studied pattern drafting, among other things, with Kenneth King. We're using a printed version of Kenneth King's Moulage book. 

On the web I can only find Kenneth King's Moulage Book on CD

We'll be creating a skin-tight, fitted moulage and then a sloper - a moulage that includes minimal wearing ease. We'll also be drafting sleeve patterns/slopers to work with these. My sewing buddy Susan and I, are very excited about those sleeves! Susan was featured in last month's Enchanted By Sewing Audio/Podcast - A Very Fitting Sewing Day With Susan

We've begun by drafting our back pattern blocks.

To get to this point, we followed Kenneth King's/Lynda's directions. Those included:

1) Taking careful measurements of, and recording, many dimensions of our bodies - front and back. I think there are about 20 measurements between our neck to the floor, with most of them centering around the torso. This is not something you can do for yourself. You need at least one buddy. It reminded me of the measurements we took when we made our dress form kits. (I produced a podcast about creating Dress Forms)

2) Using these measurements in a number of formulas, to create a sheet of calculations. Again we made a careful record. It was definitely worth my time to triple-check that I had
a) transferred the right measurement into the formula
b) done the math correctly
We rounded up all of our math to the nearest 1/8'th of an inch. 1/8'th of an inch is the smallest measurement on most rulers.
The book includes metric directions as well.
3) Next we followed  Kenneth King's/Lynda's directions to draft the back block you see here, using the calculations. Once more I'm went back and triple-checked, to be sure I was using the correct calculations in my draft.

Lynda reviewed our work not only for correctness, but also to make adjustments for various figure types. She adjusted the line in many of our shoulder drafts down at an angle. I'd guess that you might see the need for this later on in the process, if you're doing this work on your own.

Next we'll be drafting our front block.

After that, we'll work up a version in muslin.

This is one of those processes that takes a lot more time than I'd expect, but it's going to be well worth it for me.

My goals for the class are:

A) To make a new fit garment for my dress form, Conchita. I'll also be removing some of Conchita's padding and batting, to fill out that fit garment correctly. Gosh, wouldn't it be great if it were that straightforward for people to lose weight?

B) To create clear plastic transparencies I can use when altering commercial patterns. Lynda says the material she uses for this is from Tap PlasticsTap  Plastics:
24 1/2"  by  45"  by  .020  smooth/matte  polypropylene  sheet  SKU#20346)

C) Down the road... I might use these block in some way, in conjunction with draping my own patterns

Learning more about what makes patterns come together is the kind of thing that keeps me . . .
Enchanted by Sewing!
~ ~ ~
My Buddy Susan and I share what we've each learned about getting a good fit with our sewing patterns. In Last month's Enchanted By Sewing Audio/Podcast  Susan described key things she learned from sewing fit classes (Also we had a lot of fun chatting) A Very Fitting Sewing Day With Susan (Download or just listen on Line)

Enchanted By Sewing Audio/Podcast - Dress Forms (Download or just listen on Line)

Field Trip: Hoover Tower Hovers Above Stanford University

Hoover Tower Hovers above The Quad at Stanford University
We must study war,
And revolution to show,
That peace can work out

Completed in 1941, Hoover Tower is a research facility and library to study war, revolution and peace. You can climb up the tower, as I did this last week, to take  in fantastic ariel  views of Stanford Campus and the surrounding peninsula, for a few dollars.