Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Drafting a Personal Fit Jacket – aka Pattermakers Block

I have been taking a patternmaking course at FIT this fall specializing in jackets and coats. Every week, we practice drafting the jacket block for a standard size 8 and learn how to create different jacket styles by changing the style lines. The class is from a production point of view, so there are lots of patternmaking details, tricks and methods to remember that will help make the construction more efficient and how and wear to adjust the fit when making pattern corrections. It’s been great. The weekly practice of drafting the block has finally sunk in and I sewing up the half muslin in less time each week. Practice makes better!

So now I’m starting to work on my final project and I have immediately run into a BIG problem. The final has to be of our own design, include the complete production pattern (w/ separate lining pieces, fusible, and templates) AND be accompanied by a full garment sample (we are allowed to employ a sample maker if we like). It’s also due in exactly two weeks. The amount of time and the scope of the project isn’t the problem. The problem is that we are allowed to use our own measurements for once, and of course if I’m going to go to all that effort I want to make the final sample wearable for myself.

Why is this a problem? Because I have a massive bust circumference (43”) and I carry a large portion of it on the front half of my torso. My front bust circ is 5” larger than my back. When we draft a block for jackets we place the side seam directly in the middle, which would make the back too big and the front too small, and give my a badly shaped back armhole to boot. This was never a problem as long as I was drafting for a size 8 (which apparently my back is). I am stumped on how to proceed and time is ticking away. Do I move the side seam closer to the back? Or do I draft the block based on my upper bust measurement and then adjust the bust as I would the hips when I add in my princess seam style lines? The later is closer to what I do with commercial patterns, but is a bit of a work around and defies the concept of drafting from scratch. I feel that there must be a right way of drafting this particular fit problem.

I was hoping my boss would be in the office today (he's also my professor - gotta love FIT) so I could pop into his office and ask him for 2 minutes of advice but unfortunately he is not here today, which means I am wasting another day that I could be working on the final.

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