I’m in a pensive mood this morning, rehashing what I learned from last week’s production pattern making classes. I think my biggest lesson is what I think is obvious, may not be. Another lesson is, I need to assign pre-attendance homework. I was surprised that no one had actually tried the zipper tutorials. I need a major attitude adjustment. I figured people would be happy to try something that worked so easily and neatly but as it turns out, people will avoid attempting something that’s been so error ridden and stressful. The matter of the zipper tutorial was significant because our sample pattern had one and you can’t design a pattern for something you can’t sew. Or rather, you can’t design the pattern well.
Speaking of, one person asked me which I preferred, designers who sew or those who don’t. I can go either way for various reasons but it remains true that designers who sew are often limited in their design expression. They won’t design something they can’t sew personally. Designers who don’t sew don’t care. They don’t know how difficult or easy something is and pick out what they like. If you can only design what you know, you’ll have to grow beyond this somehow. Either practice the tutorials or learn to design beyond the range of your experience. And that was another thing that surprised me. Students didn’t know how to find things on the site. Expect a site orientation entry soon.
Today’s exercise is something I would consider obvious. In the course of the classes, students would ask how I knew to do something. Some things are a matter of mechanics. You learn them according to natural rules you learn by rote and or experience or you guesstimate. I suppose that’s where the art of drafting comes in. The bag pictured at top right is style 4217, the project I’d been working on before (more photos). As I mentioned in this entry, I decided during the sewing process to change the manner in which the straps were joined. I liked the look better but it caused some unanticipated gaping at the center front of the bag. Were you to repair this pattern, how would you decide to fix it? I think my students were surprised to learn there aren’t always hard and fast rules. Some of what we do is iteration. I’ll post my solution tomorrow.