Before I forget, I’m out of town Thursday and Friday. I’ll be visiting Patternworks Inc in Los Angeles. I’ll be training on their new marvelous product management software that you will love. Also, if you’re in Los Angeles near LAX or can get there, a few of us are meeting for brunch on Saturday. If interested in meeting a few F-I people, email me ASAP.
This post is much shorter than I wanted it to be; I don’t have the time right now to write more but this is what I’ve been up to lately: learning CAD software. In other words, this old school pattern maker, kicking and screaming (and regressive hand flapping too but that’s another story) has been dragged into the 21st century. Did I mention kicking and screaming? You’ll have to ask my trainer about that. I’m sure the thought of strangulation crossed her mind in reference to a certain someone.
So for starters, I got the software –OptiTex! There it is, the official announcement of my software choice. I bought a 44″x60″ digitizing table (Numonics; I will be telling you horror stories about their customer service) and a 72″ plotter from Ioline. In a later entry I’ll explain how I came to select the peripherals as I did.
For the short term, I don’t plan on making the main pieces in the software. That’s mostly because I have so many patterns already that need to be digitized into the software. Secondly, I’m still very old school, I actually enjoy the feel of paper, pencil and scissors. The main reason I wanted the software (in addition to grading and marking) was because I wanted something to reduce the grunt work of pattern making. By that I mean all the facings, linings and fusibles (aka “canvas” as you’ll see on the pieces). It’s the grunt, no-fun work, that a computer is useful for. Grunt work takes a lot of time.
Below is an example. I digitized in this basic vest (style #22200): There’s only four pieces here.
Knowing me as you do, this is not nearly enough pieces. No no. I like big helpings. From the pattern I digitized, I was able to make linings, fusibles and facings -plus the peripherals like welt pockets and a back tie belt. The completed pattern is shown below. A larger view is here (112kb)
Even working as slowly as I did, in fits and starts, I was able to finish this vest with the additional 16 pieces (making for a total of 20) in less than two hours. On the table, it’d probably take at least that long but not much more. Not bragging, but I’m pretty fast and this is the non-thinking stuff; it’s just tracing and cutting for the most part. Anyway, I think that once I know what I’m doing, this job should take maybe an hour to do by computer. I think the trainer was a bit surprised that I make so many pieces. Before we started, I mentioned that some of my patterns have 50 to 75 pieces (paired pieces count as 1) but I don’t think she believed me -then. I think she probably does now.
For my next project, just to get some more practice, I’ll be doing the style below. It’s a lady’s short leather jacket with contrasting yokes complete with second contrast insets.
I’ve already started it. Below, I digitized the yoke and artwork for the right side (long story but the front yokes are not a two per). I certainely anticipate learning to do artwork in the CAD system directly. Doing this by hand to say nothing of having to digitize it, takes too long.
QUIZ: Just for grins and giggles, how many pattern pieces does this jacket have? Those dashed lines are separate pieces. Also, add the pieces needed for 2 welt pockets to your total. The back that you can’t see, has one yoke, a split center back, and the side back panels split horizontally (like the front side panel). Remember, how many total different pieces, don’t count paired pieces as 2. In the even of a tie (assuming anybody guesses), the individual who submits a piece list wins. Some hints as to what some pieces might be are evident in the vest (hint: fusibles).