A fun little quiz pt.3

In retrospect I see that the little quiz wasn’t quite so fun as I thought it’d be. Consider the source; I’m easily amused. In this post I’ll provide illustrated responses -except for question #5 which was just something to play with. Maybe a topology and calculus expert will stumble in and amuse themselves by enlightening the rest of us with the equations. I’m sure you’ll be waiting with bated breath for those too. In the meantime, the value of the answers to the quiz lie in teaching you standards and conventions of production pattern making.

The original entry posed the questions, in part two I posted the answers from the book and opened the floor to professionals who had been prohibited from participating in part one. In response to pt. 2, Christy was the only person to provide some insight (she’s a pattern maker in San Diego). Today I’ll go further, amending the answers I left in part two with illustrations. As a reminder, the questions are to be interpreted in the framework of using a much larger version of this pattern to make novelty throw pillows rather than little baseballs.

Question 1. Since these pieces are obviously symmetrical, explain or illustrate with your pattern piece, how you’d ensure these pieces would be lined up when being sewn.

Answer This can be found on page 176 of The Entrepreneur’s Guide, obviously we’re talking about notches. You make these little cut-outs with a little hand tool you can get from suppliers. Below is a photo with the notches placed.

Question 2. Assuming you were making the throw pillow in contrasting colors, make a mock up of what your pattern would look like.

Answer The answer to #2/3 is on page 179 (of the guide) and in figure 5.80 on page 180. You can also find it here. The illustration is below.

Now, we’re not finished with this question yet; it’s more complicated than you think. It’s easy but more complex. Now, if you’re making a pillow and it’s all one color of fabric, all your pieces should be in black ink and it should be marked “cut 2” or “2 per”. Let’s call the one color ball style #1001.

Now, if you are making the exact same style but using a contrast fabric rather than all one color, does it take the same style number? No, it does not. It must have it’s own style number. Yes, it is the same exact pattern but if the cutting instructions vary in the slightest, you must have another style number. I am stubborn and will not budge on this. Below is a sample of the wrong way. The correct piece is on the far right.

Let us call the style with contrast, style #1002. With me so far? Now, because it is the same exact pattern, you only need to mark it differently. The example of how the one piece -shared between two styles- is marked below (just a tracing, not cut out yet):

Above you’ll see that style #1001 is marked in black with cut two because #1001 uses one solid color. Style 1002 is contrasting so one piece is cut in shell (black ink) and one in contrast (green ink). A lot of people think they can get away with verbal instructions to someone to explain the difference but that is asking for trouble. You don’t want to find this out the hard way. With a cutter’s must, anyone regardless of english language proficiency is going to be able to figure this out. What’s more, they’re going to love you -or at least your patterns.

Returning to the discussion of the correct marking of style 1002, the options are again, illustrated below. What this means is that you can have two different pattern pieces, one for shell (left) and one for contrast (center), or you can use the one piece but marked appropriately (far right). Either way is acceptable.

Question 3. Assuming that your pieces were fused individually (not block fused) make a mock up of what your pattern would look like.

Answer. This is illustrated below. As ever, the shell is black ink (left). The interfacing (I still call this “canvas”, long story) is on the right in red ink. To show the shell piece is fused, you must trace the canvas piece -in red ink- onto the black piece. This way, the person making the product will know that piece is fused which is invaluable because the interfacing/canvas piece may not be around. Things get lost. This way, the person will know to look for that pattern piece if it’s not handy. Also, there is some debate on the matter of whether the fusible gets a grainline. If it’s the standard non-woven fusible, personally I don’t worry about it. If it’s a woven fusible then I may put one on there and usually in bias but I’m not suggesting you must do that too. That’s just me. Go with whatever is the prevailing preference of those you work with.

Question 4. Draw up a mini marker.

Answer. To illustrate, I’ve made a small mock up (below) which should be self explanatory. With regard to marker making this example is very simplistic. I can only urge you to buy the book I wrote to read about marker making in greater detail; there’s a whole chapter on it. I realize that many of you may not be making your markers if you’re using someone with CAD services but you must know what they are and you must understand the parameters of how they are generated in order to know how much fabric you need to have in order to make the cut based on the orders you’ve gotten. I cannot stress this enough. It would be absolutely dreadful if you didn’t realize that your fabric was one-way and consequently didn’t know to order enough goods because you never got good allocation in the first place. You only get accurate allocation by mocking up a marker and the book will tell you how to do that in painful excrutiating detail.

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  1. Julia says:

    So, I have read the book, and re-read, and re-read the chapter on Markers. I think I understand how to make a marker, but I still can’t for the life of me figure out how you would then use said marker to cut your fabric. How do you transfer the marker onto the fabric? Or is it just a reference to figure out how much fabric you need to cut out however many pieces are in your marker? So confused……

  2. Kathleen says:

    You lay the marker on top of the spread fabric, attaching it with either adhesive, staples, vacuum or weights (rarely pins) and then you cut it out.

    If you look at pg. 120, you’ll find further mention of this, specifically that you should -and why to -save the pattern pieces that came from the marker after it’s been cut.

  3. Julia says:

    Thats what I thought, but I couldn’t get my head around it for some reason. So you will have made the marker, figured out the length of the fabric pieces you need, laid them out on top of one another, and then attached the marker to cut?

  4. Gigi says:

    Not fun? You’re kidding, right? :-) I didn’t even try to answer the quiz because I’m not a professional and wasn’t sure if my answers were correct (some were, some weren’t).

  5. jinjer says:

    I’m a complete ditz when I’m sitting at a sewing machine, so I would have done the notches slightly differently, maybe it’s overkill (or otherwise incorrect), but I’d do single notches for two consecutive notches and double notches for two consecutive notches (consecutive in terms of travelling around the perimeter).

    This would prevent me from sewing two fat ends together–there’s only one way to align the pillow so the notches match up single, single, double, double, and it doesn’t require me to check the distance between (offset) notches, which isn’t so easy on opposite curves.

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