Apologies if this is too elementary but circumstances suggest this entry could be useful. Previously I’d showed you what typical sewing instructions look like but I wonder if a flow chart might be more descriptive of the process in a commercial environment.
The problem with written sewing instructions is that they are linear, sewing directions necessarily start with one, two, three etc which could lead people to think one must do it in precisely that order. Sometimes you do but not always. Or maybe even hardly ever. In the typical sewing set up, depending on headcount, there can be a variety of operations related to a shirt (for example) going on, all at the same time.
Consider the illustration below. With a flow chart, I can show you that step one (yellow) is a variety of activities. All of these operations can be performed at the same time, none having any bearing on anything else.
Step two is pink -now things have narrowed down quite a bit but still, the two separate pink operations can be done at the same time, independent of each other.
The subsequent steps (green, purple etc) are pretty scripted, there isn’t much variation from this point -unless of course, you’re making a shirt with different features than this one.
This illustration is a far cry from
- sew front dart
- sew back dart
- sew collar
- sew collar band…
…because it leads you to think it must be done in that order when it’s not necessarily so if all of those activities can be going on at once. This is similar to illustration 4.16 on pg.127 in the industrial sewing section of my book.
Mr F-I asked me how you know what the sewing order is and I didn’t know how to answer him. With a shirt like this, you do whatever has to be done to the front (sew placket, darts, pocket if applicable), repeat whatever with the back (maybe a yoke), then you sew the shoulder seams and add the collar (really, you don’t want to sew the side seams before you add the collar if you can help it), sew on the sleeves -having first made the placket on the sleeve ends because it’s harder to fiddle with it once it’s joined to the shirt- then sew the side seams of the shirt and sleeves in one pass, before you add the cuff. The last step is just clean up work of top stitching, making button holes, hemming and what not.
Anyway, if you have any visionary insight on rules one could use to determine sewing order, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d like to know. Thanks.