Pattern corrections you should pay for 1

Posting will be light this week -and getting lighter as the week progresses- I’m preparing for a class.

Continuing from yesterday’s theme of pattern corrections you shouldn’t pay for, here’s one that you should.

I’m working off of a pattern with a sport collar. By sport collar I mean one of those rectangular affairs, most often used on casual sporty jackets, usually zipping all the way through the collar tips.Sorry I don’t have a sketch handy, hopefully you know what I mean. It is sometimes called a “convertible collar”.

This pattern is being converted into something a little dressier, more fitted. As is becoming with its upgraded look, the collar needs to better shaped, more tailored. Below is a photo of the rectangular collar (pencil line). The updated tailored collar is in black ink (staccato line). I realize this isn’t very clear; see the larger version (only 18kb).

Typically, when you draft, you’re using fixed measures and following formulas, if only heuristics you’ve devised and memorized through long practice. The problem with this new collar is that none of the pattern books (except Connie Crawford’s) show you how to make one of these in what I’d consider a proper manner. So, this is where some art comes into it. Usually I cringe when well meaning acquaintances describe what I do as art because it is closest to engineering. My rule of thumb -my eye really- says to go up 3/4″ from the bottom and top edge of the back collar, come close to zero at the shoulder notch -and by the way, if there isn’t a notch there, not only should you not have to pay to have one put there, you should probably get another pattern maker entirely- and come under the lower collar front edge about 1/4″. I said 1/4″ but my sketch is closer to 3/8ths. The total drop should be about 1″ to 1.25″ or even roughly, whatever is equivalent to the depth of the center back neckline (see pg. 165, fig.5.50 of my book). Like I said, here’s where a bit of art in pattern making comes in.

Now, making this collar conversion is something you’d obviously have to pay for. However, I’d further state that you should most likely expect to have to pay for this iteration to be corrected again -if need be- because it’ll depend on the weight of goods and what not. Now, if you provided a completed sample garment in the proposed weight of goods (I was not), it’d be easier for the pattern maker to get very close to what you want. But still, this is a rather radical departure fit-wise so it would be unreasonable to expect the pattern maker to get the collar perfect on the first go round. They should get it right by the second (are my expectations too high?). And of course, all of the notches and length should match the collar perfectly regardless of what stage of the process you’re in. Were either of those two incorrect, you wouldn’t pay for that.

Speaking of, note the new lines are curved although the total distance traveled is the same. The curved lines are longer. As such, one will need to shorten (the distance traveled) the new collar. One will walk the sewing lines of the new collar, compare this measure to the sewing line of the neckline, and shorten accordingly. You’ll need to reduce in two places, the back neck and the front, keeping the shoulder notch on the collar static.

The best place to reduce the collar is at CB (the fold line) and midway between the shoulder notch and the CF of the collar. This should be done perpendicular to the grainline. Blend to match.

Pattern corrections you should pay for 2
Pattern corrections you shouldn’t pay for 1

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  1. /anne... says:

    Kathleen, what do you think of Shoben & Ward’s drafting books? I’ve got two of their older books, and the republished compilation. The text includes both drafting and sewing.

    Interestingly, the republished compilation is harder to follow, as the page size is bigger and they’ve included more information on each page – it feels cluttered and hard to follow. Might be acceptable in a class setting (which it’s probably designed for), but isn’t as effective for self-directed study.

  2. Terri says:

    The photo image of the pattern has me baffled… and I’m assuming it is just the angle at which the photo was taken. Is the center back at the neckline a 90º angle and not something less than that as it looks in the photo?

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