Pop Quiz #482 pt.2

These pop quizzes are always so educational, giving me a lot of insight on where people’s thinking lies. It’s difficult to sort through the many responses (thank you!) but I’ll try. As I said, there were four minor errors and one egregious one. In my opinion, the minor errors amount to lack of matched notches. If the side panel has a notch lining it up to the front, there should be a matching notch on the front as detailed below.

Regarding these elements many mentioned:

Missing pieces, lack of grainline.
I imagine the real pattern would contain all of the needed pieces (facings, linings, upper collar). Obviously one would ask prior to purchase.

Missing double notches.
I’m not sure if this would be corrected on the final purchased version. In any event it’d be an easy fix.

Grading of the dart/pocket/button placement.
This is also okay. The problem is the stacking point of the nest, we’re not used to seeing it like this (site is from the UK). In the US, our stack point is usually to have all lines match at CF/CB with the horizontal balance at the waist. It’s really hard to tell unless you have the pieces on hand to measure up (like Sarah said).

Curvature of the center back and shoulder shaping.
Both are very good things. Your center back and front are not straight. Shaping of the back shoulder seam isn’t what [American] eyes are acclimated to see but this is also good. Try it sometime.

Shoulder seam grade.
Esther brought up something interesting: “All of the width grades look odd to me. In particular the shoulder width grades. The shoulder seams won’t match up.” It’s hard for us to know for certain but it would appear the shoulder line grade for the front shoulder is off.

Now onto what I consider to be the egregious error. The clue appeared in an entry I posted last week, Grading for height when you know nothing about grading. The grade for length -unless it’s for something like a long sheath skirt- must be incremental. The pattern must grow in length from the armpit to the waist and then from the waist to the hip (ditto).

The problem is, all of the length grade, in this case 1/4″ (presumably) is thrown in at the hem. If the pieces were graded in length from armpit to waist, the waist shaping should shift but in this pattern, the side seam shaping is static. In other words, the area of greatest suppression of the waist of the smallest size should appear higher in the nest than the largest size but here, they’re on the same horizontal plane (below).

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  1. Esther says:

    The length grade is definitely something I need to study more. The stack point definitely threw me. Children’s patterns don’t have as much shaping…. Anyway, this quiz and the previous blog entry helped me connect the dots and I will look at my length grades closer.

  2. Mary Lombard says:

    Oh yeah, notches should match shouldn’t they? Been a while since I’ve even seen notches, most the patterns I look at from over seas are on kraft paper without notches or seam allowances showing. If I’m lucky I’ll get a cross hatch at the corners for seam allowance. Yay!
    I’m so happy you mentioned the stacking, I didn’t think anyone did that anymore. Those wacky stackers…

  3. Valerie Burner says:

    Well, at least I got one right! The grading did all seem to be at the hemline. The other four, although as Kathleen said, were minor- I didn’t even try to look for. I always think these are trick questions anyway!

  4. Joel Wicksman says:

    I understand this type of grading. Its used for Tailored Men’s Jacket. My father used one similar to this in grading and pattern making. He was from England , as was this nest, and that might explain the similarity.

    It was probably stacked in the middle to make it easier to distinguish an individual size. If it had been stacked at the Center Front Neck the lines would have crossed over each other making it hard to cut out.

    There is a problem with the Back’s Cross Shoulder. And the Welt position.

    Imagine that this garment was stacked at the Center Front Neck. You would see that there is 1/4″ grade in the underarm drop. That same 1/4″ should be at the waist and at the Hem. Men’s Jackets do not grade in the length any more than the Neck to Waist.

    Men’s Jackets that are graded like this come in Regulars, Shorts and Longs.

    And the welt position would have stayed at the bottom of the dart.

  5. J C Sprowls says:

    The grading in this example appears to be a mish-mash of methods. One thing I can agree to is that it’s a poor illustration and hopefully not representative of the CAD file I would receive.

    @Joel. The way I read your statement, it leads me to believe that you are saying that all the length grade happens above the waistline in a men’s jacket. I don’t know that I can agree. Physiologically, the spine also grows proportionately between the waist and hip, so there needs to be some amount of fabric attributed there, too.

  6. heidi says:

    After looking very closely I still see the “notches” as sizing numbers. The notches are the long thin lines which run through the nest. And as Joel writes the pocket should go with the dart.

  7. Joel Wicksman says:

    As an example…..You might have a mens suit jacket in 38 short that you make into 38 regular and 38 long as well as a set of 40S 40R 40L.

    So to explain the difference in short to regular to long, you might lower the waist 1″ for each length and the Hem 2″ for each length , as well as making the sleeves longer.

    But to go from the 38 short to 40 short you would only grade the length for neck to waist. That keeps the jacket length proportional to the chest size without turning it into a regular by the time you reach a size 46.

    It’s a lot like inseam grades for mens pants when they come in inseam length.

  8. kathleen says:

    I wouldn’t agree that it’s akin to inseam lengths. I dated a guy who was 6’4″ and his crotches were always too short. If you do run of the mill, sure but anyone who works in big and tall sizes specifically is going to grade in the crotch. There is growth between waist and crotch. I’ve also done a lot of L (long) suits. We graded an extra 1.5″ per size into the body of the coat in three places; across the chest, the waist and then the bottom at the hip.

  9. J C Sprowls says:

    keeps the jacket length proportional to the chest size without turning it into a regular by the time you reach a size 46.

    I can’t agree with that, either. The short population, regular population and long population have different length grades, so the 46S should not intersect the 46R.

    Not distributing the grade above and below the waist also alters the shape of the side seam. The point of greatest suppression would be about 1/2″ below the anatomy on every other size.

  10. Mark says:

    I would agree with Joel that the body does on this nest grade body length. It’s just been put into the armhole. This would be obvious if the grade was stacked at the neck point. If you want length from the underarm to waist does this mean you then grade in more than the length that goes into increasing the arm scye?

    I also put my ruler up against the computer screen and measured the shoulder lengths. If you do the same, you will see that the graded lengths do match. Again it has to do with the way the grade is stacked that it appears to be off.

    One more thing about the missing pieces – apart from the top collar and maybe the front facing – do you really expect to receive pocket bags and fusing pieces and such as part of a block set? Isn’t that what you do as a pattern maker, dependent on the style? If you are so keen to follow exactly what you are given, wouldn’t it be easier to get a contractor to make up something he has in stock than even bothering to try and create something new?

    Perhaps that was a little out of line, but menswear is dull enough as it is, without at least trying to push the boundaries a little.

  11. Kate in England says:

    As a student in London, I’m familiar with these blocks, and although I’m well aware of the many drawbacks with them, I feel obligated to point out that those aren’t notches, they’re size markers. Also, the answer to this: “I imagine the real pattern would contain all of the needed pieces (facings, linings, upper collar)” is no, it wouldn’t. These are blocks (slopers), not patterns, plus traditional tailoring (or at least the kind practised on Savile Row) never involves the use of patterns for these elements – facings, linings, pocket pieces, canvases etc are all cut either using the garment piece as a guideline or by marking directly on to the cloth.

  12. Kathleen says:

    I think it is cool that you make an honest attempt at the answers when it is easier to cheat. Don’t think I don’t notice. Could come in handy if there is an ambiguity that could be decided in your favor.

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