Pop quiz: how to split a draft? pt.2

rita_dress_pq_brina_solutionVery heartening that we had several useful responses to Rita’s challenge. Refreshing your memory, she asked how you could split the overlap on a draft without tracing one side onto the next. First out of the chute was Heidi who said:

You cut into the overlapping that it looks like a shark bite . But the teeth are not sharp they are flat at the top (that is the side seam) . So you get the whole seam contour and can interpolate at each side what is missing.

Anir concurs -as does Brina who provided a link to a series of sketches illustrating the concept.  At right is one of her sketches. The solution which Rita provided is also available. If you’re not certain what you’re looking at, perhaps this image that I modified from Brina’s will be helpful.

Susan provided an alternative idea -which although it violates the rule of tracing- could be solution for you depending on your working preferences. Susan said:

Tape a piece of pattern paper over the overlap. Cut one side seam in the new layer only. Flip it back out of the way and cut the other side seam in the original paper.

Paul and Mario suggested starting a draft with enough gap between the two to avoid the problem entirely.

I don’t do much side to side drafting like this (or haven’t since I got out of school) but when I have, I’ve used two separate sheets of paper. I don’t like working with a large draft mostly because I’m a weenie. With a large draft, the rulers and your hands skim the pencil lines, the graphite musses and dirties the draft. Then your rulers are dirty and muss up anything else you’re doing unless you go and wash them (like I do all too often). Like I said, weenie. I ink in all lines I’m keeping and erase all the pencil because I like pretty patterns. The only notation I keep in pencil are grade rules in the corners. I also erase along all cut lines.

OT: I didn’t always make pretty patterns, I never really thought of it but I had one supervisor early on who was a bear about it. Or not a bear exactly but she did one thing that ensured I’d follow suit. She recut and re-lined every piece I made. She only had to do it once, that was enough for me to get the hint. Pattern makers typically can’t bear waste. It was embarrassing to me that she remade my pattern so of course, I made sure she wouldn’t ever have to do it again and now it’s a habit.

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  1. Brina says:

    I think Heidi’s description matches Rita’s illustration more than mine. Shark teeth are angled, not boxy. Anyway Rita’s looks like it would be easier to cut. I do wonder though that she didn’t make sure that the bottom corner was indicated for both front and back. But maybe that could be interpolated also.

  2. Rocio says:

    Wow!… I probably could have used this tip when I last worked manually (16+ years ago)…
    And regarding pattern piece cleanliness…. CAD Pattern drafting made a neat freak out of me :-)

  3. Paul says:

    I too do not like working with a large draft as this one would be. If I were doing this particular one I too would use separate sheets. I also use hard lead in a mechanical pencil. Where I trace a previously made block I use a micro-ball pen with blue ink.
    When I went to school back in the 1990’s the instructor suggested separate sheets of paper or placing the drafts far enough apart to eliminate the overlapping. To clean up smudges I use an eraser bag.

  4. This is fascinating. Not something I’d run across, an ingenious solution.

    I, too, am in the clean-pattern camp. I use permanent fine markers for all stages, with thin pattern paper early on and a light table for the card finals. I’m not currently drafting many Worth-style ball gowns, though.

    I don’t keep pencils or smudgy pens anywhere near the work areas of my studio.

  5. Deanna Tanner says:

    I trained as an architectural draftsperson before fashion so I too am particular about my drafting practices. Another tip I would point out is to roll the pencil in your hand as you are drawing a long line. An HB pencil is soft enough to dull over one line sufficiently to end the line two or three times thicker. Rotating the pencil uses the paper to sharpen the pencil and therefore keep the line consistent. Overkill for the cut line because it is cut away. But for all other measurements it simplifies if the lines are clean and uniform.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Carol: by thin “pattern paper” you mean marker paper or what home sewers call “pattern paper”? Context is significant since many visitors use this site as a resource for professional guidance. If any are confused, paper #1 in this entry is marker paper. Paper #2 is pattern paper in the garment industry.

    Deanna: I totally agree about the HB pencils! I use a 4H Turquoise (02269) for drafting.

    Paul: I tried using the mechanical pencils with a 4H lead but they would either break (the lead being so thin) or the harder points of the lead would create the tiniest of furrows in the oak tag from which lines couldn’t be completely erased. I keep about a dozen or so of the pencils on hand, sharpened ones are point up in a cup. As they dull, I place them point down. This way, I know which need sharpening easily. A pencil lasts me maybe an hour.

    Carol: I use fine markers for grainline and information block but for no other purpose at all. Any draft lines are done in pencil and then erased so pretty could be a matter of context. Personally, I think drafting lines left on the pattern to be unattractive and confusing. I don’t ever recall seeing inked in drafting lines on the job. And Sharpies? I hate those things. They contribute to such notoriously inaccurate results that I confiscate them from anyone who shows up for a class with them. Anything to break people (usually instructors, don’t know why that is) of the habit.

  7. Brina says:

    I turn the pencil as well when I am drawing to keep a consistent line like Deanna. But I never do it consciously and only realized I did it by accident. I was using a pencil sharpener that sharpened wonky–leaving the wood at an angle over the pencil lead. I couldn’t figure out why I was having trouble drawing a dark line when I started with the side with the exposed lead. Then I realized I was turning the pencil as I drew. Kind of weirded me out in a good way–my body had a mind of it’s own.

    I use pencils to draft with. I’ve used pens when I was doing something quick and dirty and was working in someone else’s space, with their tools, and I could never find anything. I erase everything also. Usually I’m the only one using my patterns–however when someone else cuts it’s less confusing for them if there aren’t any drafting lines.

  8. Alphanumeric paper, and Micron Pigmas, 05 (Sharpees! shudder!). I would rather redraw (I am fast and accurate) than erase.

    If by “drafting lines” we’re talking trial efforts, there are none, only grain and pattern information.

  9. Brina says:

    By ‘drafting lines’ I meant things like horizontal or vertical axises or similar guide lines. The draft above shows horizontal guide lines at the hip and at the hem line. Others may mean something else.

  10. Seth Meyerink-Griffin says:

    @Carol, et al.: I typically use .5mm HB mechanical pencils; I don’t have to press hard, just hard enough that I can see my line. It’s getting cut away anyways… I’ve never had a problem with either smudging or the lead breaking. I *do* use Sharpies, but only the ultra-fine point ones, and only for drawing final dart shapes, grain lines, etc. I hadn’t thought of using my Micron pens; I put them away once I quit doing finished illustrations, and haven’t touched them since. (FWIW: Copic makes some *very* nice fine-line pens, available down to .005, with replaceable tips and ink cartridges; far less likely to clog than my old Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph pens. Their markers are nice too, if you like to do complete illustrations by hand.)

    @Kathleen: I know that my instructors used Sharpies; I think it was so everyone in the class could see what they were doing without being crowded around a smallish table. I know that they didn’t use them outside of class…

  11. Debbie Soles says:

    “With a large draft, the rulers and your hands skim the pencil lines, the graphite musses and dirties the draft. Then your rulers are dirty and muss up anything else you’re doing unless you go and wash them (like I do all too often). ”

    Kathleen have you tried using Quic Kleen Drafting Powder with a Draftsman’s Duster to clean your drafting sheets? Being a lefty it’s essential for my architectural/patterndrafting drawings/drafts.


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