These pop quizzes are always so educational for me. I should do them more often so I’m grounded as to changing visitor competencies and frame of reference. It’s possible there’s a myriad of issues but I was looking for the broadest, most obvious and most costly considering the potentiality for error. From a sewing perspective, that’d be the notches. Someone in a sewing line would never have occasion to see the pattern and know whether there were a grain line or not. It’s the notching that’s noticeable from a sewing perspective. Grain line or lack of one, is only obvious from a cutting perspective.
In the previous entry, there’s no way to tell which piece goes where. In industrial sewing, notching is coded and offset. Anyone, anywhere should be able to pick up a cut piece and know instantly whether it’s a back or a front piece regardless of whether they know what the garment looks like. It might not matter if you’re only sewing one at home. It matters a great deal if you’re sewing whole stacks of these. Then you’ll become very annoyed.
The system of offsetting notches was discussed at length in the production pattern making section of my book (pp.176-180) precisely because this is one of those little things that is never mentioned in textbooks and it really matters. This explains why it’s easy for a practitioner to know at a glance whether they’re looking at a home pattern that’s been put on oak tag or if the pattern maker is a little green. In industry, notching isn’t considered to be arbitrary. I know pattern books seem to stick them where ever with no rhyme or reason but that’ll get you in hot water at work. Below is just one possibility; of the side front (SF) being sewn to the center back (CB):
Here’s another example. What’s to prevent the side front (SF) from being sewn to the lower side back (LSB)?
Last night, Eric mentioned another way in which the stitchers might confuse the pieces (below). Being equidistant, what’s to prevent them from sewing the pieces upside down? You can’t assume the stitcher knows what the item looks like. They may have been given a pile of cut pieces, the implication is always that they have to figure it out. It is usually like this, trust me. If they’ve been given a bunch of similar looking pieces, how will they know it’s not sewn like this?
You can always say that the stitchers should be thinking but if the pattern has been made correctly, they shouldn’t have to. That’s not to say they shouldn’t think. It’s that they should notice anomalies. When they come to something that is untoward, they should come to a screeching halt. That’s one reason why it takes so long to sew bad patterns. Stitchers are coming to a screeching halt repeatedly. After awhile, with so many things wrong, how is one to know what’s right and what’s wrong? You don’t know how often a DE will send stuff out without a sketch or a sample. In the absence of oversight, you may safely imagine it won’t be sewn as you’d expected. This is why a lot of people won’t make protos for you if they didn’t make the pattern. It’s nothing personal and it’s not the money. It’s just too much hassle to work with a poorly designed pattern.