Pop Quiz #474

Don’t give me any grief about this. I’m telling you up front that this qualifies as one -if not the most- arcane and dopiest entry I’ve ever published. In sum, if you don’t get the answer, it’s likely no one else will either but I’m looking forward to reading your creative submissions.

This was inspired by DH. He wondered why some of my patterns had little blue lines around the outside edges (below)

If that’s not visible, below is a close up:

Here’s part two of the quiz. Assuming you correctly guess what these marks are for, what could be implied from the multitude of marks on the pattern below?

FYI, I don’t know of another manufacturer who adopted this practice. I’m on the fence as to whether anyone should adopt it. It would depend on your shop conditions I guess. I’ll explain it all in part two of course.

And just for grins, the photo below has nothing to do with this entry but it was on my camera when I uploaded these photos and I thought it was funny. Obviously, someone’s forgotten the proper protocol for snail mail. We haven’t gotten it back so I guess it arrived okay.

By the way, I didn’t do this. And not that it’s not something I wouldn’t have done.

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  1. bethany says:

    This is totally a guess because a patternmaker I am not, but could it be to line up stripes or a pattern?

  2. j. says:

    That’s what I thought, too, marks for assisting in walking the pattern, which would explain why the markings are more frequent on edges with a deeper curve (more frequent shifting about would be needed while matching to the other edge, so more marks needed to identify the point that’s being matched at each step).

  3. Josh says:

    Are the blue lines marking some sort of hand stitching design? I have no idea, I just love to hear myself talk.

  4. sfriedberg says:

    I also guess they are from walking the pattern, especially since they seem to be further apart on the less curved edges.

  5. Mia A. says:

    I have no clue as to why they would mark those lines other than everybody’s answer of walking the pattern. What I want to know is why are the notches so deep? In the third picture down, the notches look like they are 1/2″ deep, way past the industry standard of 3/8″ (read THE BOOK).

  6. Lorianne says:

    OK- i am assuming those 2 numbers are style #’s – so the 21118 style is right out to the edge and the 21231 boxed in red is for the red line part of the pattern only…so the blue dashes are just to mark the ‘blue’ part of the pattern 21118…so the pattern below with only the blue marks are to show that piece of the pattern in only for style 21118…? does that make sense? just a shot – thought I would try to be different haha

  7. J C Sprowls says:

    No clue. This is not a convention I’ve ever seen, before. Is it specific to the leather trade?

    I don’t think these tics are for walking the pattern. When walking a pattern, you’re superimposing the seamline from the joining piece (i.e. face-to-face). I use an awl to walk patterns, so there are little punch holes at the seam intersections and notches.

    These blue marks have a different inference; but, I can’t guess it.

    @Mia. Notchers only come in a handful of sizes. I’ve seen them 1/4″ X 1/16″, which is the most common (i.e. the standard); 1/4″ X 1/8″; and 1/8″ X 1/8″. If there are others, I’d like to know who makes them because I’m looking for an inverted V notcher for knitwear patterns.

    I love the EBID envelope. I think most of us have pulled that stunt at sometime or another. I suspect multi-tasking is the culprit. You know, I heard your IQ drops 10 points for the load of each additional task you try to cram in.

  8. dosfashionistas says:

    The only thing that makes sense is that the red line indicates the pattern for style 21231 and the part that is 1/4″ (I assume) larger is the other style. I have never seen this done, but it is the only logical conclusion. And the other piece is for style 21118 only and not used in 21231. ??? I will be checking in for the answer.

  9. amber jones says:

    Is this for use of the cutter when cutting out the pattern? – to mark where to cut the fabric piece for ease of sewing – possibly for a leather garment – because if the pattern piece is cut like this, the machinist can sew around the curves much easier

  10. Beth says:

    Ok, it has been a very long night at work, but from what I can see….the marks should be for the neckline where you clip to the seam, and is this pattern for a Poncho maybe?


  11. Kerryn says:

    Are you matching a patterned / checked fabric? …. Even then it would be unusual to have so many marks.

    You’ve stumped me.

  12. The only people who could be using those lines are the patternmaker and the cutter or whoever it is who makes markers. Stitchers will never see them. Even then, the cutter will probably only ever see a marker. (Am I right?) So… if only the patternmaker is using the pattern piece, what are the shop conditions that require lines on the pattern piece?

    Which is why the red line has me mystified. If patterns are traced *around* and then the tracing line completely cut off, where does the red line come in? For tracing *over* the pattern?

    So like Lorianne I suspect that the red and blue lines have something to do with each other, but I have no idea what that would be. And that doesn’t explain the piece that has blue lines but not red ones.

  13. ken simmons says:

    I love a thought puzzle and this one has me running my brain even in my sleep. I too thought the style numbers and colors of pen marker were related but it seems too much of a time waster when one could just use a color for the pattern piece name to indicate it was not for 2 styles not needing to tic mark all around the edges. Then I thought it could be for shrinkage for different types of fabric, one washable another dry-cleanable but that would show mostly in the length not all around all edges, also for making a marker you would need two different patterns not a one for all pattern, then I thought an applique piece with turned under edges before top stiching into place but that could be shown simply with notches, so I am at a loss and can not wait to hear the answer.

  14. Brenda Pawlowski says:

    I am not a “professional” more like a desperate pattern drafter out of necessity (nothing fits unless I remake it). Those are the kind of marks I make around the crucial pattern pieces when I need to enlarge the piece. Then I can lay my ruler on them to draw the new line. Am I close?

  15. sfriedberg says:

    The red outline shows where interfacing is to be applied. The comment on the style numbers indicates that only one of the two takes the interfacing, presumably because the two styles are made from different stuff.

    I’ve got a question unrelated to the hash marks around the edges. If this is a “side front” and cut “2 per”, it’s symmetric, right? But leather/fabric nap and appearance is generally different on opposite sides of the fabric, and the style that takes interfacing needs to have it applied to the mirror-image on half the pieces. So, this pattern is mirrored when the marker is created, for distinct left side fronts and right side fronts, yes?

  16. Eric H says:

    No, multitasking doesn’t explain it in this case. More like it has been well over a year since I have addressed and stamped an envelope, and I think that the fact that most e-mail interaction is in the upper left corner (compose, send, etc.) that I just stuck it there before I realized what I was doing.

    In the future, people won’t remember how to memorize phone numbers, either!

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