Normally I post a garment photo or sketch and challenge you to come up with the pattern. This time I’ll post the pattern and you tell me what the garment looks like. You can get a larger version by clicking on the image. Ready?
This draft is from Timo Rissanen’s site, Fashion Creation Without Fabric Waste Creation (and where Danielle nudged me this morning). I wrote about him before and he also hangs out around here when he has the time (hi Timo!). Timo is a fashion professor working on a dissertation about the concept of zero materials waste in apparel manufacturing. His concept of zero waste is clearly illustrated in the draft above. By way of introduction, here’s what I wrote before:
The point he makes in his paper (pdf) that I think many people lose sight of, is how the production of a garment is driven and how this affects material utilization. He rightly says “Hierarchical divisions of labour within the fashion industry can create limitations for innovation in sustainable fashion design strategies” meaning that the traditional means are designer ->pattern maker -> marker maker. Unfortunately, the tail end of the process is where most utilization strategies are focused. I stressed the problem with this approach in my book and discussed ways to reduce the problems but it seems that the tendency remains to assign responsibility for cost cutting through out the entire cycle on the cutting and sewing floor. Reiterating Abernathy and Dunlop among others, Timo says waste reduction must be realized at the front of the line in design, which is then incorporated in patterns rather than leaving all the responsibility for waste reduction and reducing fabric costs with the cutters.
I think Timo’s work deserves more exposure. First it is seductive, pandering to my love of waste-less. Self serving as the latter is, Timo has a gift for mentoring. With influence and leadership, he guides students and practitioners to follow his examples. That is the mark of a true teacher. Perhaps you remember I wrote of his protege Mark Liu before as well.
Here’s an example from a protege (?) or colleague (?) of Timo’s, also shown via reverse pattern puzzling.
The sample above is from Holly McQuillan (good reading too). On the left is the draft. On the right is the paper model of the pattern partially constructed. There’s also an “explanation” of how this pattern goes together. And it makes my head hurt.
For better photos of the drafts and garments constructed, this is the best place to find them. This draft (the garment is shown at lower right), makes me wish I were a designer and young enough to start over again. On second thought, scratch that. I’d prefer being in charge of getting it through production. No laudatory acclaim but it’d be due all the same.
The answer to Timo’s pattern challenge is here but of course you can’t look at it if you intend to participate in the puzzle.