June 26, 2007

Pattern Project Update

A while ago I started on a boy's shirt pattern fix. I haven't made much progress with it because I realized I wanted (and needed) a good set of basic blocks. I had basic blocks for companies that I do patternmaking, but none that I could truly call my own. I now have two sets of basic bodice blocks, which have been graded. Now that I have some good basic bodice blocks, I can return to my boy's shirt pattern.

My first set of patterns are based on the Aldrich book, I derived grade rules from Aldrich's measurement charts. My second set is an extrapolation of various patterns I have used over the years with my own personal refinements. I graded the second set using Handford's grading manual. I did two sets because I wanted to compare the two. I discovered that Aldrich's patterns are closer fitting to the body - less wearing ease. Also, her neck and armhole shaping are on the small side. They could work perfectly fine with some tweaking. If you don't already have a base pattern, Aldrich would be a good place to start.

One thing I discovered is that I like my own pattern. I know it works for one thing. It is a little looser fit with a better neck shape. I am sure it will be refined over time. I don't consider these patterns set in stone. I also like the Handford grading system. The measurements of the graded patterns fell within a comfortable range. Handford's grading does not include a 9 mo size. I added a 9 mo size for reference by splitting the grade between the 6M and 12M sizes. I am still undecided if I will add a 9M size to my future line. There is not a lot of difference between the 6M and 12M size, so it is really a merchandising question. What do customers want?

Anyway, the next step is to finish up my boy's shirt pattern....

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