some progress

Today I actualy drafted a pattern. A really simple princess seam (into armscye not shoulder) and it really doesn’t look like anything special because it is familiar.

But it was entirely drafted from a width of curtain lining.

I taught myself how to drape primarily because all the classes and courses available at the time and for a long time after taught a very modern system. Which regardless of what anyone says is not peak evolution of patterning.

One of the reasons I have digitally collected all the dressmaking and tailoring manuals is to hopefully draw attention to the fact that so many try to make this claim. So they absolutely cannot be.

I like drafting too, but I prefer draping because drafting ignores the effect of fabric stretch*. Draping relies on it.

It becomes so obvious why curved seams are curved when they could be straight. Just pin a corner of a square of fabric at the CF neck of any mannequin and the fabric does wonderful things. Cut the corner off perfectly diagonally and it will change things. Cut it into a curve?

Anyway. The pattern was draped from neck to hip at CF and CB and the side panels were pinned in a vertical line through and eased from waist up to armscye and waist down to hip and pushed towards the middle.

Princess seams are so common but super misunderstood. They are not purely decorative they have a function that darts do not. There have been curved side back seams for centuries, but a curved seam at side front? Very rare until you see hourglass corsets worn regularly. Even then double darts are more common.

So there has to be a reason for them being relatively rare, and it’s a very simple reason- it’s expensive. You need to account for seam allowance over the most prominant curve and that creates a lot of waste.

Pinching a dart out meanwhile is not wasteful. And it offers the ability to undo the dart at a later date.

But once you have that seam you can make use of the vertical stretch it creates. Because a cut edge has more stretch than a fold. And clipping causes even more stretch. So this is why I had to pin and ease the side panels from waist up and down. I had to start with the center of the panels as an anchor.

I wonder if I can manage to get the motivation to do a video on this. Primarily as an engineering thing, not right and wrong.

*Or tries to calculate it mathematically and it just never really works out. It makes for very pretty line work though.

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