mama whose curiosity knows no bounds

Posts tagged ‘sloper’

my failed attempt to draft a pattern

I fell in love when I saw this coat on the cover of a tailoring textbook in

So I asked my husband last summer to buy this book. I’ve always wanted a long coat. Especially the nasty winter last time. And longer version of this coat looked perfect.

This book comes with the actual size pattern. BUT I’m “super-sized” when Japanese pattern making is concerned.  My bust is 4″ bigger than the Large of the attached pattern.

However, kindly, this book comes with how to draft the pattern from scratch. First, we draft the “Bunka-style sloper”. 

In Japan, there are two major schools of pattern drafting -“Bunka-style” or “Dre-me (short for ‘dressmaking’)-style”. This book is published by the Bunka-style design. The sloper used is an old version, which use only bust and back length measurement to draft the sloper. The current version is a lot more complicated but that was not the version used in this book.

Ever a computer lover, and I had a good experience with some drawing software (Now defunct Micrografix Designer and Adobe illustrator), I wanted to draw on computer. But of course Adobe illustrator is way too expensive for just trying out drafting pattern. I found an iPad app, iDesign. This is a reasonably good app. It can have layers (big plus!), can export to jpeg or PDF or illustrator format. Although it didn’t have the sophistication of illustrator, it did the job. I successfully draw my sloper.


Then I had to to a rather complicated manipulation so I wanted to deal with front and back in separate file.

Only then I realized that iDesign’s maximum EXPORTABLE board size is smaller than the board I created. I think it’s a sort of bug that allowed me to create that big board I needed for sloper. And this app doesn’t allow me to hop between two separate files, copy and paste as we usually do on any apps on PC.  At this point, it really doesn’t make sense to keep going with this route. I might try getting the illustrator later on, though.

Then the next thing I tried was Microsoft Publisher, which I have used a lot for poster making. The problem with this is that I cannot tell where the printer splits the big drawing so I can place a registration marks for future matching. Besides, it doesn’t allow to make LAYERS. Layers are a MUST for any drawing software.

So until I learn the AutoCAD (I am lucky that I have access to free educational edition), I should stick with paper and pencil.  I have done that about 25 years ago, only my size has changed drastically.

I had a freezer paper taped to have enough space. Then I had to face the inevitable – my rulers are in INCHES, not in metric! Converting centimeters to inches are not too hard, thanks to the online unit converter. I also installed a fraction calculator app on my iPhone. This was great. The only problem is that I no longer have the ability to understand  22 175/192 inches is close enough in sixteenth (or eighth) of an inch.  I was very irritated that I don’t have that sense. It used to be automatic to find the nearest sixteenth. This is what ageing means. Sigh. Still, after a lots of hair-pulling, I managed to draw the real size sloper.

Since the actual drafting of the coat is in centimeters, I had a few options: buy all rulers in metric; or calculate very patiently; wait until I am fluent enough in AutoCAD.  I chose none. I chose BUYING A PATTERN. I need a coat for THIS winter. All forecasts say that this winter is as bad as the last one. I don’t want to survive in LL Bean parka, the warmest coat I have. It had been great until last, awful winter.

Thankfully, I found something that look good at Burda though it is tailored and therefore a bit difficult. Well, I’m ready for that challenge. I’ve taken enough Craftsy courses! And I can knit an accompanying infinit scarf.

I don’t know how Americans can design or draft a pattern. They must be a genius in fractions. Seriously, I hope Americans will adopt metric system soon that I can get all rulers in metric by default. I still hasn’t given up with that coat. So classy, isn’t it?  I might make in jacket length.





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