After I finished grading the new slightly larger straps the 2 design options were all set to be redrawn in coloured lines. When drawing a pattern just for yourself this will not be needed. But I don’t make them for myself so the pattern should be very easy to use. It sound so easy when written down but it proves to be quite a task! Each size will be in its own colour. Well … almost every size. Because for some sizes the cups are exactly the same. That’s why I’ve choosen several years ago to draw all the patterns in B cups – and for this particulair pattern in F cups. To trace an E cup or a G cup it only needs a simple adjustment for the band which will be described in the instructions. Through the years this method has been proven to work well and it allows for a large number of sizes to be included in the pattern.
So, colouring it is!
I use a waterproof permanent pen for this because they work best on the thin chalk paper. This is the best easy see through paper I know, very clear and very strong. Any mistake or little smudge can be sratched away without destroying the paper. That’s why architects love working on this papaer. And that’s how I got to start using it. Years ago I had a male student who was looking for a career switch, he was working at an architect studio at the time and wanted to give it a go as a swimwear designer. He brought this paper and all of us ladies in the classroom were going wild, the best paper ever!! Only problem : not every type of pen will hold on it. The paper doesn’t absorb any ink and only a waterproof permanent pen will dry quick enough to avoid smudging.
Most of the lines in bras are curved and they have to keep the exact same curve in every size. The best tool for this job is a flexible curve, the set curves for drawing arm pits and sleeves never really seem to work. No wonder, they were never ment for this particulair job. The flexi curve is a bar of led covered in some sort of plastic. You can move it in any curve you want till you’re satisfied and move it up or down to draw the next size. Perfect!
It all looks so much clearer and pretty professional once the lines have been coloured. But that’s only part of the job. Each piece also need additional construction marks. Surprisingly that takes up quite a lot of time. It’s not just a matter of which parts are sewn together but also where to put them to avoid misunderstandings. Especially with the overlaps in all those sizes together. And the arrow for direction of stretch … always a tricky thing to place it because it’s not sure yet how the pieces will be alligned. When an overlap is unavoidable the spot I’ve choosen might turn out very confusing.
One thing is for sure; pattern drawing for lingerie cannot be done on autopilot. Every step needs concentration and accuracy. The patterns will be printed on large A1 sheets and I tried a first layout on my A1 cutting board. Just to see the amount of space it takes up because there will be at least one more bra in the pattern and who knows … with enogh space left there might even be something more!
The goal is to lay them out in the same way they will be put together. More or less that is because the bra will be 3 dimensional and this is a flat surface. But still, this way it will make the parts more recognizable.
Also I try to avoid overlaps, especially at parts that are already a bit crowded like the front of the bra band where side seam and cup cut out have an unavoidable overlap already.
The lettering will be left for last when the pieces have been scanned, moved around on the digital sheet and final allignments are ready. I will scan them this afternoon. No pictures to show doing that, sorry. But I’m sure you can picture me jumping up and down from screen to scanner. I never keep my electronic friends that close at hand, I always have to get up changing the drawings to scan. That’s my way of exercising!
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