Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Cream Puff Dress Experiment

Testing Patterns with Paper

So, you all know about tissue fitting a pattern, right?  Since I'm not actually using tissue, that's a little difficult.  (Remember what happened with the Golden Goddess Skirt?)

After my pattern drafting from the previous post, I kept mulling over the problems of scale and style, and started wondering (apart from the issue of how the curved seams work in the front) whether my math and two-dimensional approach would even have the look I wanted. 

What happens if what worked on Amanda and her Golden Dress doesn't work on Little Miss and her Cream Puff Dress?  I was especially worried about whether the side seams would actually sit at the sides of the body, and whether the back seam would be in the middle.  Or, would the whole proportion be off? 

Suddenly, a light bulb went off. 

Playing with Paper

Silly goose, just cut out the 1/4 scale paper pieces I've been experimenting with, and "sew" them together with the stapler!  (I did this earlier this summer when I was experimenting with how to draft the bodice for my own dress.  More on this later.)  Then, I'll know if the shape/line/proportion work at all the way I imagined them.

{Cream Puff Dress Paper Mock-Up}

It was a little challenging to get those little pieces of paper to stay stapled, but guess what folks?  It works!  (At least, without a body inside it.)  But my curved princess seam actually did what it was supposed to when "sewed" to a straighter seam, and the straighter seam did not pull the curved seam out of position.  The front three panels look perfectly even at the sides of the "body" and create a flattering waistline.  The back seam falls right in the center and lines up exactly with the center of the front.  It even looks elegant (well, for a paper dress).

Printing the Pattern

I was so thrilled with this outcome, I had another brilliant idea.  Instead of now re-drafting the pattern at 100 percent scale, why not scan my 25 percent scale pattern pieces, blow them up by 400 percent and print them?  I thought I might do this at the print shop, but another light bulb went off.  Duh! I own a printer; why can't I print on multiple pages and tape them together?

So that's what I did.  And here is the result.

{Cream Puff Dress:  Center Back Piece, Tiled Print}

And here's how I did it.

I scanned each pattern piece into a pdf file.  Then, using the snapshot tool, I selected the image area, and selected print.  I chose "print selected image only" (this avoids having too much white space which leads to totally blank pieces of paper), selected "print tiled pages," and tried to collect them from the print tray in the correct order.

As I put the pieces in their correct spaces, I marked and numbered them in clockwise order so I could reconstruct how they fit together at some later necessary point in time.  i.e., center 3, etc.  Each panel required 8 pieces of paper.

Just to make sure, I measure the squares of the graph paper that I had used to draft the pattern.  This way, I could verify that the scale was indeed correct.  Since I had also marked the measurements on the pattern, I also measured those lines to make sure they were correct.  Everything was correct.  Yay!

Then, I learned about the plotter in the library, which prints on immense sheets of paper.  I will use that for my own dress pattern pieces, which will seem super long.

Yay! Making progress!

Till next time,--Ayana

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