Re: [CostumeHistoryClass] Costuming a Victorian/Edwardian Play
- That definitely sounds fun. I've got to try it while I'm on sabbatacal this fall for kicks and giggles.
Claudia Hill <sunshadowlady@...> wrote: Dear Dr Maginnis,
It's really quite simple, at least for the package I
use. After you put in the measurements and made a
fitting shell or sloper, which you only have to do
once for each person, you go to the pattern drafting
screen. There are many choices for each design
element. For example, in a dress, these would be
Bodice, collar, sleeves, skirt, and pockets. Each
element has an extensive menu of choices, as well as
input fields to tweak the numerical inputs (amount of
ease, length of skirt, etc). When you have made all
your choices and saved the pattern, you can print it
out on regular computer paper, tape it together at the
alignment marks, and cut it out.
If the pattern needs adjusting for the period, you can
load it into the Pattern Editor, an easy to use CAD
program, and change anything, whether it involves
adding to the pattern, subtracting, putting new seams,
or whatever. The program keeps track of necessary
adjustments (for example, if you change the sleeve, it
adjusts the armhole and cuff to match. For example,
the program offers leg o' mutton sleeves, but let's
say they are not as puffy as you would like for an
Edwardian costume. You can easily add a lot of puff
in the pattern by moving the cutting line over while
the program takes care of the details.
The program will make cutting layouts and gives
yardage estimates, but I don't use this feature. It
also labels the pieces with the name of the piece, the
date drafted, and the name of the person whose
measurements you used, and/or whatever text you want.
It does not supply directions for construction, so
either you need to be at least an intermediate
seamstress or provide yourself with Simply the Best
or the Reader's Digest The New Complete Guide to
I have both books and they are starting to look like
they have been loved to death--they fall open to the
section on zippers of their own accord.
Really, though, the best way to get a feel for the
programs is to download the free trials which many of
the manufacturers offer--complete versions of the
program except that they won't print out the pattern.
I might add FYI that Wild Ginger also offers a
professional pattern drafting program, Cameo. I don't
know anything about it; it's way too expensive for me.
This link should take you to the page to download the
As far as adapting a pattern, (and incidently allowing
you to custom-fit it without actually having to divide
any fractions)you could simply choose the menu
items--length and flare of skirt, for example--closest
to the pattern and tweak it in the pattern editor if
the result wasn't quite right. I didn't have any
trouble drafting a pattern for "my" garment, the
Edwardian summer tea gown, and I'm certainly no
There are other pattern-drafting software packages out
there, and some of them also offer free demos, but I
rejected them because they didn't seem to me to be
flexible enough--this was three years ago, though. For
I hape this helps.
--- Tara Maginnis
> Tell me more about using pattern drafting software__________________________________________________
> for making period patterns. I've always been
> interested in it for technical reasons, though I
> don't actually NEED it for practical reasons (I
> learned pattern drafting long ago, so I don't need
> it, it just sounds like a fun tech toy). How would
> the software work with, say, trying to adapt a
> pattern from something like Janet Arnold?
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----Tara Maginnis, Ph.D., Costume Designer, Professor and Chair
of the Theatre Department of the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Website: "The Costumer's Manifesto" at http://costumes.org
Theatre Department Web Site: http://www.uaf.edu/theatre
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