How Do You Trace Patterns & What Pieces Go Where

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MorgaineChristensen
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How Do You Trace Patterns & What Pieces Go Where

Post by MorgaineChristensen » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:11 pm

I am a hobbyist MD User and my knowledge of real world sewing is like ancient. I often find some interesting patterns on the Internet but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to trace some of the pieces or how they are suppose to be sewn together. They seem to be squished together. Often, the patterns will be from other places around the world, from old books, newspapers, costumes etc.

Case in point are some of the patterns listed below. I mean really, what do you do with the tabby thing on this older garment? On the middle pattern, I understand you trace the front out in 3 pieces and sew together, but what about the back? Do use the two upper pieces on the back or just sew the back as is to the front and unfold the 2 top pieces at shoulder and side for the back? And this simple dress strapped summer dress, do I trace the back piece beginning at the dotted line at the top?

Sure I could experiment, but that would be major frustration if there is an easier way to determine what to trace and how to put them together? Maybe you just need an eye for these things! One I don't seem to have!

Thanks in advance, I appreciate the help!
Morgaine
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Rosemaryr
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Re: How Do You Trace Patterns & What Pieces Go Where

Post by Rosemaryr » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:35 am

Generally, most pattern systems offer only 1/2 of a full garment's patterns. It is assumed that in most cases, the garment is mirrored from left to right, and that in the real world you would be cutting the patterns from a doubled layer of cloth. Modern patterns will indicate the 'Cut on a fold' matter with a dotted or dashed line.... see the bottom image you posted: that dashed line indicated where the fabric is folded. Older pattern system will not indicate it, as they assumed that tailors and seamstresses already know that. (In cases where the pattern is assymetrical, the pattern should indicate 'cut a single layer or cut a single pattern'.
So, the patterns will usually show one half side of the front patterns, and half of the back patterns. In MD, you 'cut' the patterns as shown, then use the "Mirror copy" function to get the other half.

In the case of the first image (the Thornton coat) you actually have four pieces. The two left ones comprise one half of the back, and the two right ones make up the front. (The two right hand ones one *look* like a single pattern piece because the printer or 'Thornton' placed them so the seams were close enough to appear that way.) So, 'cut' each of those patterns in MD, then select them and use the Mirror copy/paste to get the rest of the torso pattern piece.
(By the way, that 'tabbed' piece that you mention on the Thornton coat is for the collar. It is cut as a part of the coat, and is folded over on the indicated [straight] line.)

MorgaineChristensen
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Re: How Do You Trace Patterns & What Pieces Go Where

Post by MorgaineChristensen » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:13 am

Rosemayr,

Thank you for the information.

Yes, I am familiar with folds from Home Ec class years ago, although I haven't sewn in years. Trying to bring myself up-to-date in the modern world! :D

What I am curious about is, on the last example, do you trace the back piece, for this particular dress beginning, at the top dotted line? Or, do you use the entire pattern for both front and back? No other pieces were given for this particular dress so am having to make assumptions as I learn to mesh virtual and real life sewing into one.

And, in the 2nd example I am assuming the shoulder and side pieces are duplicated to add to the back piece as shown in the grayed illustration?

I have just recently began working with the "mirror" and "symmetrical" paste functions and found them very useful. Not sure I will make this since it looks a bit complicated for my skill level at this point but, I like the Thornton Coat. But, I have always had a fascination with costumes and period clothing. Hopefully, at some point, I will delve into something more complicated. Again, my thanks to you!

Happy Creating!
Morgaine

Rosemaryr
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Re: How Do You Trace Patterns & What Pieces Go Where

Post by Rosemaryr » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:54 am

For the last dress shown, I would cut the pattern as shown, then in MD
1) do an "unfold" on that vertical dotted/dashed straight line. This gives you the entire front pattern.
Then, (since I am assuming this is a very casual summer time dress)
2) do a Mirror copy/paste of that front pattern to make the back pattern. [However, looking at it, I might choose to then alter the top of back pattern to be a straight line across the back, instead of that curve (which is intended to cover the bustline area).]
Sew the side seams, and add pieces for the shoulder straps (which are assumed, and not given, in the original pattern).

The second dress is trickier to interpret. It is essentially a demonstration of 'how to' about converting a standard dress block (pre-made standard pattern) to create the pieced dress shown in the image. The left hand pattern shows the places that the changes are made, and the right hand pattern shows the results. For that one, you would use the right hand image as your guide to cutting the patterns. but note that the back is NOT shown. You have to make a guess as to what to do there: use a standard dress to finish it, or imitate what was done on the front.
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Modern patterns tend to give hints about the construction of a garment: they indicate with notches or line markers where two pattern are matched. They will also show seam allowances, which will not be needed in MD, as in MD the seams are sewn edge to edge. And modern pattern sets will provide pattern piece for everything that needs to be cut from cloth: facings, linings, etc.
Older patterns will not be so helpful, and more out-of-the-box thinking may be needed. They do not give seam allowances (which is fine for MD!) or indicate where to join different pattern pieces together. In the Thornton pattern above, for example, the back part of the collar is not shown, nor are the sleeves or necessary facings for the collar.

MorgaineChristensen
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Re: How Do You Trace Patterns & What Pieces Go Where

Post by MorgaineChristensen » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:41 pm

Rosemaryr,

Thank you for taking the time to explain further. The information is sincerely appreciated.

Happy Creating,
Morgaine

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