The Blog of The Bride of Sesshomaru


Welcome to my sewing, historical reenactment, and CosPlay blog! Here on this blog you will find all of my random thoughts about sewing, the SCA, manga, anime, CosPlay, costume making, embroidery, sewing historically accurate Japanese costumes, and my fandom of Lord Sesshomaru whom I CrossPlay as.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

CosPlay: To Use Patterns or No?


CosPlay: To Use Patterns or No?

My answer:

I actually do not cut out the patterns. I use the tailoring method of pin cutting. Which means I lay the paper on the fabric, and than use pins the "trace" the entire outline of the pattern to the fabric. Once done I can fold the paper back up and slide it back in the envelope. I than cut the fabric using the pins as a guide instead of the pattern.

This method is used by some French fashion designers, but it's not very common. I don't recommend this method unless you are quite advanced though, because it is very easy to make huge mistakes doing this.

I find it easier to use, because you don't have to mess around with all the crinkly paper, plus you don't have to cut off the other sizes in the pattern, thus you can reuse the pattern later, either on yourself if you change sizes, or for one of your friends who is a different size than you.

However, when you are just starting out, it is better to cut the pattern out instead.

If you want to reuse the pattern over and over again, than you should make a sloper. To do this you will need either some cardboard or some poster board, the same size as your pattern pieces. You use carbon paper to trace over the pattern pieces, and than cut them out of the card board, instead of cutting out the paper patterns. All fashion designers do this. It's very rare for a professional costumer to use a paper pattern, most of them use slopers instead. The reason is because a paper pattern is good of only 2 or 3 uses and than it's pretty much trash. Once the paper wrinkles, you'll find it pretty hard to make the pattern again and make the size come out right. However, a cardboard sloper can be used 30 or 40 times before it wears out. And if it's pattern they plan to do lots of, say a few dozen each month for the next several years, than they would cut the sloper out of plastic. Bridal shops usually use plastic slopers, because they use the same 3 or 4 patterns to make dozens of different gowns.

When using a sloper the cutting method is different though, cause you lay the sloper on the fabric, and than trace around the outer edge with a tailor's chalk. You never use any pins at all, and you only cut on single layers (not folded) of fabric, thus you must trace the pattern, than flip it and trace it again, if it tells you to cut on the fold. But not cutting on the fold you achieve a much better and more accurate fit.

What's your take on this? I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post. Leave a comment and share your views!


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