I'm working on the development of an historical dress pattern range, starting in the 1940s. I've never had anything to do with the rag trade industry, I'm a home dressmaker and teacher, so everything is new and interesting.
I thought others would be interested in the process, so here are the steps.
1. Find a good pattern maker
The first step is to find a pattern maker. I'd already drafted my patten from a Miss Page dress. I searched the interwebs and researched and found one to test the waters with. We met, discussed the project and the process.
The pattern maker creates the first pattern from your design (a pattern is a bonus for them). You get an industry size 10 pattern to test. I made this up as a toile, fitted my model, sent the modifications off. Then the changes are incorporated, a new pattern sent and then this cycle continues until you are satisfied that it's exactly the way you want it to be.
The first change is included, each one after that costs extra.
Once the size 10 model is ready, the pattern maker then creates all the sizes in your range, in my case 8 - 20. Then I test all of these, which means making up the dress over and over again in each size and fitting onto size appropriate models, noting changes and required adjustments. If you can do this yourself it is much more cost affective.
Once all is agreed to, then your pattern is turned into a commercial nested pattern with all the appropriate markings for the home dressmaker.
As I made up each model I created my pattern notes. These then get passed to others to use and test and ensure that they make sense. Bad pattern notes can ruin a good pattern.
3. Test, test, test!
When all is tested, rewritten as required, tweaked and smoothed to perfection, then your ready to think about pattern production.
That's where I am now!
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