Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the architecture of sewing by Jaime

So tonight I was doing this thing that I often do when I am getting ready to start a new project, I was tracing off a pattern. It got me thinking about the similarities between sewing and architecture. For those of you who don't know me yet, I have a degree in Interior Architecture. I describe myself as an analytical creative: I enjoy the science in creating.
There are many tools in my sewing room that came straight from the drafting table. For instance, the micron pen. These little bad boys dry fast, come in multiple colors and sizes. They are perfect for drawing floor plans or drafting patterns.
Trace paper is another staple. I actually finished off rolls of trace paper from school on recent sewing projects. An alternative to trace paper is freezer paper (available at your local grocery store) and it is much more cost effective, at around $4. Another perk to freezer paper is that you can actually iron it on to your fabric and it peels right off leaving no residue.

My old metal ruler, used in school, makes an appearance with nearly every project. I have added the standard 6"x24" Omnigrip ruler to the mix. They make a nice pair.

Then there is the Olfa rotary cutter. In the days of model building it was the Exacto knife (still around and in use), my favorite tool from school. The rotary cutter is more appropriate for cutting fabric than an exacto would be, but the concepts the same. I prefer a smaller rotary cutter, 28mm because it gives me more control and I can corner turns better than with larger size rotary cutters.

Last on my list is my old staedtler dusting brush. I love this for brushing fabric lint and thread off of my cutting mat and workspace. I am sure a regular old hand broom would work, but this is so much more my speed.

I prefer to trace my patterns not only to preserve the original pattern papers for future use, but also because it is part of the process that gets my mind in sync with the project. I learn a lot about how the pattern will go together just by tracing the lines. Sure it adds a little time to the whole process, but it is always reassuring to know that I have the original in tact if a mishap should happen. So what are your favorite pattern drafting tools? Do you trace patterns or jump right in and cut up the original?


Anonymous said...

Honestly, my favorite tool is music. Something that will calm me down while I tediously trace patterns onto freezer paper. If I don't zen out, I find I get frustrated/race through things. That said, I am rather fond of the architect's flexible curve.

Jen O said...

dot paper: the pattern maker's graph paper
in a pinch: butcher paper (you may guess that my pattern drafting requires paper width for many patterns)

I was trained in scenic design, same tools as yours.

Patchwork Architect said...

Yes, the flexible curve is a good one too! I do have that and use it. I will have to check out the pattern makers graph paper. I am always interested in new stuff. I was also thinking that it might be good to find some of the those drafting dot (fancy stickers).