Pattern making: negative ease and calculated measures

In our last tutorial, we covered the basic use of the design tool including:

  1. Defining and inputting your measurements.
  2. Designing your garment using the line tool.
    1. “Snapping” lines so that they relate to each other.
  3. Adding text to your pattern.
  4. Attaching your measurements to the design by using “define points”.

Snap a point:

Let’s dig in deeper into the functionality of the tools by first looking at “Snapping” a point.  If you click near another point, you’ll get an overlay asking you “Do you want to snap to this point”.

Snapping to a point means that you only need to define that point once.  That point can be shared with multiple lines or curves.

Calculated points:

Another useful utility is “Calculated Points”.  I often use this when working with a pattern that will use different fabrics.  For example, let’s make a women’s mini-skirt that can be made with either a 2-way stretch fabric or 4-way stretch fabric that has more stretch.

Assume that the different fabrics have different amounts of stretch.  Under “Calculated Points” you can create a multiplier that you apply to all your horizontal definitions (where the fabric will stretch).

For the 4-way stretch fabric, we’ll set the multiplier to 0.9 to reduce the width of the bottoms by 10% of the user’s actual measurements.  In sewing terms this is called negative ease (when the design is less than the users actual measurements).

If we want to make the shorts using the less stretchy material (the 2-way stretch), then we’ll only have to change the multiplier value to 0.95 to reduce the width of the short by 5% of the user’s actual measurements.

If we want to make the miniskirt using the less stretchy material (the 2-way stretch fabric), then we’ll only have to change the multiplier value to 0.95 to reduce the width of the short by 5% of the user’s actual measurements.

If you’re confused by the math here is an example.  A waist of 30 inches multiplied by 0.9 = 27 inches, a reduction of 10%.

Check out the instructional video to see how we made a custom fit women’s’ miniskirt pattern:

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