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Pattern Drafting 101: Sidebar – Ralph Pink

4 March, 2011

A few weeks ago, I came across Ralph Pink’s documentary blog by sheer random happenstance. An up-and-coming UK fashion designer, he’s documenting the process of setting up his own brand. His goal is, as he puts it, “to become one of the UK’s leading couture designers.”

This guy is incredible. Not only does he offer some really stylish vintage-style patterns for free for both men and women, he also offers free premade block patterns for bodices, dresses, skirts, and trousers. He also has a multitude of links to various fashion/sewing blogs that are great jumping off points. Not only that (and this is where it gets really exciting), he’s come up with an ingenious tool for drafting blocks- the Measurement Generator.

You still have to do some of the work; it doesn’t guess your measurements based on height or anything silly like that. It’s better than that. You input your basic measurements into the spreadsheet, it does the rest. Based on your measurements, it calculates the length of every line you’re going to draw in drafting your block pattern and gives you the length of that line. Below this is a diagram of a finished block pattern, to illustrate where every line and point is supposed to go. It’s really easy; I highly recommend this tool to anyone, particularly anyone who’s been having trouble with the previous drafting posts I’ve put up. I tried it out to see where people were having trouble, and wound up getting stuck myself. I was able to finish my block based on Ralph Pink’s calculator in a little over 2 hours, with no trouble at all. In fact, I’ll probably be replacing the Bodice Block tutorial with a newer version based on his calculator program.

The Measurement Calculator is in Part 2 of his first block of tutorials on digital pattern cutting. Check out the rest of the tutorials here: http://www.ralphpink.com/tutorials/tutorial-1 You can download the calculator as a Microsoft Excel document (and watch the instructional video) here: http://www.ralphpink.com/archives/821

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