A little lesson in woodworking.

[OBVIOUS]It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post[/OBVIOUS] But I do have some­thing of note that I should point out. You all know that I show the good, the bad and the ugly on my blog. This is the best way I’ve found that can doc­u­ment progress for myself and teach oth­ers in the process.

I’ve been work­ing on mak­ing a batch of press­ing bucks, and I learned some­thing valu­able. Don’t use pine. Too soft of a wood, too much stress for the weight, and I could only imag­ine what might’ve hap­pened once I sold this piece to the cus­tomer it was intended for. I want things to last for years, and this didn’t even last through­out the mak­ing process.

IMG_7083

I hope it’s plain to see what hap­pened. My friend was press­ing down on the piece while I was dri­ving nails into the pedestal to tack down the cover, and the wood was too soft, so a crack formed right through a weak point, caus­ing the fibers to snap the base right in half. On my first buck I used poplar and had no prob­lems, so that’s what I’m going to switch back to. So yeah, quick note amidst my hor­ri­bly busy mun­dane work sched­ule. The good news is, I’ve been catch­ing up on a lot of debts I have to peo­ple, and being out of debt is the best thing for the future as I catch up and re-stabilize myself. It’s just tak­ing a lot of time.

The Floorplan.

I

t’s been a while since I’ve updated, and for good rea­son. I’m work­ing my ver­i­ta­ble butt off. I don’t think I’ve men­tioned this until now (because once again, I’ve been busy!) but the Brass & Mor­tar head­quar­ters has suc­cess­fully moved into a more suit­able loca­tion! The offi­cials at The River­side Artist Lofts were kind enough to allow access to become one of its inhab­i­tants. This means that we now have 1220 ample square feet to work, play, eat and sleep, with plenty of nat­ural light­ing and con­sis­tent dry ventilation!

bamhq_13092001_brighter

At the moment, the place looks a bit deranged what with all the con­struc­tion going on. Tables are being acquired and refin­ished, retro­fit­ted to capa­bly han­dle the weight of humans, etc. As men­tioned before, Lola, our new stitch­ing asso­ciate will be help­ing with some of the machine work. Fig­ur­ing out where the place­ment of all these nec­es­sary items would nor­mally be a chore, how­ever, my asso­ciates and I have devised a pre­lim­i­nary work­ing schematic of how new work­shop will be arranged. This was actu­ally made in advance to give the selec­tion com­mit­tee a good idea of what the space would be used for.

Riverside-Steamshop-2000x

As you can see, there’s a tremen­dous amount of work ahead of us! Things have already started to shift from the orig­i­nal plan, but that’s only to be expected. Once the var­i­ous pieces of fur­ni­ture and tools are acquired and made, the floor-plan will change along with it, to be sure! The major­ity of time is cur­rently con­cen­trated on the gen­er­a­tion of needed funds to ful­fill the exten­sive wish­list! This is both unfor­tu­nate but nec­es­sary, as it means much time is being taken away from progress of actual gar­ments, how­ever it’s direly required for the future of the workshop.

To License or Not to License…

In regards to my post on the Smart Bespoke Dig­i­tal Tai­lor­ing Sys­tem, I’ve already had a cou­ple peo­ple ask me the question:

Why are you against peo­ple licens­ing and pro­tect­ing their sewing pat­terns under copy­right to pro­tect from theft or unwanted reselling?

This is a very impor­tant point to bring up, and to answer that, I need to reply with a question:

Read More»

Smart Bespoke™ Digital Tailoring System

There’s a project I’ve been for­mu­lat­ing for the last two years that I want to start giv­ing more pri­or­ity to accom­plish­ing. I want to make a free, vir­tual cut­ting and fit­ting soft­ware appli­ca­tion whose goal would be to elim­i­nate the need for fit­tings but could be adapted into the tra­di­tional bespoke work­flow. It would uti­lize a com­bi­na­tion of 2D draft­ing, and 3D scan­ning and ren­der­ing soft­ware, and be licensed under the GNU/GPL.

The work­flow would go like this: A cut­ter would scan their customer’s body directly or receive the data from a remote loca­tion, and gen­er­ate a vir­tual man­nequin of the cus­tomer. The cut­ter could then choose and apply any num­ber of drafts from a data­base. The tai­lor could make alter­ations vir­tu­ally: pos­ture cor­rec­tion, dis­pro­por­tion, neck-point, bal­ance, iron­work­ing, fishes and darts, but­ton place­ment, amount/shape of chest and under­arm padding, shoulder-point padding, and even select and test dif­fer­ent types of can­vases and hair­cloth to see how each would affect the drape of the cloth, using a vir­tual physics engine. An optional “rock of eye” mode could allow free-form draw­ing of chalk-lines. After everything’s com­pleted, the cut­ter could present the art­work to the cus­tomer for sign-off. The soft­ware would also gen­er­ate a cloth lay­out with all of the appro­pri­ate inlays. It would even gen­er­ate a price esti­mate for the mate­ri­als needed for the suit to aid in mak­ing a quote, based off of cur­rent mar­ket val­ues and par­tic­i­pat­ing cloth merchants.

Rather than tak­ing tape mea­sure­ments and eye­balling abnor­mal­i­ties, the 3D map­ping would allow a much more pre­cise cut than could ever be achieved through tra­di­tional meth­ods. All of this means allow­ing the cut­ter much more con­trol over the design while dras­ti­cally reduc­ing the amount of time, labor, and skill required. This would allow for more local tai­lors to spring up and com­pete with the stran­gle­hold of factory-made MTM and RTW suits. Bye­bye Wal­ly­world.

I’ve decided on the name I’m going to give the sys­tem: Smart Bespoke™.

The soft­ware itself would be licensed under GNU/GPL, ensur­ing its avail­abil­ity to everyone—from the indi­vid­ual home-tailor to the estab­lished tai­lor­ing house. Every­thing from the ren­der­ing engine to the result­ing pat­terns would be com­pletely free to use, alter and share. This means that the long-standing tra­di­tion of the free usage and exchanged of designs would be pro­tected and upheld.

Of course, this soft­ware does very lit­tle if one does not have the skills required to prop­erly make a gar­ment. The drafts them­selves are of lit­tle sig­nif­i­cance as they have existed for cen­turies; the qual­ity of work­man­ship in the result­ing gar­ments is everything.

Anatomical Proportions in Tailoring

Progress in my projects has been dis­tress­ingly slow—virtually at a standstill—due to a total lack of funds at the moment, so I’ve been putting my efforts where I can, doing a bit of study­ing while some rather mun­dane life errands are tak­ing place. But, I started think­ing of some­thing I thought was rather inter­est­ing, and since there don’t seem to be any posts out there dis­cussing this I fig­ured I’d take a jab at it.

Anatom­i­cal pro­por­tions, and how they relate to cut­ting and draft­ing, is some­thing that I’m look­ing deeper into. More specif­i­cally, I’m find­ing it inter­est­ing how aca­d­e­mic pro­por­tions for human males dif­fer from the so-called “ideal” pro­por­tions that artists use. So, tonight was basi­cally me fum­bling over var­i­ous dia­grams from art web­sites, bor­rowed from art books they scanned in. It started when I ran into a dia­gram of an “8-head” pro­por­tion­ate fig­ure, then com­pared that with MTOC’s 7.5 head model. I was like whooooah, wait! Huh? How can that be right? So, I remem­bered the old Croon­borg dia­grams from Supreme Cut­ting Sys­tem from the early 20th cen­tury, and sure enough I was right. Croon­borg based his on the 8-head model as well.

So what’s right? And how do they com­pare? And when tai­lor­ing things, does this fit into the whole “fash­ion waist” con­cept, to try to get nor­mal mun­dane aca­d­e­mic pro­por­tions to look more like the “ideal” ones? I’m sus­pect­ing this is another “duh” moment for me, but hey, check this out, it’s neat!:

Basi­cally what I did was take a few of the dia­grams and scaled them to be equally-sized with each other, and placed them side by side. On the far left I took the same 3D model of the human body and scaled it evenly to match those of the dia­grams near it. The 8-head one’s body sim­ply does not scale accu­rately com­pared to the 7.5 scaled one. Of course, even this 3D model is still an artist’s ren­der­ing, and plus, humans are always uniquely shaped, as MTOC and many other sources have men­tioned, based on things genes and things that hap­pen in life.

Some things to notice are that the waist of 8-head tall fig­ures falls right along the line of the 3rd head. The seat/hips falls along the 4th head, the mid-thigh on the 5th, the small of the knee on the 6th. Com­pare this to the 7.5-head fig­ures where the nat­ural waist­line falls at around 2.5 heads, as does the hip line. So, if my the­ory is cor­rect, I’m sus­pect­ing that tai­lors use fash­ion waists and other “fab­ri­cated” lines to camoflage and give a sense of “ideal” pro­por­tion to fit the ideals of beauty. I’m going to look into this next.

The cred­its for the pics come from these pages:

http://sevencamels.blogspot.com/2011/03/resources-for-drawing-different-ages.html

http://www.idrawdigital.com/2009/01/tutorial-anatomy-and-proportion/

http://archive.org/details/grandeditionofsu00croo

http://desenhistasautodidatas.blogspot.com/2009/02/human-anatomy-proportion.html

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