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!
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.
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.
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»
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.
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:
Thanks to Polyesther’s Costume Boutique I was able to utilize a female mannequin they have there to do a preliminary try-on of the Military Jacket Version 2.0 for my customer in the Bay Area. The chest size of this mannequin is 37″ instead of the needed 36″ chest, but it was a far cry better than the male 39″ chest I have here at home. The mannequin also had a wispy 27″ waist but that didn’t seem to cause any foreseeable issues…
You’ll see from the pics that I did a bit of adjusting on the front and back balance, caused by an irregularity at the shoulder seam. The left picture shows the outfit (with red lines showing tension areas) where the outfit was placed on the mannequin and the entire backside is way too far up, causing tension at the skirt. Also I noticed that there was leftover fabric on the chest in front of the armscye, and a bunch of bubbling occurring on the back near the collar. I let the shoulder seam out, keeping the pad basted in place, and smoothed the material upward on the front and back, letting them lay where they wanted to naturally. This reduced the baggage in front chest, and let the backside drop downward to rest where it wished to be. Then I made some chalkmarks where the new seam should line up before I send this off to the customer for a try-on.
I had to be quick about this because the store was near closing when I arrived but within 30 minutes’ time I was able to fix a lot of the problems that were happening all because of one seam. I’m going to leave it at this until the customer tries it on.
Incidentally, this is the second version of the military jacket. The first we scrapped because the material picked wasn’t right, and the first experiment of making the hybrid between two outfits had errors that needed to be corrected. Everything’s looking much better so far, and I’ve been able to have lots of practice on coats in the meantime, so this one’s coming out way better. ^_^