Do you work on a stand or cut from a pattern?

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Post Centurion
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Post by Shadowcat »

This only works if that is the reason for your CTS. I was given braces as a treatment, and had to wear them while sleeping. I insisted that I did not have pain which woke me up, but no-one listened. So I wore the braces, and suffered so much pain from them that I threw them across the room. My CTS is not caused by the way I sleep, as I sleep with my wrists flat.

I wear "Handeze" gloves if my wrists are bad, and they help. (Available via Internet.) But the best thing I ever did was refuse the operation, and retrain myself to sew differently. I now ensure that my hands are not curled when I sew, and take regular breaks every 40 minutes or so. I do exercises, play computer games, and do what I can to make my hands and wrists flexible. 3 and a half years on, I currently don't need treatment.


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Post by agesofelegance »

I do both
I studied fashion at college so was taught how to flat cut but when I started to make period stuff some things jsut didn't look right until i learned the art of draping etc and discovered that tape measures hadn't been invented until the 19thc so that you have to do it by eye etc to get the right look

you can't make certian periods by flat cutting and pinning particulalry early to mid 18thc the whole point is that teh dress etc is pleated to fit.
For other things I tend to just draw on the calico and then tweak from there on the customer, I've done most basic shapes so many times that now the chalk just knows where to go, and then for 19thc and later I will flat cut from the tailors manuals as I have a few I've collected over the years and again then tweak on the body or dummy, the only trouble with these manuals is that they are writing them for the apprentices so half the instructions are usually missing as he would have known that bit so a quiet room and a strong coffee is usally needed at that point LOL.

I have a variety of dummies in various shapes and sizes, men and women so usually one of them is similar.


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Post by Tuppence »

I know I'm late to this (flu - yick!).

aching hands - yes - but hot bath (or hands in footspa) usually sorts it out.

aching shoulders - yes - ibuprofen in assorted forms (am allergic to paracetemol) - and a couple of yoga moves help too

making stuff - I use just about every method there is, depending on what I'm making, except that I don't buy commercial patterns (don't think I've used one of those since I was about twelve!).

I cut flat patterns on paper (I also studied fashion, and though I could already flat pattern cut, learned more at college) - using both my own method, and traditional ones.
I cut on the body.
I use toiles and fit to the body.
I cut and drape on padded dummies.
I use the (v. v. old) tailor's 'cut on the cloth' method
I fit the garment to the body (like when you see a tailor's fitting and there's a basic jacket shell with tacking and chalk lines all over it)

there's probably something else I've forgotten that I use, but safe to say, I don't think there's a method I don't use at some point or another.

occasionally, when fitting in person isn't possible, I have been known to get the maths wrong, but it doesn't happen often.

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Post by Lady Jane »

Hi everyone. Just got back online after completing 6 character costumes for historic house Open Day. Several very, very late nights required and suprisingly not too many bad neck days. Must be the adrenaline effect as now I've finished the work I feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck. Made a Regency jacket using a commercial pattern for a toile which I fitted on the client over shirt and vest. He must have thought I was a bit demented, muttering to myself as I chalked the new design lines and fitting lines all over the black cotton toile. I don't do men's tailoring often anymore so had to look up my college texts and some websites for design details. Think I might invest in a men's dummy as the padded ladies dummy was not really adequate especially in shoulder and chest areas. Will be going to the Open House myself tomorrow to see the results and taking along some "business cards" just in case anyone is interested.

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Post by Vyka »

I tend to do a bit of both. I scaled up the mans gown pattern from the medieval tailors assistant on graph paper then transferred it to cloth. I used my dummy to get the garment to hang properly so that I could get an even hem once the fabric had dropped. I've made several of these gowns now but have never taken any measurements. I just ask people to try on the original one that I made for my other half and use that to see how much I need to add onto the width of the shoulders, length of sleeve and so on. The original pattern now has many attachments for different sizes.

I made a frock coat for a friend. She bought the pattern of it but this was miles too big - a 42" chest and she's tiny, around a size 8! In this instance I made up a cloth pattern from the paper one then cut it to size on the dummy set at it's smallest (she lives near Stafford and I live in Rochdale so it meant fittings weren't a possability). Again no measurements as I can't work from them, but I do seem to be able to visualise the size.
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Mark GRaves
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Post by Mark GRaves »

I feel a bit strange posting here as the vast majority of the content seems to come from "the ladies".

I measure then chalk driectly onto the cloth - no pattern - but then most of the stuff for our period is loose T-tunic based, so there's not a lot that can go wrong. I realise that the tailoring of the later periods is nowhere near as simple!

After doing stuff on and off for about 5 years, I can judge details such as gore sizes etc. by eye (well, most of the time).

Footed hose needed a pattern developing, and are still tricky if a resize is required - trail in calico or similar cheap stuff first before cutting the real thing. The pattern library grows.

Similary my first hood and arming cap needed a pattern to check for fit.

The most "interesting" item done so far is a bliaut (female) for my other half. On the basis that there were basically T-tunics before this, and basically T-tunics after - the design used was based on a gored t-tunic with open sides. The edges of the side openings were then countoured by trial and error (pinned) so that when laced up, the correct body contours were formed. Again, no pattern used, measured direct onto the cloth, apart from the above. And when laced it shows all the correct tension lines/ruckles as per the statues on Chartres cathedral - well impressed with myself.

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My humble contribution

Post by Sophia »

Thought I would add my humble contribution to this thread (it is my first post on the forum so be kind).

I am entirely self taught and have been making my own clothes of all types since my late teens. As a broad short, busty woman I have always had trouble finding patterns that fit (even when I am slimmer than I am now) - it can be a hard life being 5'1" and needing a 38FF/G. Over the years I have tended to butcher patterns and make toiles to fit, draft patterns from measurements (or straight to fabric - not helpful if you want to repeat a year later).

I do have a tailors dummy - but it takes up too much space to use in our sitting/dining room if I don't want to drive the other half to distraction. I generally rely on a friend to help with fittings but in an emergency I have been known to cut and pray (so far not so bad).

Cutting mainly has to be done on the none to large floor which can be interesting at times. It is tiled concrete covered with a large rug - not good for the knees and a kneeler isn't always practical. The rug's fringes are also now a little shorter in places (oops!).

Since starting to do a little re-enactment a couple of years ago I have had mixed experiences. I started off sourcing things from the web, pictures and finally bought a pattern from the Petty Chapman which sort of works to do my first outfits as was running out of time (only person who had my size).

I have moved on to the Medieval Assistant and similar and have built up a stock of patterns (will have to re-do if I lose any weight)). I have also moved into men's clothing (i.e. more than a shirt or two).

Indeed, we got married in March and I persuaded the other half to let me order some silk brocatelle from Henry Bertrand (probably the only time I ever will in my life unless I win the lottery). This was for a late 15th gown over flat fronted kirtle for me and a knee length pleated gown over blue velvet doublet for him. Aim was borderline late WOTR/early Tudor, pitcure attached - comments welcome.

I am now working on mid-range garments suitable for mercenary and wife/well to do lady and secretary for late WOTR with a slight continental feel (I grew up in Luxembourg and am developing a character with burgundian roots).

Sophia :wink:

P.S. If anyone was at Hedingham last weekend I was lady in the late green gown with early gable hood (only warm gear that was ready as earlier stuff is all for summer or needs mending badly.
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Post by tailordrews »

I am always late, always, well its long time since last i was here.
I learned to make patterns on the design school, but period patterns i always make on draping the toille on the stand. I do scale up patterns for stays and panniers, but the dress i always drape on the dressstand.
For myself however its much different. Well if i had a mans dress stand, in my own size, it would be a great help, but i dont, and therefore i always make paper patterns and make toille mock ups before i deside if the pattern is all right. Until recently i never used commersial patterns, but i have used a pattern of the wedding suit of Gustav III, and i also just got a pattern of JP Ryans gentlemans frock coat.
My problems is always the back, because its very hard to see even in a mirror if the toille needs ajustments, and i dont have a living soal to help me. My very weak points are always the shoulder and sleave parts, to have a sleave fit into the armscye without having to make two many gathers, and the shoulder seam, wich in 18th century is sitting in the back, those are always troubbles for me.

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Re: My humble contribution

Post by tailordrews »

That is gorgeous wedding clothing you have made. What a wedding to be in period, what a splendid idea.
Thanks for posting...

The world is in need of beauty! Embroider!

On the eight day, god created costumes and reenactors!

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