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Nineteenth-century Technology

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

Inventors were experimenting with mechanical sewing by the mid-eighteenth century, but it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that a functioning, practical machine was invented by Barthélemy Thimonnier. In “A Brief History of the Sewing Machine,” Graham Forsdyke explains that Thimonnier’s machine was granted a French patent in 1830. By 1840, he had installed eighty of his machines in his factory for sewing uniforms for the French army. Parisian tailors, who feared the machine would put craft

Early History of Pattern Companies: 1860s–1880s

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

Demorest, the first to mass-produce retail patterns for the home sewer in the United States, took advantage of the expanded postal services selling by mail order as well as in retail outlets. Who the actual designer of the first patterns was is somewhat unclear. Mrs. Margaret Demorest (née Poole) is listed as Mme Demorest in Leslie’s Lady’s Gazette of Fashion in July 1854. However, it is believed that William Jennings Demorest employed Ellen Louise Curtis and her sister Kate from the early 1850s

New Markets and Expansion: 1880s–1900

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

By 1880, the six major U.S. pattern companies—Demorest, Butterick, McCall, Harper’s Bazar, Taylor, and Domestic—had positioned themselves in the market. Each published a magazine advertising their patterns for the latest fashions for women, a full complement of children’s clothing, undergarments for all, and shirts, trousers, and various other men’s non-tailored garments.

Shifts and Balances: 1900–1920s

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

A dynamic new figure entered the pattern enterprise in the first decade of the new century. Condé Nast was adept at promotion and was attracted to the pattern industry. He organized the Home Pattern Company and distributed dress patterns in an arrangement with Ladies’ Home Journal in 1905 (Seebohm 1982: 32). The Ladies’ Home Journal was an influential women’s periodical with a circulation of 1,000,000 (Mott 1938: vol. 4, 545). Nast had remarkable marketing skills and successfully promoted pattern

Blossoming Economy: 1920–1929

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

While the general economy was experiencing boom years in the period between the end of the First World War and the crash of 1929, not every sewing-related business benefited. Fewer women were making their own clothes or going to custom dressmakers. Since the turn of the century, an increasing number of women had been entering the workplace, and this trend continued after the war. They no longer had the spare time to lavish on making their own clothing, and the ready-made garment industry was offe

Surviving the Depression: 1930s

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

Pattern producers repudiate rumors that they enjoyed a boom during the Depression. Like most other businesses, theirs suffers when people are hard up; it recovers when people start spending again. Patterns hit bottom in 1932. Improvement began in the Fall of 1933, but not soon enough to make an increase for the year. Estimates place 1934 ahead of 1933 by about 10%.

The War Years: 1940s

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

With the onset of the Second World War in Europe, prosperity began returning to the U.S. and Canadian economies. Both North and South America became major suppliers to Europe, which meant expanded production and therefore more jobs and more money for the consumer to spend. Pattern sales for all the existing companies increased noticeably, except for Butterick, which was still struggling from the problems that began in the late 1920s and were exacerbated by the bankruptcy reorganization in 1935. T

Shifting Trends Postwar: 1950s

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

The exuberance at the end of the war was expressed by the Paris fashion designer Christian Dior. His New Look in the Spring–Summer 1947 collection is described as a sea change in fashion and had a marked impact on women’s postwar styles (see Figure 138). Anticipating freedom from the fabric restrictions imposed by rationing during the war, Dior emphasized a large bust, small waist, below-mid-calf-length full skirt, and a full peplum emphasizing the hips. The style became immensely popular. Howeve

New Challenges: 1960s–1980s

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

A common misconception is that by the 1960s women stopped sewing and making their own clothes due to the mass of inexpensive, readily available ready-to-wear options. However, the 1960s were actually a boom period. The Barron’s article “Profitable Patterns” (1958) reported that pattern companies were generally profitable, with the exception of Vogue. The parent company, Condé Nast, was publishing several magazines and running the pattern division, which operated at a loss. However, the losses “ar

Reinvention and Renaissance: 1980s–2010

Joy Spanabel Emery

Source: A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, 2014, Berg Fashion Library

Book chapter

The 1980s witnessed a burst of computer technological. The technology was incorporated in pattern companies’ business practices in manufacturing and marketing procedures. By 1991, when restricted commercial use of the Internet was lifted, pattern companies embraced it to rapidly market their designs. Companies began to use computer applications to trim costs, to improve inventory control, and to boost productivity. For example, Simplicity used an application to streamline procedures for processi

Introduction to Flat-Pattern Design

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Many factors combined in the late twentieth century to produce today’s complex, global apparel industry. These factors included technological advances related to the production and distribution of apparel products as well as the rise of off-shore manufacturing and the expansion of trade.

Patternmaking Process

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

To formulate apparel designs for industry, flat design sketches (flats) are developed for the front; only if the back has a lot of detail will it be sketched. The first pattern maker will make a pattern for the front and back. Design ideas may be developed using the front and back croquis figures that are included in the back pocket of this book. As the designs are sketched, all details such as fabric, facings, garment entry and closures, trims, fitting devices such as darts and gathers, and so f

Sloper Development

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Although fitting an individual body is a complex process, the problem is magnified when designing apparel for the ready-to-wear market. Because of this, womenswear patterns are developed for a finite number of sizes in a limited number of figure-type size categories (Fig. 3.1). Designers must understand the body characteristics of their targeted group. Traditionally this has been achieved by studying the groups’ anthropometric characteristics. Anthropometryis the scienceof human body measurement.

Skirts

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Flare is a wedge-shaped addition to a pattern. It is produced by:

Bodice Dart Manipulation

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

In the following examples, analyze the flat design sketch by assessing the difference between the basic sloper dart location and the dart location for the new design.

Bodice Seamlines and Fullness

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Dart-equivalent seamlines are fitting lines that must point to, extend to, or cross over the pivot point to replace normal fitting darts. They provide shape and add design to the garment. Dart-equivalent seams may extend from one edge of the pattern to the other or incorporate the dart fold, only. They can cross the pattern in any direction, that is, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally; and, they can be any shape, such as straight, curved, or jagged.

Closures, Facings, and Bands

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Standard button and buttonhole closures require that extensions be added to the pattern piece. These extensions become the overlap and underlap for the buttonhole closure. The original pattern lines, to which extensions are added, meet each other when the garment is fastened. Button and buttonhole closures commonly are found at the center front of blouses, shirts, skirts, dresses, coats, and jackets; center back of blouses, skirts, and dresses; asymmetric closings, including double-breasted; and

Necklines

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Lowered necklinesare below the basic neck seamline. The designer can produce any shape neckline and lower it to any point desired on the basic sloper. Front and back necklines often are not lowered the same amount. When one neckline is lower the other remains relatively high. Low, plunging necklines need an accompanying high neckline, or a fitted underbodice, to keep the garment from falling off the shoulders. Necklines lowered 2 inches or less are created by a designer by drawing the new neck de

Collars

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Aflat collarlies against the body and has no stand; however, a slight roll is produced so that the collar covers the neck seamline. The neckline curve of the flat collar duplicates the neckline curves of the bodice front and bodice back basic slopers. When reproducing the sloper neckline curve, an adjustment is made in placing the bodice front and bodice back slopers in relation to each other. This adjustment shortens the collar style line to produce a slight roll at the neckline in order to cove

Sleeves

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

There are two basic sleeve types: set-in sleeves and sleeve/bodice combinations. Set-in sleevesare sewn into the basic bodice armscye seam. Sleeve/bodice combinationshave the bodice and sleeve attached in some way; examples include kimono sleevesthat are cut in one with the bodice, andraglan sleevesthat have part of the bodice attached to the sleeve with a resulting diagonal seamline extending from the neckline to the underarm (Fig. 10.1). It is possible to develop a wide range of designs from th

Pleats and Tucks

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Both pleats and tucks consist of an inner and an outer fold of fabric. Pleat or tuck depth is the distance between these folds. When designing a pleat or tuck, the depth must be doubled to produce the fabric return. Basic pleat types include the knife, inverted, and box. Pleats are categorized by the placement of fabric folds on the garment (Fig. 11.1).

Torso Designs

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

A sheath dress is developed by joining the basic bodice and skirt patterns to eliminate the waistline seam. The resulting garment is less fitted around the waist. Horizontal wrinkles will occur if it fits too snugly around the waist; therefore, a looser fit is desired. Fit is accomplished by side seam shaping and contour or two-ended waist darts that shape the basic sheath dress to the curves of the body.

Pants and Pockets

Nora M. MacDonald

Source: Principles of Flat-Pattern Design, 4th Edition, 2010, Fairchild Books Library

Book chapter

Pantsare garments that encircle the hips and each leg; they extend from the waist or below to the ankle or below. They may be different lengths, body-hugging or loose, with flared, tubular, or tapered legs (Fig. 13.1). Fashion dictates the specific silhouette and details popular at a given time. Principles applied to the basic dress sloper may be applied to pant designs, including those related to darts, gathers, pleats, yokes, style lines, and so on.

The Structure and Form of European Clothes

Peter McNeil

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Clothing is both a material covering and an enclosure for the body that in West Europe is generally constructed through draping or cutting cloth or through weaving or knitting it to shape. The structure of European dress is also bound up with abstract ideals of conduct and beauty. The aesthetic and phenomenological dimension of clothing moving in space is also significant. Some fashions such as women’s court dress from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were designed to be “read” from a fro

Demorest, Mme.

Lauren Whitley

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion, 2010, Berg Fashion Library

Encyclopedia entry

Madame Demorest’s entrepreneurial success can be attributed to her astute understanding of the American fashion business as a combination of creativity, marketing, distribution, and brand identity. She claimed a number of innovative products, including a line of comfortable corsets, an affordable hoopskirt, the Imperial Dress-elevators (loop fasteners enabling skirts to be raised), and a sewing machine that could sew backwards; moreover, she developed the Excelsior Dress Model drafting system, a

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