Friday, 27 September 2013

Thoughts on Scanning Vintage Patterns, Starting a Personal Digital Fitting Library & Advance 4786

Let me introduce you to Advance 4786, an evening dress pattern with the option for a sheer or lace upper bodice and a draped skirt.  I can't get over how modern this dress looks-  the shaped drop waist (as in, not just a v-shaped) is something I've never seen on any other vintage dress pattern that I can think of.


Shorten it up, add some straps and you have a summer dress.  Or even just make the skirt on it's own.  The back isn't quite succumbing to "coffin clothes" syndrome, but it does look like it could use some more drama to match the front.  I'm not sure a matching drape in the back would be welcome (...let's avoid gathers at the fullest part of the behind, thanks...), but a shaped back bodice/yoke would be a nice touch.



Anyhow, onto scanning vintage patterns.  This summer, I had the great good fortune to be working somewhere which a) had a plotter and b) had plotter with a built in scanner.  Because of this  a) I was able to print some patterns for free without cutting and pasting (YAY!) and b) I was able to scan a bunch of my oldest and most likely to be used patterns.  Many of these are 90-60 years old, and are so delicate I can't stand using them- both because they rip and that's a pain to work with, and because they rip and they're a piece of history.  The best way to scan the pattern pieces would have been to use a large format flat bed scanner, however those are few and far between, not to mention scarily expensive.  The work scanner was one like these below, only oler.  The scanner feeds in a u-shape.

from cadablog.blogspot.ca

I ended up using a clear plastic protective sleeve (which came with), meant for scanning drawings which have trace paper taped on top.  I put a blank page in first so the pieces could be seen more easily as the scanner was pretty grungy from transferred ink inside.  This gave me a scanning area of 2x3 feet, which isn't anywhere near large enough for many skirt pieces as you know.  Happily, the pieces can be folded once and still be easily seen, markings and all.

What I plan to do after this, is to use AutoCAD to trace these and do preliminary adjustments digitally according to my body block.  I should mention that a step I would like to do before that is to scan a traced copy of my plastic wrap-and-tape body pattern (post on this to come later, and idea courtesy of Kathleen from Fashion Incubator- awesome site!), and overlay to two to get a good idea of what changes need to be made.  The idea is to eventually get a few patterns of various styles that fit well scanned and CADed to make a "library" of sorts.  Once I have that I will be able to find a similar pattern in the library, and overlay on the new scanned pattern for an even better idea of what I need to do to get a better fit.

Any thoughts?


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