Fundamentals of Pattern Making: V-Shaped Panel Lines

Fundamentals of Pattern Making: V-Shaped Panel Lines

Gareth Pugh, AW11, Paris.

In the Autumn-Winter 2011 collection by Gareth Pugh, there was a subtle v-shaped panel line running across the front panel pieces, that echoed the placement of trims and geometric embellishment on other pieces from the collection.

Once you understand the basic principles of how darts are used for shaping fabric around the curves of the body, the use of seamlines for a similar function becomes fairly simple to understand.

On any pattern, the dart can be extended and replaced by a seam line. In essence the value of a dart or a seam allowance represent the same thing – they are both sections of a garment that are not visible on the outside of the garment. When viewing a pattern piece, you can imagine the way that a dart will be folded out, or two seamlines will pull together with stitching, in order to create a 3D form.

Gareth Pugh, AW11.

Below are the instructions and diagrams for how to move the dart value from a bust dart to a v-shaped panel line. This has been done using the “Cut and Spread” method of pattern making.

  1. Trace off your pattern onto a new piece of card or paper so that you will not damage your original pattern. Next draw on the guideline for your panel seam by drawing from the bust point to the dart notches.
  2. Cut the pattern along the guidelines, discarding the dart value. Design lines are often drawn through the highest and lowest curves of the body for close fitting garments, such as the bust point, or around the waist. This enables the panels to be cut in as close to the body as possible.
  3. Draw a line on the center of a new sheet of cardboard, this will become the new center front line for the new pattern pieces. Line up the two pattern pieces along the new line that has been drawn. Make sure to line up the patterns along the stitching line markings, not along the outside of the seam allowance. Trace the outlines of the patterns onto the cardboard underneath, and smooth the curve of the panel lines by hand, by using a french curve ruler, or by using a similar pattern making guide. Make sure that the seam lines of the V panel are equal to each other.
  4. Draw on the seam allowance on the new panel lines on one side of the pattern. Cut out the pattern to the center line marking and clip the notches for that half of the pattern. You will then be able to fold the pattern cardboard in half along the center line and trace out the second half of the new pattern pieces, adding all markings.

Basic bodice block diagram below. Front pattern piece has a bust dart / armhole dart for shaping.

Below are the images, numbered to match the instructions:

Catwalk image from» Diagrams from The Cutting Class.

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