20th October 2020: Problems with patterns (again)

A return to the archive! Met with SN yesterday, we discussed some possible outcomes for the PhD and which objects I want to focus on now that time is limited. I have been pondering the question of how to create a digital object with a physical presence – I think projecting onto plain physical copies of the objects might be an interesting approach. Having only done some very basic projection mapping in the past, I thought I might start with a simple 3D object in order to develop the technique and then move onto the more complex form of the Falkland Waistcoat.

So, I thought I would spend a few days drawing out a cap (T.308-1902) as a flat pattern and then plot the outline of the embroidery motif. Two days I’ve been trying to get the shape right – it’s infuriating!

I have copied garments before, but usually if I’m copying a pattern from an existing garment I lay each section out as flat as possible, pin it down and trace it off. Obviously, I can’t do this here – the cap (and eventually the waistcoat) cannot be laid flat, nor can I pin and trace. The cap is technically a very simple shape consisting of four arched slopes and a brim strip (embroidered on the reverse side & tuned up), which I thought I could copy without much difficulty using a few basic measurements. The problem is, all the measurements are slightly different and don’t line up when plotted flat. The cap has probably distorted over time, plus, from looking at some other examples which were never made up, the basic pattern shapes seem to be quite roughly drawn. This tells me something about the simplicity of the garment, but it makes it very difficult to create an accurate copy. The need for accuracy is important here as the embroidery motif has to be placed in relation to the shape.

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