Traditional pattern fitting methodologies seldom produce a perfect initial fit. There are endless pattern drafting books, methods and websites offering pattern drafting and shaping techniques but no one method is suited to all body types. Consequently, regardless of how accurately body measurements are taken and the pattern is drafted, all methods rely on a fitting to critique and perfect fit. This need for “sampling” is resource intensive and restrictive with regards to increasing product time to market.
To address this, 3D technology now allows for virtual garment fittings with real-time pattern correction. The problem is that user interaction is still required. In other words, technology has moved us from PHYSICALLY hand correcting garment fit to VIRTUALLY hand correcting garment fit. Made-to-measure manufacturers can perfect custom garment fit using the 3D to 2D interface but the procedure has not truly been automated. We have simply moved from a real-time environment to a virtual one. In other words, we have programmed computers with imperfect methods of shaping that rely on heuristic fitting techniques.
The results of all this are MTM garments that do not offer substantial fit improvement over RTW, and added obstacles on the road to automated garment fit customization and MTM virtual garment design.
MTM ~ Current made-to-measure sizing uses standardized darting but bodies that require the same size often have different darting requirements. Sometimes this customized darting is put into garment ease rather than used as a dart but its presence, whether invisible or visible is integral to MTM fit. The image to the right illustrates bodies that require the same size yet have very different shaping requirements. The yellow shape represents customized waist shaping. Notice how the shape varies between six unique bodies shape all requiring the same garment size.
Automated Garment Fit Customization ~ A CAD virtual environment does not create automation. CAD MTM software is a tool just as a tailor’s curve and square are. As long as garment fit requires human interaction it cannot be considered automated. Garment fit will be automated when a computer can mathematically analyze a pattern, the body that will wear that pattern and adjust the pattern as per the clients fit preference. As will be explained below, automated garment fit is integral to virtual garment design.
MTM Virtual Garment Design ~ Couture and bespoke garments are created from custom fit base patterns. These base patterns are shaped to fit the unique bumps and curves of a given customer. Traditional MTM garment fit relies on increasing or decreasing the girth and length of averaged sized patterns. While this may offer sufficient fit for some figures, it will not be adequate for outlier body types. ONLY body specific darting and shaping will produce a MTM garment with substantial fit improvement because design lines are dependant on this shaping. A garment that is merely sized smaller or larger in width and girth will NOT be uniquely shaped for a customer. Parametric grading alone will not shape the pattern in the following video for satisfactory bespoke fit. It could not shape the pattern for a larger midriff area and it certainly could not reshape the pattern from fitting a B cup to a G cup. Parametric grading is a key component of mass customization but only virtual shaping methodologies will make virtual garment design a reality.
Contact me to discuss virtual shaping methodologies for made to measure, curated size selection, automated garment fit customization and virtual garment design.