I just found a new Illustrator trick that makes pattern drafting sooooo much easier!
The most laborious part of doing a pattern, particularly one with curves, was doing the seam allowances. Doing a parallel curve exactly 1/2″ away was a pain in the butt, involving a lot of measuring, altering the curve, remeasuring, etc. It took nearly double the time of actually drafting the pattern.
Then, this morning, as I was trying to fit more curves, I finally quit cursing and said, “There must be an easier way.” So I typed three or four search words into Google, and 90 seconds later I had my answer: use Object –>Path –> Offset path, put in the width of your seam allowance, and presto! Illustrator generates the curve in an instant.
I can’t decide whether I’m a complete idiot (for not figuring it out earlier) or a genius (for having finally thought to Google it). I think I’ll opt for “idiot genius”. 🙂
Meanwhile, I have narrowed down my pile of “books to bring along” to seven or eight, which is still a ridiculous number for a five-day trip to see family. Currently in the pile are:
- a book on fabric collage (which I think might be an interesting way to use handwoven scraps)
- Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer
- Artwear: Fashion and Anti-Fashion by Melissa Leventon (the same woman who appraised my wedding dress)
- Warp and Weft: Lessons in Drafting for Handweaving (Eriksson, Gustavsson, Lovallius)
- Pattern Techniques for Handweavers (Doramay Keasbey)
- A Joy Forever: Latvian Weaving (Jane Evans)
- Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner (Claire Garcia)
I will probably drop the Latvian weaving book, despite its having lots of interesting stuff on weave structures, since I have two other books on weave structures in the list.
The drawing book is there because I’ve decided on drawing as the “take-along” craft, instead of knitting – more useful and frankly more interesting to me than sock knitting. A pad of paper, a drawing pencil or two, and a pencil sharpener – ought to be plenty. I will probably pack two pencil sharpeners, one in my luggage and one in my carryon, in case the TSA decides it’s a dangerous weapon. (Google searches say they’re OK, but you never know.)
Off to work! I am going in way early today, both to prep for a meeting and so I can leave work earlier.