Another skill that we are being introduced to through this course is the art of pattern cutting. Our first task is to create a medieval Jerkin (waistcoat) to fit a member of the class. This garment happens to be in keeping with our current project.
To begin the process we paired off and took measurements of our partners. These measurements, then allowed us to draw out a basic mens block onto pattern paper. The reason we drew a mens block, regardless of the gender of our model, is the fact that a jerkin is a mens garment. This fact is important to remember in the theatre world, as actors and actresses often have to play the opposite gender.
After drawing our basic blocks, we needed to adapt them into the shape accurate to the jerkin. This involved us cutting along the waist line on both the front and the back. The reason for this is that a jerkin has an almost flared skirt section that extends from the waist. We also extended the arm holes to allow ease of movement, and moved the shoulder seems slightly.
The section of the pattern pieces from the waist down were used to create the skirt. We cut them into sections which we then flared out and traced to create the skirt. The skirt was to be as long or as short as we liked, and as full or as straight as we liked. This allows us to create garments that are better suited for our models.