A Treatise on Sleeve Drafting

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Feb 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm / Fit and Sizing, Patterns / Trackback

armsyce_primary_range_of_motion_pivotCourtesy of Timo Rissanen who found out about it from Holly McQuillan -those links aren’t gratuitous, you should be keeping an eye on those two- comes word of a a Ph.D dissertation. It is a treatise (I hope) on sleeve drafting written by Morris Campbell, lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand. The full title is The Development of a Hybrid System for Designing and Pattern Making In-Set Sleeves.

At right is but one of many images from the dissertation. I picked it because it illustrates the primary range of motion as I illustrated in my book on page 168 (chapter entitled Fundamentals of Fitting which as far as I know, remain undisclosed in any fitting books today).

I am not suggesting this work is the definitive beginning and end of all things sleeve drafting (although I hope it is) because I have only scanned parts of it. I won’t have time to read it until, oh,  June or July, as you should safely surmise by now considering my posting tardiness of late. Other than looking at the many interesting pictures and the many math equations that I don’t have the understanding to process, I did scan the bibliography.

The bibliography was interesting in two ways. The first is that Campbell has access to better sources on the Pacific Rim than I do -oh envy!- and the second is what can only be termed as omissions. Obviously it is not possible to survey all of the literature which would amount to recreating vast portions of Seligman’s bibliography but some omissions were puzzling. Such as Seligman for source material, Hulme, Simons and of course, Wampen -gotta have Wampen; perhaps there is an explanation for this in the book. Not that I think there is anything wrong with Campbell’s citations of Poole or Morris but my first (albeit cursory) assessment of a non-fiction work remains the bibliography. As should yours be. All that said, we really do want someone to break new ground and treat the subject in wholly new ways; it could be much better to omit a lot of precedent under brush and forge a new path. One thing I like very much about this treatise and gives me much hope is the in depth treatment of drafting in real terms, using cardboard and sheet metal as built examples. I’ve always said that if a pattern is proven, you could cut it in sheet metal and weld it together. In sum, Campbell takes this approach to heart.

sleeve_treatise_match_stripeAt right is another sample to be of interest to those who send me horrid emails or posting nasty comments claiming I’m out of my tree when it comes to matching stripes across a sleeve, here is an image from page 198. I figure you can make a lot or maybe nothing of this. Whether this proves anything (or not) will keep any number of people out of the bars. I do wish to remind people of one simple fact;  just because you can’t do something, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.  Four minute mile anyone? Not by me but I know it’s doable. Or maybe I just have super powers or have a magical pattern table.

Oh I forgot to mention the best part, you can download the dissertation for free! Yay!

Edit 2/19/13: It would seem that some images are missing from the dissertation, specifically illustrations culled from copyrighted source material. Is there a connection? We don’t know at the time of this writing. In the meantime, enjoy and use what you can. Carry on.

34 Responses to “A Treatise on Sleeve Drafting”

Comments RSS feed

Michael P.
February 18th, 2013
12:30 AM

Sadly, when I click the link to download this treasure trove of information, a Google page tells me “You need permission to access this item.” Is there a public download link somewhere that works? This stuff sounds interesting!

Timo Rissanen
February 18th, 2013
3:22 AM

Those that see this comment, you can download Campbell’s dissertation directly from here: http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/eserv/rmit:11219/Campbell.pdf

February 18th, 2013
6:36 AM

So sorry for the confusion, the links have been corrected.

February 18th, 2013
8:36 AM

Wow thank you!

February 18th, 2013
8:38 AM

Dear Dr. Campbell:

Just one diagram from this makes me giddy. This home sewist finally grasps where the sleeve cap curve changes from concave to convex (even if the more mathematically correct term for that point is eluding me pre-caffeine). Thank you.

February 18th, 2013
9:36 AM

Oh man, what a treat! Thanks for sharing this!

February 18th, 2013
10:01 AM

I can only echo that, What a treat! Mind candy, no, a meaty steak for the mind, rare and juicy. (Sorry Kathleen) Thank you soooo much for the links.

Susan Partlan
February 18th, 2013
10:04 AM

Wow. Thank you Kathleen! I’ve barely scanned it let alone read carefully but I have a strong hunch that this explains what we’ve been discovering experimenting with conic sections.

Btw we now have a curve that seems to closely match your sleeve cap and can explain how we got it slicing a cylinder at an angle. I’ll put post the curves/math up later. When I make my next V8543 bodice muslin I am going to use this curve to cut the sleeve cap and see if it sews nicely and fits. It may be that a pure cylinder slice is close but not exact in terms of what you actually want to sew. If not, I bet the modifications needed are explained in Campbell’s dissertation.

Adrienne Myers
February 18th, 2013
11:28 AM

/weeps/ Oh, I love reading this stuff. I only get sleeves enough to get me into trouble.

February 18th, 2013
12:29 PM

There’s a thought, what are the rare delicacies of a vegetarian menu? The equivalent of a T-bone that’s limited quantity and superior texture and all.

And happy belated 8th birthday to F-I!

February 18th, 2013
1:06 PM

Thank you, Kathleen, for bringing our attention to this information. Thank you, Dr. Campbell, for sharing your findings with us.

February 18th, 2013
1:41 PM

Darn, I must have a setting off somewhere, because I can tell there’s images I’m not seeing the .pdf, mainly, the diagrams from other drafting books. Is mine an isolated problem or are they just not supposed to show?

theresa riess
February 18th, 2013
1:51 PM

Thank you for correcting the link. Just skimmed through the document and downloaded it. It will be very interesting reading. And thank you to Dr. Campbell for the dissertation, Timo for the link and Kathleen for pointing this out.

February 18th, 2013
8:23 PM

Shelly, I’m missing scetches too.

Thank you Timo, Holly and Kathleen for this amazing post!

I hope one day we will have this sort of reasoning applied to all aspects of clothing pattern drafting. I, for one, am desperately ignorant. Increasingly, I know what to do get the results I want with a draft, and this is good. But even when I am confident I can create the solution to a problem, it is rare that I can say I comprehend the principles underlying the problem, and how to systematically manipulate those principles to generate the desired outcome.

I, for one, would love to understand these spatial relationships a lot better. And to have a more refined language to use in its discussion.

February 18th, 2013
8:27 PM

Several have mentioned problems viewing images. First thing tomorrow I will look into this. I’m not having problems. Worst case, I’ll upload the file version I have.

No fretting, it will be resolved soon, sorry for the disappointment.

Meaghan Smith
February 18th, 2013
9:34 PM

So Awesome! Thank you for sharing this!

Sandy Peterson
February 19th, 2013
8:39 AM

Has anyone had trouble viewing the pictures in the document. Not all of them are missing but quite a few are. For me, document pages (not pdf page count) pages: 16, 22, 23, 33, 35 just to name a few. Is it because they are examples of other peoples work and they are copyrighted?

I look forward to reading this, thank you!!

Mary L
February 19th, 2013
9:48 AM

This is amazing, thank you Holly and Kathleen! Now, can we find a 408 page dissertation somewhere on raglan sleeves?

Natasha E
February 19th, 2013
1:34 PM

I’ve often commented that there isn’t a lot to do back home so you get a lot done (though RMIT is in Australia). Massey University was where I wanted too study fashion but was forced to go to law school instead :/ (that didn’t go well fyi) I would have love to have been working on this type of stuff.

February 19th, 2013
1:35 PM

I had trouble with missing images, too.

M Pius
February 19th, 2013
10:50 PM

@Quincunx- I believe that the mathematical term you are looking for is ‘inflection point’. This is where the slope of the tangent to the curve is 0 or infinite (ie, the tangent is horizontal or vertical). It marks the change from convex to concave.

Downloaded the file – going into my reading “inbox”.

February 20th, 2013
3:18 AM

Amazing. Thank you so much.

Delphine C.
February 20th, 2013
4:51 PM

I was wondering if anyone found a version with all the illustrations, unfortunately it loses a lot of its value without them…

Amanda L
February 21st, 2013
12:12 AM

this is wonderful. thank you so much for this.

Lisa Brazus
February 27th, 2013
1:13 PM

I have not seen a post concerning the missing illustrations so I am assuming that they have not been able to be retreived. I am trying to understand the information but without the diagrams that is diffucult. Waiting with baited breath since this is awesome info!!! It is as always Kathleen–awesome. Thanks

March 2nd, 2013
1:44 PM

This dissertation is fantastic! Does anyone know of a similar, very in-depth study regarding the crotch for pants?

Sabrina Wharton-Brown
March 4th, 2013
5:27 AM

Just to let you know that the draft from _Metric Pattern Cutting For Women’s Wear_ by Winifred Aldrich gives me the full range of motion now that I have the shoulder pitch correct. (I did alter the method for drafting the armscye a little though, but it’s the end result is similar). I’ll post a photo on my “blog”:http://thesewingcorner.blogspot.com when I’ve finished my blouse. Admittedly I do have about 2cm ease in the sleeve head, but I like to have a little to fit nicely over the ball of the shoulder. I think with a gusset would enhance the fit further, but I forgot to draft one.

Raquel Sosa
March 4th, 2013
11:38 PM

WOW!! Thank you Dr. Campbell for your work! i can’t wait to digest this bit by bit.

Sabrina Wharton-Brown
March 17th, 2013
9:47 AM

Here is the link to my post with pictures of my finished toile, with (I think) full range of motion:

Marilynn Barber
March 20th, 2013
3:55 PM

Brilliant!! Really. Now Morris, can you quickly write a simplified pattern drafting book for those of us who can’t digest all 432 pages? You know, a condensed version? I’ll buy it!

Mary Beth
April 1st, 2013
8:58 AM

Happy, happy. Thx KF!

June 9th, 2013
8:00 PM

This is so interesting. I was just wondering if there was a version available with the pictures/diagrams yet…

Scott Mayson
July 1st, 2013
5:18 AM

Hi everyone I’m glad you like Morris work. I supervised Morris’s PhD at RMIT. The missing images are due to copyright issues and are left out for this reason. I think we will have to publish some journal articles and a book on the technique et al.

[…] to know what you’re doing to achieve that and additionally, Kathleen recently linked to a 400+ page dissertation on this subject. Yup. Basically you have to be a brilliant pattern drafter to achieve zero sleeve […]

Leave a Reply



The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing

Often described as the garment industry “blue book”, the most highly rated book in the business is guaranteed to get you off to a solid start or your money back. Many service providers require you read this before they’ll work with you. Learn more »

Subscription Options

RSS Feed My Yahoo

Subscribe by email: