Piece naming conventions

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Nov 1, 2005 at 12:24 pm / Glossary, Patterns, Tutorial / Trackback

An aspect of production pattern making that I’ve wanted to discuss for a long time is (pattern) piece naming conventions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that pattern making books itemize this other than through usage. Again, you may think this topic isn’t significant but I’d beg to differ particularly if you have very complex patterns. For example, the design below -a repeat from yesterday– has no fewer than 49 pieces so piece naming can become quite complex. By the way, this design (below) is not as complex as other styles I’ve made; I picked this one as it is rather straightforward piece naming-wise. Also, at the close of this posting comes detailed remarks regarding guides (poka yokes) complete with photos of jackets that feature hair pipe as an embellishment.

Anyway, I’m going to list the names of each piece as they would be listed on the direction card. I realize this can be confusing so cut and paste the list, print a copy of the sketch and plot these out (use the comments feature to direct questions because I don’t know what is or is not clear). The point of this exercise is the use of placement such as upper/lower, top/under and center/middle/side and directionals such as Right/Left. The directionals refer to position as if you were wearing the garment. Please note that as you only need to make one of each of the mirrored (AKA 2-per) pieces, they’re considered to be one piece and are only listed once but with a cut quantity of two.

The piece naming rule can be stated as:
Directional + Placement + Piece ID = Piece Name

1-Right center front
1-Left center front
1-Right middle front
1-Left middle front
1-Right lower front
1-Left lower front
2-Upper side front
2-Lower side front
2-Upper top sleeve
2-Lower top sleeve
2-Upper under sleeve
2-Middle under sleeve
2-Lower under sleeve
1-Top collar
2-Under collar
2-Center back
2-Middle back
2-Lower back (could also be lower center back)
2-Upper side back
2-Lower side back
2-Upper front facing
2-Lower front facing
X-Fringe block (optional). Cut quantity varies by size.

2-Top sleeve
2-Under sleeve
2-xxxx (proprietary)
2-xxxx (proprietary)

1-Right center front
1-Left center front
1-Right middle front (for style w/hair pipe bones)
1-Left middle front (for style w/hair pipe bones)
1-Right lower front
1-Left lower front
2-Side front hem
2-Lower top sleeve
2-Lower under sleeve
1-Top collar
2-Under collar
2-Center back
2-Middle back (for style w/hair pipe bones)
2-Lower back (could also be lower center back)
2-Side back hem
2-Upper front facing
2-Lower front facing

*A note about fusible pieces:
You’ll notice some of these pieces have exactly the same piece name as the shell pieces and you may wonder how people will know the difference between them. Well, that’s simple due to color coding. If you have my book, you’ll know that all of your interfacing pieces are marked with red ink. If you think about it, color coding is another poka yoke.

Button guide
Front bone panel (middle front)
Back bone panel (middle back)

*A note about guides:
A professionally made pattern is not considered to be complete unless it has Guides (“poka yoke” pieces) because you should not leave the placement of buttons or hair pipe to a nameless production worker who will be less particular about placement than you are. However, while guides are pattern pieces, they are not pieces to be cut of shell/self. Guides are used as marking devices. A button guide marks button placement, the bone guides mark hair pipe placement. The latter are called “bone” because hair pipe is made of cattle bone. Below are two different photos of bone jackets. You can see that the bone placement is quite different with entirely different spacing. Making a guide means workers won’t need to have a ruler handy to mark placement of each piece individually. By the way, I did not design these jackets -just the patterns and these were made for two entirely different manufacturers so you can see there’s a big difference between them in spite of their similar flavor.

4 Responses to “Piece naming conventions”

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November 3rd, 2005
11:55 AM

Procedural question: I know the color coding indicates which piece gets cut out of what, but how is it physically implimented? Is the marker color coded? And who cares/is responsible for making sure the color coded directions are followed. The sewer at the machine doesn’t know what “color” the pattern pieces are for whatever fabric pieces she’s sewing, does she?

November 5th, 2010
8:23 AM

Somehow, comments are eaten by the system; I had answered this long ago and there were other comments too.

The marker isn’t color coded. It doesn’t need to be. Or… well, I guess it could but it would be pretty hard to mess that up, an incredibly huge major gaffe. A marker is made for each fabrication type (pg. 114-120 of my book explains how to make markers yourself) so the pieces that belong together are cut together. The marker is made first (or at least planned) so you have a spread plan. Fabric is laid to length to match the marker length. For example, a fusible marker would be so much shorter/smaller than a shell/self marker, there’s no way you could cut fusible from the shell marker and vice versa. So, that’s why no color coding on markers.

Persons responsible for implementing color coding varies, dependent on the given operation. Most important of all is the pattern maker, everyone else follows their lead. If they get it wrong, everyone else could too and it’s not their fault. Oh wait, scratch that. The most important person is the designer/owner/manager of the operation. Plenty of DEs think this is overkill or it doesn’t matter. Most likely to fail are DEs who went to fashion school because they don’t teach this in colleges. Or didn’t. I notice Armstrong finally added this info in her *5th* edition and a lot of professors are using my book to develop curriculum.

The stitcher at a machine may or may not know the color coding of the pattern pieces, it depends on the management style of the place. If it’s a huge operation and operators are the equivalent of machine cogs (boo hiss), they probably won’t and it probably doesn’t matter that they don’t because larger operations are pretty good at managing operations. They wouldn’t have gotten so big if they didn’t. At a smaller company, I think it’s a very good idea to make sure everyone is cross trained to know stuff like this. That way they can help out with cutting protos or small lots when making a marker isn’t a priority.

[…] [whatever it’s called] is joined to the roundish with one side flattish, piece. Good luck with the piece naming conventions for this […]

Fashion Incubator » Piece naming in CAD
September 15th, 2011
12:35 PM

[…] in the course of the training, I thought to mention that piece naming for manual patterns and CAD are different. Pattern names for manual patterns can be more lengthy without much […]

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