Trouble with workpiece tool

Hi all,

I am having a go at drafting the basic blocks from Kershaw’s Pattern Cutting For Menswear. I am new to pattern drafting in general, though I have used CAD software in the past. I started by having a go at this body block (apologies for image quality):

Drawing the basic block was fairly straightforward, and I’ve got a set of points and lines and curves laid out that looks good. I’m not using any measurements of formulae at this stage, just inputting points with absolute values for distances and angles.

When I came to use the workpiece tool, I had some real trouble getting the outline to work round the armhole correctly. I had almost given up when more or less by chance I made it work correctly.

basicblocks.val (10.9 KB)

If I understand correctly, I should select points and curves in a clockwise direction, using the shift key when a curve runs anticlockwise.

This is a point I’m still not clear on having done it - take the curve at the top left of my block. The arrow is pointing left to right. The curve, in isolation, is pointing anti-clockwise, but the arrow is pointing in the general clockwise direction of the whole piece. Should I press the shift key when selecting this curve?

Secondly, I had great difficulty selecting the right hand side of the armhole curve. I began at A8 (bottom centre point) and worked round clockwise. I don’t know if there’s something about the way I drew the curves/points that explains why that was. A couple of times, the program seemed to freeze. I found hitting escape and walking away for five minutes resolved it.

When I did finally succeed in selecting the right hand armhole curve, I clicked it very close to the right of A5. Previous attempts had sometimes resulted in part of the curve being selected between A5 and A17a1.

Lastly, once I have a workpiece path, how can I add points to it? I can see how to delete them and reverse any curves I’ve selected wrongly, but it seems it should be easy to add another point, but I can’t see how!

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Hi Calum,

I’m learning as I go along, and it looks like you’re doing pretty well so far. I managed to trace round your outline without too much difficulty. You’re right - one must go around the outline in a clockwise direction, and my rule-of-thumb is to use the shift-key on any section of a curve if the arrow is pointing in the opposite direction to the (clockwise) path that I am following.

Quite often I find that the traced outline doesn’t seem to keep-up with the points that I am selecting. Then, suddenly it will magically catch-up with itself and all is well. Sometimes it takes several ‘goes’ before I achieve an accurate trace. That’s all part of the fun of this program!

If you want intermediate points (or even extra points) in the outline, you just need to click on them as you progress around the outline and they will appear in the final layout. If you need points or lines that are not part of the main outline you will need to use the Internal Path Tool which is located immediately below the Workpiece Tool that you have been using.

Good luck.

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Ah, that’s reassuring! That’s certainly what happened when it did finally work (rather to my surprise!)

That makes sense in terms of arrows and curves.

Hi & welcome, @Calum

I’ve also been studying Kershaw. I like his method for menswear.

Firstly, yes, you are correct. if the curve was created following an anti-clockwise direction, then you should select it while holding down the shift key and if you forget, continue, because you can reverse the direction later in the Detail board by left clicking on the pattern piece and selecting Options, right click on the curve & select Reverse.

Seconcly, I’m not too sure why your program would freeze. You’ll need to tell me what OS you’re using and the version of Seamly2D, which you will find in the Help menu.

The problem with the armhole is that you didn’t select A5 and then the curve after A5 (holding the shift key). Which brings us to the Lastly.

Lastly, you can add points and curves previously missed by returning to the Drawing board, select the Insert Node tool under the Detail section, select the node and add it to the pattern piece:

image image

Repeat this with the curve, then go to the Detail board, right click on the pattern piece, select options and you will find the added items at the end in an excluded state:


Click and drag them into position by holding the left mouse key, right click each one in turn and click the Excluded to remove the checkmark and reverse the curve:


I hope this helps you.

I’d like to add that if you need to include a node which is included in a curve, you should select the curve, then the node and then select the same curve again to get it to continue after the node.

Here’s your file back: Kershaw basicblocks.val (10.4 KB)

Have fun :smile:

The Internal Path tool is actually used to add lines and curves to the pattern that are not meant to be cut - Like the position of pockets or a fold line. In the case of pockets, you can add the Internal Path onto the pattern piece and then use the same nodes to create the pocket pattern piece.

I hope this helps, too :smile:

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Grace, thank you so much! That clears things up wonderfully.

As far as version and OS go, I’m on a recent Linux Mint (17?) and version of Seamly. I’m not certain that the issues I had weren’t simply down to excessive frustrated clicking, but if I can come up with reproducible steps I’ll let you know.

Thanks again, Calum

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Just in case it’s useful to anyone, here’s the finished basic blocks. Again, these are done without measurements, just hard-coded values, but they might come in handy to someone!

basicblocks.val (47.3 KB)


Thank you very much for sharing your pattern.

I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but there is a pattern cloud where you can upload your patterns to, if you wish. This link will take you to the registration page:

There are also some amazing patterns shared by others on there and it’s definitely worth a browse around :smile:

Thanks for putting the time in. I’ve been meaning to draft the Kershaw blocks, but haven’t gotten around to it.

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