Swimwear Pattern Cutter
Swimwear Pattern Cutting Service.
(111). The London Pattern Cutter offers a swimwear and bikini pattern cutting service to small and medium sized brands. But our services go way beyond pattern cutting, especially for new startup brands.
We welcome new startup brands, requiring a complete range of services, including design, grading, tech packs, sampling, and small production runs.
Swimwear Start-Up Workshops.
We run a very popular one-to-one Swimwear Startup Workshop for anyone interested in setting up and running a new swimwear brand.
Pattern cutting for swimwear is a job for experienced professionals. Like all contour garments, swimwear generally fits very closely to the contours of the body.
Swimwear, beachwear and lingerie are specialist areas of pattern cutting that require in-depth knowledge of stretch fabrics, garment construction and ergonomics.
Stretch garments can have two way stretch, or four way stretch. The fabric can have varying degrees of stretch, both width wise and length wise. The same design in two different fabrics may require two different patterns to allow for this.
While there is an ideal degree of stretch for each fabric, there is scope either way in which the garment will still fit even if it has not been cut with the ideal amount of stretch.
Part of the skill in cutting swimwear styles is understanding exactly what degree of stretch to allow.
While patterns for wovens bear some resemblance to the shape of the actual human body, swimwear patterns look like a very distorted representation, due to the fabric stretch and the lack of seams.
The lack of seams mean that all the suppression needs to take place in small areas rather than be distributed throughout the body.
On swimsuit this may mean putting all the suppression into the side seams and the centre back seam.
Most swim wear brands tend to use either a size 8 or size 10 as the base size, although some brands do cater for larger sizes. The design and construction tends to differ depending on the sizes catered for.
The more curves are involved, the more the need for extra shaping seams, under wiring and support.
Most swimwear is made to be skin tight. This means making the patterns with negative ease. Or stretch in other words. This stretch can vary from fabric to fabric. And from design to design.
Flat Pattern Cutting.
It is not really ideal to use flat pattern cutting methods for swimwear, although books tend to teach this way. In reality, swimwear pattern cutting requires less theory and pattern manipulation, with more experience and skill to master.
You can start with using a block that represents the body shape with no ease whatsoever. But the initial results will probably seem quite poor if you are relying on theory.
If you need to use the flat pattern cutting method, you can only really use it as a rough starting point. You will need to make a toile from this starting point, that you will have to fit on a mannequin or a model.
Draping On The Stand.
You can either choose to work from a block that you have already constructed using the flat pattern cutting method, or you can work directly on the stand.
You will have to allow for the fact that the final garment should have a little more body if it is lined. And the edges may be elasticated.
A toile is a mock-up of the style in a similar, but cheaper fabric. With swimwear the toile needs to be made in a fabric with similar stretch properties. Ideally it should be made in the same material as the final sample.
You really need a good mannequin to be able to cut swimwear patterns professionally. The best mannequins cost a lot of money, but are worth every penny as they last a lifetime.
Standard dummies are not really suitable as they tend not to be a realistic body shape, and they have no give. A swimwear mannequin really needs to have some give to represent the human body.
Most mannequins are solid dummies that ( unlike real people ) have no give. If you are using a mannequin designed for tailoring, it will not have the necessary curves required for swimwear and particularly for more curvy women.
A special swimwear dummy is needed that is a more accurate reflection of a womans body shape, with a soft spongy exterior. And legs.
Like every other branch of pattern cutting, it is important to have some basic pattern blocks to develop each style from. For the same style to be made in two different fabrics would require two different blocks.
A garment that stretches in only one direction will need a different basic block than one with a two way stretch.
The blocks should be constructed using tried and trusted shapes for each type of style. Sometimes it is best to use existing garments to develop the blocks, although it is not easy to replicate a stertch garment accurately.
Mens swimwear pattern cutting is totally different as only a few types of styles use negative ease. Much of mens swimwear and beachwear uses totally different construction methods.
Pattern cutting classes.
We run regular swimwear pattern cutting classes from our studios in Greenwich. These are either group based, or one-to-one sessions. Please contact us for further details.