Re: What's a Cutter? #usa #general

EdrieAnne Broughton

Larry Gaum, 
 Let's talk about how a suit is put together.  There is, even today, no completely machine-made garments.  Since the middle of the 19th century there was some kind of mechanized sewing machine that still had to be operated by a skilled sewer.  Some of the steps at the time and even now have to be done by hand. At first they were driven by steam power, later by electricity.  Home sewing machines came out for housewives in the mid to late 1800s, using foot treadles, and those switched to electricity in the mid 1900s.  Even today our garments are made by some poor lady in a third world country, paid next to nothing so we can wear jeans that look already worn out.
   Cutters in the major garment making areas of the US usually referred to someone cutting a pattern from some kind of fabric (cloth, leather, felt, etc).  Those who cut gems usually specified 'gem cutter'.  Cutters might take a design from the person who had the original idea and add 'ease' to the areas we require to be able to move in a garment.  This is a very intricate process, say an inch here and 1 1/2 inches there.  Less if they are tight fitting jeans, more if they are slacks that have to fit well at the top and fall straight to the floor.  It's a science called pattern drafting and can take years to learn.  Other cutters (most of them) take the drafted pattern and make the most of the fabric at hand.  
    I was 5 ft 8in by the time I was 12 (Mom was barely 5 ft).  I learned to draft patterns really young.  Then I married a man with a large chest and shoulders and a very small waist.  I've been drafting patterns for more than 50 years so he wouldn't look like a pregnant lady, or have lots of material bunched into his waistband.
                            EdrieAnne Broughton, California

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