Pattern making is an art form, the unsung hero of the design process, as the pattern maker realises the design team's vision, bringing it to life. We want to cast a light on the skill and precision involved, as it's an integral part of making Yaccomaricard clothes stand apart.
We talked with our head pattern maker Ayumi Yaemori who leads a team of 5 Tokyo-based pattern makers. Ayumi has been part of the Yaccomaricard family for 20 years.
What was the attraction of pattern making? How did you arrive at it as a career?
I became interested in clothes in high school. I dreamt of entering the fashion industry, so I enrolled in Bunka Fashion College (Alumni: Yohji Yamamoto, Junya Watanabe and Yaccomaricard's Yacco Hayata).
As I researched, I realised that you couldn't design without understanding patterns, so I decided to study patterns first. If I understood them, then I could become a designer. As a result, I became fascinated by patterns; if you can create and draw a pattern, you can make clothes the way you like them. I have been a pattern maker for 20 years, but my inquisitiveness and curiosity have never stopped.
A single line can change the silhouette, and changing the grain of the fabric can change the way the fabric falls. Clothing is only complete with a pattern; it's such a key role, which is attractive and exciting.
Please describe pattern making and why it's integral to the design process.
Put simply, the pattern maker's job is to understand the intention of the design accurately and to draw a three-dimensional pattern on a two-dimensional surface (a pattern). We are producing clothing from a design drawing on paper that will remain true to the aesthetic intended by the design team.
Communication and understanding are paramount as it's the pattern maker's job to precisely understand the design intent and clarify the logical relationship between the three - dimensional and flat surfaces, giving shape to the design and creating a beautiful product.
To produce clothes from a design drawing on paper, a high level of expertise, precision and sensitivity is required to remain faithful to the designer's vision.
What is unique about Yaccomaricard pattern making?
Pintucks and a loose silhouette are Yaccomaricard's strongest characteristics.
Yaccomaricard's signature pintucks are the result of meticulous research; the fabric's tension and the shrinkage rate is considered for every pattern and style. We work through a lot of trial and error to end up with a piece true to the Yaccomaricard vision, ensuring our clothes are comfortable to wear and striking in silhouette. This makes us unique; the amount of time and research we invest into each style shows. We study our patterns and ensure that we have in-
depth knowledge of the fabrics we use and the sewing processes needed.
How important is fabric in the pattern-making process?
We work closely with fabrics as fabric selection is the most important factor in the pattern - making process. The texture, thickness and feel of the material all play a role in the pattern creation, and it is essential that the design and fabric selection match to give the design the feeling it's supposed to have.
It is also the pattern maker's role to consider the ease of production for each design, from cutting through to sewing, calculating how to use fabric efficiently, without waste.
How do you wear Yaccomaricard yourself? What are your favourite shapes to wear?
Recycled Cotton Herringbone Tunic.
I like to mix and match my Yaccomaricard pieces with other brands. I like the everyday uniform of a pair of beautifully cut trousers with a Yaccomaricard shirt styled with a tank top. From last year's spring/summer collection, I'm very attached to a pintucked poncho shirt. It was created through testing patterns and then many modifications to find just the right amount of fabric to make it fall beautifully. I wear it with simple wide-leg trousers for balance.
From our current collection, my favourite piece is the striking Recycled Cotton Herringbone Tunic. I love the way the fabric changes from tight pintucking to plain fabric. I also like the Longline Dip Hem Shirt with the flared back. It has a light and airy feel, created again from a meticulous checking process to get the fabric quantity just right.