Fashion & Costume Design in Quarter Scale
by Don McCunn

The CAD/CAM Cycle

CAD/CAM is an abbreviation for Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing. It is the process whereby the fashion industry has been streamlining the design and construction of ready-to-wear clothes (RTW) since the 1970s.

Working in quarter scale allows this cycle to be simulated using a computer for the design process and an inexpensive desk top cutting machine connected to a computer to cut the fabric.

CAM Cutting Machines

For this description the Silhouette Portrait 3's cutting machine is used to convert the CAD files so they can be print and cut either as paper patterns or cut directly into fabric. This cutting machine was selected because it can also be used to cut the Mini-Mes out of poster board.

Portrait 3 Print and Cut machine

The Patterns

All the patterns included in Fashion & Costume Design in Quarter Scale are available in the proprietary STUDIO format as well as the standard CAD formats: DXL & SVG. To download any of these patterns go to the CAD-Files page.

If you are creating original designs, the Business Edition of the Studio software allows you to save your patterns as an SVG file that can be used by other CAD systems.

Line Descriptions

The lines in these files are created to take advantage of the ability of CAD programs, such as Silhouette's Studio, to specify which lines should be printed, cut, or ignored.

Line Descriptions
  • Gray Lines -- The patterns are included inside a box that is 8" by 10-1/2". This box insures that the patterns are the correct size in the CAD program. They do not need to be printed or cut.
  • Black Lines -- These dotted lines are reference lines. For Mini-Mes and paper patterns they are inportant reference lines that should be printed (aka sketched for Studio).
  • Green Lines -- These lines can be used to print dart legs and sewing notches when fabric is being printed.
  • Purple Lines -- When a Mini-Me is to include legs, the purple lines are the cutting lines in addition to the red lines.
  • Blue Lines -- These are the reference lines used to assemble a Mini-Me with legs. These lines should be printed in additon to the black lines.

The color of the lines printed by the Silhouette system is determined by the print cartridge in the machine. This means that when the black and blue lines are printed for Mini-Mes with legs, they can be printed as just black lines.

Copyright © 2023 by Don McCunn