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Draft An Edwardian Shirtwaist Front in Adobe Illustrator

I just love Edwardian everything so I have been hunkered down that past month or so scouring the web for historical books and patterns. One of my favorite things about this period is just how well documented it is! There are books and fashion plates galore.

Many moons ago, I purchased the Edwardian Modiste and The Voice of Fashion. Those books are great and were written in the 1990s. They are a conglomeration of dozens of fashion plates and pattern drafting diagram that are pulled straight from early 1900s periodicals. The good part is that they are drafted using scale rulers or approportion rulers. The books provide the rulers that you have to scan or photocopy and then glue together to produce the patterns.

As of late, digital drafting using Adobe Illustrator has been my obsession. Its so useful and I don’t need giant sheets of paper and to use half an eraser when I make mistakes. I decided to try to figure out how to use scale rulers in Illustrator. After a good amount of fandangling, days making brand new highly accurate rulers, and a decent amount of trial and error – I came up with a process that worked for me.

If you want rulers like mine, head over to my website! Each ruler set is $5. I have rulers for the Diamond Cutting System and American Cutting System rulers. These are usable for tons of scale proportion drafts! The pack includes both the digital rulers as individual JPEG and PNG files as well as PDF pages to print and assemble at home. I have extended the sizing to go up to 60″ rulers – something you can’t find in the originals!

Buy the American Cutting System Rulers for $5

Buy the Diamond Cutting System Rulers for $5

In the video below, you will see how I use scale rulers in Adobe Illustrator to draft the front of a shirtwaist.





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