Kinetic Garment Construction

Remarks on the foundation of pattern cutting

by Rickard Lindqvist

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1 Motive part I: Studio practices
1.1Cutting at Bauer Tailors
1.2Reflection – Straight lines and perfect fit
1.3Cutting at Vivienne Westwood
1.4Reflection – Perfect points and interesting lines
1.5Cutting at Geneviève Sevin-Doering
1.6Reflection – Another view on dressmaking
1.7Discussion – Working from the inside and outward
2Motive part II : Systems of garment construction
2.1Wrap clothing
2.2Rectangular-cut garments
2.3Tailoring – flat pattern cutting
2.3.1Drafting systems
2.3.2Block pattern manipulations
2.5Creative pattern cutting
2.6Discussion – Approximations of the body
3Development of a theory of the body
3.1Design research and design of experiments: developing axioms
3.2A dynamic theory of the body
3.3Analyses of axioms by experimentation
4A human kinetic theory for garment construction
4.1On the relationship between the shear forces in human skin and the grain direction of woven fabric
5Exploration of theory through development of garment construction methodology
6Discussion, evaluation of theory


Fashion designers are presented with a range of methods and concepts for pattern cutting are presented, the main body of these methods, both traditional and contemporary, is predominantly based on a theoretical approximation of the body that is derived from horizontal and vertical measurements of the body in an upright position: the tailoring matrix. As a consequence, there is a lack of interactive and dynamic qualities in methods connected to this paradigm of garment construction, from both expressional and functional perspectives.

The research conducted here is basic research, aiming to identify fundamental principles for garment construction. The work proposes and explores an alternative paradigm for pattern cutting that includes a new theoretical approximation of the body. Based on some key principles found in the works of Geneviève Sevin-Doering and in pre-tailoring methods for constructing garments, the proposed theory for – and method of – garment construction was developed through concrete experiments by cutting and draping fabrics on live models.

About the revised digital version

This is a revised digital version of the Phd thesis Kinetic Garment Construction, Remarks on the Foundation of Pattern Cutting by Rickard Lindqvist. This version is updated with new photos, animations, links and all the full-scale patterns available to download for free.

If you are interested in the process and background of Atacac this document is central for the understanding of why we do what we do and how we do it.

The digitalisation of the thesis is an ongoing project where we publish the chapters one by one. The original text is available to download as a pdf from

The last update was made the 1st of August 2016.

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