idk how to use expansions or contractions for tailoring
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Joined: November 28, 2018
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idk how to use expansions or contractions for tailoring
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Posted on Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:52 pm
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So like. I know how to do them, just not like... how to use them? I already generally don't know, but I'm currently trying to make a tank top and I have one specific case for each that I need help with right now so I'll just ask specifically about those.
Expansions: So like a shirt pattern I'm referencing only says how to do expansions in terms of "do x rows of expansions" and shows them on the pattern as like triangles? But like what does that mean? Like how close together do the expansions go? Like one right after the other? And for how many rows (columns?) do they keep going? I was trying to do some as I approach, uh, the boob area. So that there will be room for my boobs. I think I started them a little too high up, but on each edge (like under each arm strap or w/e) I did 4 expansions, with 2 normal rings between each, in the hopes that it would give me like a gradual expansion into the area that I needed it in. And then I did a whole row of regular rings between that and the next set of expansions. I've only done 4 rows like this (so only 2 sets of expansions) and I can't tell whether it's going wrong or not? Like, did I just already do it wrong? How am I supposed to do it?

As for contractions, I wanted to make sort of like a v-neck, and have the neckline lie flat against me (making the neck go straight across tends to make it gap) so I was thinking that like, each row I go down, I could just go in one more ring, using a contraction, like this?

I started off with it going straight across and I have to take it apart to change it to the contractions, so I've only done it for like 3 rows so far, cuz I kinda wanted to get advice first. My idea is that the contractions are good because they take it in by two rings each row, so its not quite as steep a v neck as if it was regular rings each row, and also theyll keep the neck like... more flush against my body hopefully? I am not familiar enough with how to use contractions to know if this is actually viable so that's why I'm asking lol

Thanks in advance!

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Posted on Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:50 am
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I’m wondering if you’re referring to this article: http://www.the-exiles.org/Article%20chain.htm

At any rate, and in my experience, if you’re making just a tank top you don’t need contractions/expansions. You mentioned expanding the material so there is room for the boobs, but European 4 in 1 woven at any AR that provides the material with a reasonable amount of flexibility, such as that in the picture you’ve provided, has a way of contouring itself to a persons body. You oughtn’t need any expansions unless the person the shirt is for is, ahem, VERY large up there.

Contractions and expansions become a thing of more importance when you get into adding sleeves and working armpit seams. Or if you want to make a shirt style that provides support, in which case contraction would be required under the chest, of course, along with likely some expansions above that.

I’m not trying to dissuade you from using contractions if you really want to, I just don’t want you to think they are an absolute requirement. Usually where and when they become necessary becomes apparent during tailoring and the mail maker can “feel” when they’re needed.


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Joined: November 28, 2018
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Posted on Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:01 pm
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I was actually referring to this thing that someone else on here linked me to a while ago, which seems to be some sort of... reprint? maybe a different version? of the thing you linked, not that it makes a huge difference either way. I just reread the article(s?) to refresh my memory of their exact instructions, but I still don't understand what they're talking about when they say "x sets of expansions" or "one expansion per y rows." Like I'm just confused about how the expansions get spaced out, cuz it says not to cluster them together or else it'll be ugly, but the pictures just kinda represent them as triangles, which I can't visualize as anything other than starting with one expansion and then like putting two under that, and three under that, so they grow into a triangle? Which means you cluster them together! Also, I guess I just don't know the power of expansions/contractions? It says to do one expansion every other row? And that's for the shoulders, which I'm pretty sure needs the most room; it says one every four rows for other spots and like?? That just seems like so little change! It makes me feel like I must be misreading it, cuz I did four expansions in one row and it felt like there was almost no difference. Granted, I have not built very far down from those expansions so maybe I just need to build out and then I'll feel a difference, but like... If it's wrong? I gotta undo everything I already built, so trial and error on the scale of a whole shirt is not a great option!
I feel like I just need someone to, like, walk me through the consequences of different quantities and ways of spacing expansions/contractions, starting with the consequences of how I'm doing mine lmao (omg it just occurred to me to maybe check through the articles or whatever on this site to see if maybe there is something like that. I've already spent too long writing and editing this post so instead of debating whether or not to leave this realization in, I'll just edit it out once I've actually checked for articles) (also oh wow that whole thing was way too verbose and spent way too many words talking about petty stuff that's gonna seem ridiculous once I realize how simple this stuff probably actually is.)

Anyways, thanks for the advice; its reassuring to know that I can just give up on expansions and contractions if they start frustrating me further into this project lol. However, I DO want my tank top to be sorta fitted (as much as it can be considering the properties of chainmaille, anyways lol), and I DO wanna figure out and apply this expansion and contraction stuff, cuz I've just been wanting to know for a while now! Like, I gotta learn it and do it eventually, y'know?

Lastly, I'm sorta just repeating the last part of my original post here, but, could anyone please just tell me one way or the other whether or not my idea to make the v-neck out of contractions will work? Or if its gonna make everything sit or hang weird or whatever? Not to be a slacker, but like, I have to take apart the existing straight neck in order to change it like this, so if it's not gonna work, it'd be nice to know that BEFORE I'm gonna have to go back and put it all back together lol

Joined: November 28, 2018
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Posted on Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:14 pm
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UPDATE: I got impatient and just went ahead and did the neckline with the contractions and it turned out more kinda like a scoop neck. And it's just kinda generally weird and bad so now I have to put it all back together and figure it out later, I guess lmao

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Posted on Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:44 pm
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you'll want to learn about all the contractions and expansions for e4 first and then experiment with them. i would advise using a mannequin to get a general fit and then adjust for yourself after. i know it can get quite complicated working with expansions and contractions. especially since you can make seams of expansions and contractions without actually bringing the whole piece in/out. for example, you can make a circle of 12 seams lay completely flat with no curve at all. what makes the curve in or out is how you put the seams together. and i think that's what you really want to know. and i'm afraid that is a multi-day class just to learn the basics. you can learn a lot from tutorials and trial and error, but actually working with a teacher would be best. here is a good article to read too: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=749





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Posted on Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:10 pm
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The desirable feature in expansion arrays is how flexible they are. You can expand by just ONE link, or expand by several links. Or expand by a metric ******kilogram of links for a really flare-outy triangle.

I wish that one fellow who wrote "expansion units" had been clear enough to state this was expansion, in each "unit," by one link. So, wider from then downwards by one link diameter. He was probably thinking the "fivelet basic unit of E4-1" a link in each of four corners around a single central link -- a little square bit with one in the middle. So, what do you do to that unit? -- you weave a fifth link into there, right between the two lower (corner) ones already there. That's an "expansion unit," but you could really just as well speak of an expansion link and make the same sense. You could call it E5-1 too; a bit of E5-1 included in a piece of E4-1.

I think you've noticed that all the goofy goings on in an expansion triangle happen in its center, and that the edges of the array just weave into the rest of the regular E4-1 mail.

The warning not to cluster expansions together has more to do with clumping them from side to side. Close together up and down, columnwise, is no prob. It's that remarkable flexibility of application again -- stuff in the number of expansions you need for the job.

It's fortunate that that is usually not an enormoously large number. The triangles are often fairly skinny, especially if built tall, which makes them subtle. Every single link extra inserted as an expansion link makes the triangle widen by one link ID; the math is thus easy to do if you know about how many inches wider you want it to get.

Fitting can totally happen, and because of the fabric's behavior, it won't be difficult for a good fit to your shape.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Posted on Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:12 am
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Quote:
It says to do one expansion every other row? And that's for the shoulders, which I'm pretty sure needs the most room; it says one every four rows for other spots and like??


The first one, every other row, yields a gradual widening, which can be closely controlled by you to fit your frame. Even if you go "That's looser than I think I want," you can then go in and reduce how many expansions are in play in that area. The tweak will of course snug down every linkrow below that.

The one that's every four rows, that's even more gradual a widening, totally making the expansion-triangle zone even narrower. Subtle!

So, if you stuff one expansion into each linkrow, it flares out big and wide in a hurry. You can help the expansions hide in the weave pretty well if you were to zigzag their placement, say one to the right and the next one over on the left. The link-columns shouldn't be too much affected -- not get all crookedy, that is -- by such hijinks.

Quote:
. . . so trial and error on the scale of a whole shirt is not a great option!

It would be more fun if we might confine it to half the shirt or less, you bet! But many have slogged through this trial before, to make it come out all right in the end -- and by GOLLY you will have learned how to do it right!! Smile And that's a good thing. You'll have done the hard stuff and you'll have the skill you want. The greater the trial, the sweeter the triumph.


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Posted on Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:39 pm
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Hey guys, sorry for just like, disappearing for a few months, but, I'm back with a few more questions!

I was just now taking a close look at that bra posted earlier in the thread, and I think a lot of my questions could probably be answered just by knowing what exactly's going on with that kind of design, so... @mithrilweaver, if you're still out there, do you happen to have a pattern for that chainmaille bra you posted? If not, does anyone else?

Anyways, I've reach the point in my tank top project where I can connect the front and the back to make the sides (not all the way down, just under my armpits). So, my good sense tells me to just build straight out to the side to connect them, but my over-ambition is telling me that it'd look so cool and smooth if I just did enough expansions to make the rows long enough to meet at the sides. So. I'm basically asking, would it actually look decent if I did that. And also, if I did do that, where would be the best place for the expansions? Near the edges of the rows? In the middle? Scattered throughout the rows?
Thanks so much for any answers!

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Posted on Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:18 am
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I think the exact amount of such expanding depends a lot on what you're wearing under the mail. You know about E4-1 self-tailoring to you under the pull of gravity snugging it to your personal contours.

With a shirt, it is convenient to err on the side of generosity. Euro mail doesn't work as well if it is pulled tight; slack gives mobility.


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