Doctor Fraser McNeill


I sometimes wonder if the mice aren’t using my studio as as the most powerful Bistromatic Drive¹ ever. The infinite variation between what I think vs what I draw; what I plan vs what fabrics I find; the price of the fabrics vs what I actually pay for them; the details I plan vs the details that turn out and the entire concept vs what the client gets at the end, could certainly be used to propel a ship through hyperspace with ease.

Moving on, I’m not the biggest fan of the block patterning method. It’s dull, tedious, and gets between me and my love affair with Burda. I also find it can be restrictive, and makes me feel like a robot. However it is A LOT faster (once you survive the four hours of drawing the block) to size the subsequent patterns. And what with business getting a bit out of control, I thought I’d put my mind to refining this method with saccaggi awesomeness.


For this, and probably the next couple, of clients I’ll be doing the block method along with my traditional pattern alterations, to see where what works and what needs improving (so much DRAWING!! EISH!!).


Please note the excellent use of some (BLANK!!!!) exam scripts I found when I cleared out my office at Tuks, which I didn’t feel like returning to the secretary for…personal reasons.


I stumbled on this excellent cotton weave, along with its supporting fabrics, which is set to take the fashion (as well as anthropological) scene by storm!


The most disheartening step: seeing a pile of pieces and knowing it’s going take a hundred tedious steps for each of them to fit properly into the garment.
wpid-20140324_091610.jpg Damn, oh well, back to work!

A full day’s labour later and still just a pile of pieces, so depressing. Although…


Freshly invented detail on breast pocket. What do you think?

Then finally, something (slightly) resembling a jacket emerges:


And in other news, on the block patterning front:


Although the Aldrich blocks have a reputation for being pretty solid, it seems anything more complicated than a shirt runs into trouble when doing the pattern conversion. As far as I can tell there’s no way to get around this other than by pure intuition. Which does leave the door open for some fun innovation, but kind of defeats the purpose of a block.

With only a 0.5cm adjustment to the back after the fitting, I think I’m finally getting the hang of this method of tailoring. We also decided on my favorite button choice:


And finally, one of the many people I miss at Tuks can wrap himself in my handiwork and pretend I’m still there 😉

wpid-20140430_103529_1.jpg wpid-20140430_103616.jpg

Can’t thank you enough for the support Fraser!! Now go blow some young budding anthropological minds!!

And in the spirit of spreading the Saccaggi love:



Fraser’s friend, Sammy Mukwevho takes the jacket for a spin 😉

1.  “…a wonderful new method of crossing vast interstellar distances without all the dangerous mucking about with Improbability Factors. Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behaviour of numbers….[which are] depended on the observer’s movement in restaurants.

The first non-absolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or to the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has turned up. The second non-absolute number is the given time of arrival, which is …  the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive.

…The third and most mysterious piece of non-absoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the check, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who actually brought any money is only a sub-phenomenon in this field.)

The baffling discrepancies that used to occur at this point remained uninvestigated for centuries simply because no one took them seriously…it was only with the advent of pocket computers that the startling truth became finally apparent, and it was this: Numbers written on restaurant checks within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe. This single statement took the scientific world by storm. It completely revolutionized it. So many mathematical conferences got held in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation died of obesity and heart failure and the science of math was put back by years. Slowly, however, the implications of the idea began to be understood. To begin with it had been too stark, too crazy, too much like what the man in the street would have said “Oh, yes, I could have told you that.” Then some phrases like “Interactive Subjectivity Frameworks” were invented, and everybody was able to relax and get on with it.

The small groups of monks who had taken up hanging around the major research institutes singing strange chants to the effect that the Universe was only a figment of its own imagination were eventually given a street theater grant and went away.”

From Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


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