When I Say POM Sketch, You Say…
What comes to your head when you hear the word POM?
It might be those shiny, plastic puffs that cheerleaders wave enthusiastically at the crowd at football games.
Or maybe it's a cute little Pomeranian (arguably also a puff?!).
Either way, you’re not wrong (and also, you sound 100% like someone I’d personally get along with as a former cheerleader and current/continuing dog-lover!). But, surprisingly, we’re not here to talk about pom-poms or fluffy dogs today.
Today, we’re going to talk about POM sketches and why they are a crucial part of your tech packs.
How To Measure Sketch
POM stands for Points of Measure and is a term that gets thrown around often in technical apparel design.
Essentially, the POM Sketch shows how to measure the garment and is sometimes appropriately referred to as the “How To Measure Sketch”.
The POM sketch is your flat sketch with annotated arrows showing the different measurement points.
In your tech packs, your POM sketch and POMs can appear on a few different pages, such as the Graded Specs page and the Fit Sheets (sometimes called Approvals, or can be known by different names).
Each Point of Measure will be given a code. This can be as simple as A, B, C, etc., or a naming convention determined by the company you are working with.
The codes are included on the POM sketch for a quick reference and to keep the annotations on the sketch as minimal as possible. Imagine how overwhelming a sketch would be if the spec arrows said “Across front 5” below HSP” instead of “B”.
These codes correspond to a measurement listed in the measurement charts.
Make POM Sketches and Tech Packs Simpler With Tech Pack Wizard
The Importance Of Points of Measurement Sketches
The Points of Measurements for garments must be clearly shown on the flat sketch as this shows exactly how to measure.
When communicating your design mostly through a written document, it is important to provide as much context as possible to help minimize miscommunication.
It might seem like enough to just say on the measurement chart that the next width is 7”. However, is this measured from edge-to-edge or seam-to-seam?
Is the waist measured at the top or bottom of the waist casing?
These are the details that the annotated POM sketch helps to clarify.
Measuring a garment can already have variances from person to person (even the same person!) because fabric can shift and be manipulated easily. So, being as clear as possible about where the measurement is supposed to be taken, can help limit misunderstandings.
You need to be certain that your factory is measuring the garment the same way as you so that when you tell them a certain measurement is out of spec, they can see
exactly what you are referring to and can correct their pattern accordingly.
A Simple Workflow with Tech Pack Wizard
We now know what a POM sketch is and why it’s so important for your tech pack. But how do we actually make one?
There are two ways to go about this, with Tech Pack Wizard or without. Of course we are biased towards method 1 below, but we are all about actionable steps here at TPW and want you to create the best tech packs you can with the resources you have available to you.
Follow these steps to create POM sketches for your Garment Tech Packs.
With Tech Pack Wizard Plugin for Adobe Illustrator:
Create a new Detail sketch in the plugin and choose a Master Sketch to link it to
Using the Spec Tool, annotate the detail sketch with your POM lines by clicking & dragging from one end of measurement point to the other
The Spec Tool automatically creates a red line with arrowheads and a pop up box appears where you enter the Measurement Code, Sample size Measurement and the Grade Rule
The sketch with the annotated arrow points automatically appears on the Fit Sheet & Graded Specs sheet of the Tech Pack and the Graded Spec measurement chart is automatically calculated with your grade rule
Fill out the Description and Tolerance on your Measurement Chart for each measurement
Without Tech Pack Wizard:
Copy and paste your garment sketch onto a new artboard
Draw your spec arrows with the pen tool
Format the spec arrows to how you would like by changing the stroke color and weight and adding arrowheads to start and finish of the line
Create a text box and type in Measurement code for each arrow
Align the the Measurement code to the arrow point
Copy or export the annotated sketch from Illustrator and then paste or import the image into Excel
Format the image to fit into your Excel sheet
Fill out measurement chart with:
Sample size measurement
Create a formula to add to and subtract from the sample size to create your graded specs
Copy image and information from the Graded Specs sheet to the Fit sheet
Whether you are building your tech packs with Tech Pack Wizard plugin for Illustrator or you’re still using a combination of Illustrator and Excel, your POM sketches are a must-have for your tech pack.
POM Sketch Pro Tips:
Even with thorough POM Sketches, you still be specific in your descriptions. While your POM sketch might show that the front body length is take from HSP to the length at center front, it is still helpful to call this out in your descriptions on your measurements chart
Show close-ups of the details. An easy way to do this is to use the Zoom Tool built in to TPW Plugin to show details such as sleeve cuffs. Add Spec arrows to the Zoomed in portion of the sketch to help your factory better understand the details.
Using the same Code for a POM each time can help create consistency in how you and your factory communicate with each other
Sometimes less POMs are better. Counterintuitive, I know. But sometimes, if you try to control the measurements for the across shoulder, across front & back, armhole drop, armhole curve and shoulder slope, there’s a chance the pattern might not come out with a natural shape. Give the factory enough information to accurately create the pattern, but without over-complicating things.