? about pattern drafting/design

Hi there, I hope someone can help us. My daughter would like to try
making a dress of her own design. But we aren't too certain how to go
about it. When I was googling for pattern drafting sites the sort of
thing that came up was pretty basic. Does anyone know how to go about
doing something more different?
Her idea is to have gathered shoulders, sleeveless; the bodice will have
the right side crossed over the left so the neck will be v-shaped. She
is yet sure if she wants the waist to be defined or not. If there is a
waist line (with a seam) then she wants the skirt part to be gathered at
the waist and very full (sort of 50's style I think). If there is no
waist line then it would hang fairly straight.
So I guess we would like either help for finding a patttern like this or
help in how to make our won pattern.
Reply to
You can buy patternmaking software. I have PatternMaster Boutique from Wild Ginger,
formatting link
It's pretty good, but you need to get the basics right first. For that, you have to take lots of measurements and make up a basic garment. Based on how that fits, you tweak your original measurements until the fit is perfect. Once your basic garment fits perfectly every other garment made from the same measurements will also fit perfectly. The bust darts will be the right depth, the armhole will be in the right places, the waist will be level... You can get quite spoiled by garments that fit so well.
An alternative is to start with a fairly well-fitting bodice block and I'll walk you through how to alter it for the style you want. By "well-fitting block" I mean something like Mccall's M2718 fitting shell,
formatting link
You still need to fine-tune the fit before using it to make patterns. The disadvantage is that you'll have to add ease manually, whereas the software will automatically add the appropriate amount of ease for whatever you're making, from fitted dress to coat. Another way, if you want to start from basics, is to draft your own block using a patternmaking book like Winfred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting. Don't be put off by the somewhat old-fashioned illustrations in the book (you can Search Inside on Amazon): the principles of patternmaking don't change. It's a marvellous book on creating all sorts of clothes.
The problem with all the methods above is that they assume certain sewing skills. PatternMaster Boutique (PMB) will give you basic instructions, but they _are_ basic and you need to run a sanity check over them. They won't tell you, for instance, how or at what stage to insert a zipper (Shoben and Ward's Pattern Cutting and Making Up will help with the how-to).
The easiest way is to go to the fabric store and search through the pattern books until you find something your daughter likes. If you live in the US the big fabric stores have frequent days when patterns are only 99c. The rest of us have to pay rather more :-(
Patternmaking is fun. If you can read maps and blueprints, you can certainly make patterns. If you can't I don't think it's as easy because you can't visualise the results as easily, but it can still be done. Once you understand the concepts and have your well-fitting basic blocks you can turn out anything fashion decrees is cool, and have it fit well.
Reply to
Sally Holmes
Sally - Thanks for all the information. I think to start with we should go find her a pattern (she wants the dress for new years eve!). But the books and software gives some ideas on where to go for more long term designing. I checked out the book you recommended...I see now that we need to be prepared to start with the basics before getting too fancy.
I have a fair bit of sewing experience so I can help her out with the technical side of things. But I haven't done anything "from scratch" so to speak. So I guess we'll be combining what I know with her ideas .... should be interesting!!
Reply to
If you don't have any practice with design, that sounds like a really good idea.
You will have TONS of fun, but remember, starting out you have to expect to make mistakes the same as you made when you first started learning to sew. But it's a great adventure, and it will be even more fun to have it be a mother-daughter adventure.
Reply to
Melinda Meahan - take out TRAS
Dear Allison,
I, too, have PMB, and use it all the time, but with many alterations to make them mine.
All women's wear, from bathing suits to heavy coats, begin with a basic garment called a sloper. It consists of a fitted bodice, straight skirt, and long, fitted sleeve. These pieces are altered by tracing them without seam allowances, then either cutting and slashing for the design in mind, or pivoting.
Gathered shoulders would be accomplished by slashing the shoulder in several places, and slashing along the waist or side bust dart (maybe even both). The bust dart is then closed, allowing the shoulder slashes to open, thus forming the gathers. If more gathering is desired, then the pattern needs to be slashed again, this time to the waist and possibly to the side seam if it does not have a waist seam.
Since time is short, this is probably too late to begin from scratch. Try to find a pattern that is close to what she wants, and work from there.
Reply to
Yes, I saw that on the website. I just wondered what makes it different - what it can do that PMB Regular can't, given the right settings.
The brochure doesn't make it clear.
Reply to
Sally Holmes
Hi there , I am not sure this will help or not but there is a company Material Things the designer is Cecelia Podolak and I think she could probably help you . her phone # is 604-469-6953
Reply to
It's kinda frustrating for a man to read all this and realize that all or almost all does not apply to men.
We might as well be Martians for all the pattern world cares.
Reply to
Jack Schmidling
Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear by Winifred Aldrich, £20.99 at Amazon.co.uk, but I see there'll be a new edition in February at £15.75.
Her women's amd children's wear books are excellent.
I hope you've got David Page-Coffin's Shirtmaking?
Reply to
Sally Holmes
Duh! Sally got there first with the suggestions I was going to make! ;)
Great books all, and for tailoring techniques, Tailoring: A Step-by-step Guide to Creating Beautiful Customised Garments (Creative Publ Intl, £6.99 from Amazon). I got this one for Christmas, and it looks good!
Reply to
Kate Dicey

Site Timeline Threads

InspirePoint website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.