View Full Version : Drafting Sewing Patterns

07-22-2004, 09:54 PM
Does anyone here draft their own patterns, and if so can you recommend any good books? I have a couple, but one of them is completely baffling, and the other focuses on children’s clothes.

I attempted to draft a girl's dress this afternoon, I'm going to test it tonight to see how it works out.

Any and all advice would be welcome.

If this has already been discussed, sorry. Just, um, point me in the direction of that thread.

07-23-2004, 12:29 AM
..I took a pattern drafting class in Spring '03 and we used a book titled Principles of Flat Pattern Design by Nora M. MacDonald...I thought it was pretty helpful. It gives step by step instructions. It's the 3rd edition. it's about $60 at Barnes and Noble, and you can find it in amazon.com cheaper. However, this book shows how to draft half scale sizes..kinda like doll clothes. Most of the books I have read do the same. I think they do that just so it'll be easier to work with, and then you can translate it to your size.

The Nora MacDonald book comes in many editions. Some are really old and on those her last names started with an H.

The library on campus has tons and tons of books on this subject. A couple other ones I looked through are:

Flat Pattern Design: Allyne Blane

Dress Design, Draping, and Flat Pattern Making :Marion Strong-Hillhouse

There are more but I can't remember the names. Out of all the ones I've read, Principles of Flat Pattern Design is the easiest to understand.

To answer your initial question....I'm not a big fan of pattern drafting, but since I was required to take that class I do have an understanding of it. I just don't have the patience. I usually just look at fabric and see what I want to make out of it or just buy a pattern and adjust it. But if you get the drafting down, you can come up with some nice stuff. The first book I mentioned shows how to do nearly any design you could want.

If you click on "more creations" in my signature and go to the "just....stuff" album you can see the little muslin outfit I made from a pattern I drafted in that class.

happy drafting 8)

07-23-2004, 12:54 AM
This is cool. I have never heard of drafting your own dress pattern.

07-24-2004, 01:12 AM
Thanks for the book reccomendations. I'll check them out. Actually the reason I want to learn to draft is so I can learn patience. That's my biggest sewing issue. I have a disturbingly short attention span.

Your creations are lovely. Especially that green a-line dress. I'm so jealous. :razz

07-24-2004, 01:53 AM
Trust me, when you learn how to draft your own patterns/designs you will have all the patience in the world. Has something to do with wanting your work to be the bomb!!!

To really learn how patterns are suppose to looks flat, you should find old clothes (from thrift shops, $1 sales, grammas closet.'0)) with cool style lines, darts, cuts etc and take them apart.
You want 4 basic patterns to use as a master pattern. Bodice/top (front/back) and skirt (front/back). With these 4 pieces you would be able to make anything your heart desires.

Trace (with a tracing wheel) onto pattern paper, fill out with pencil, study and apply to with you already know. Once you've learn proper measurments and how to use special tools and rulers to assist in pattern drafting, you will be able to make any complicated design. And like me...............;0)
You'll be able to look at something and breakdown the pattern in your head, sketch it and then draft it and/or make modifications if needed.

Hope that helped and not confused you.

07-24-2004, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by Artsyblack@Jul 23 2004, 06:53 PM
Trust me, when you learn how to draft your own patterns/designs you will have all the patience in the world.

I swear I was about to type this exact same thing...but I hope to pull myself together one day and get it down packed. I admire people who can do that....

what you suggested about buying clothes at thrift stores is what helped me the most, and i think it's cause I'm so visual.

@ erinm-thanks for the compliment, and please don't be jealous...if only you knew what it took/is taking for me to realize my abilities....