How to make patterns from your own clothes

how to make patterns from your own clothes

Design & Make your own clothes with FREE SEWING PATTERNS

Use your own clothes to make more clothes! Have you ever made your own clothes before? I have been known to mess around with a few ideas for easy clothing patterns, only to end up with some hideously misshapen garment that will never see the light of day. Jan 03, If this is your dream, you either need to hire a patternmaker to make your design or learn pattermaking, because you need to have a production pattern to proceed. But if you are wanting to build your own wardrobe, and bring more of your unique perspective and voice to the design of your patterns, then you can choose to alter existing patterns.

Fair Fit is an individually run sewing studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where you can learn how to sew and make your own clothing. I teach individualized sewing instruction for students at all levels of experience, from absolute beginner to practiced and seasoned sewers.

I've seen that pattern making can be quite a mystery due to it's perceived, and actualinaccessibility to learn. A necessary component in design, a pattern is the base level template for every item of clothing.

However, as necessary as it is to fashion design, it is a challenging and very technical aspect of the process. Pattern drafting requires a high degree of skill, and certain aptitudes and ambitions within the maker, for a successful pattern to be drafted. Today I want to demystify the learning process. In my classes, lessons, and articles on this blog, I always seek to clarify a process with the as much clarity and honest transparency from my own personal experience in this profession because learning a craft is a significant investment.

You have to know what you are getting into and I find it helpful to create guidelines of expectations before starting out on a long journey of learning. Pattern making can be a long learning path.

However, if you figure out that you love drafting, it's incredibly rewarding and worthwhile because it's the template for your own unique design and perspectives.

In this article, I'll begin with an overview of why you would want to study the intensive skill of patternmaking.

I'll sketch out the learning process, the ideal aptitudes in the maker, the skills how to make patterns from your own clothes will use, the timeframe of investment, and the conceptual development you will need in order to really be a good pattern maker. I'll also help you discern whether or not you really need to learn how to draft, it's benefits and disadvantages, so that you can determine if it is worth the investment of your valuable time.

Does learning this skill really solve your problems? Or is there another approach that gets you to your desired outcome more quickly and easily? If you were going to fashion school to learn the craft of fashion design, most programs will have a balance of courses in sewing construction and pattern drafting to cover the technical production of fashion design.

If I were choosing a fashion school, I would look for a program that offers comprehensive classes on manual drafting, computer aided drafting, and if you can find it, pattern grading. A lot of students I teach currently are folks who are looking to get their feet wet in the area of sewing and fashion design, before deciding to attend a fashion program. And of them are enrolled in fashion collegiate programs and still need the extra one on one assistance to grasp the pattern drafting principles and execute them.

I have sat down with many people this past year who have different reasons for wanting to draft their own patterns.

When I new student tells me that they want to learn pattern making in order to produce their own designs from sketch to sew, I outline the process for them. First I ask them if they enjoyed math while in school and specifically geometry. Remember geometry proofs where you analyze a shapes and work backwards through a series of math principles in order to solve how that shape was made?

That is the type of math and critical thinking used in pattern making. If that student tells me that they hated math and dislike that level of analysis, then their time might be better spent learning ways to work with existing patterns, or learning how to manipulate pattern blocks first- before deep diving into the pattern drafting process.

If they tell me they are willing to work with the math and want to proceed, then the next assessment to consider is how much sewing have they completed. I think it's critical that the student know the basic shapes and understand how an existing pattern comes together before learning patternmaking.

In this type of conversation, I use my own experience from studying the visual arts, sometimes you have to make some stuff just to learn, not because it is your ideal final vision. First you how to make turkey in a bag to learn still life, paint live models, learn grey scale, play with positive and negative space just to learn the principles.

I apply the same approach when I teach a new person patternmaking. I think you should have made a dress, a shirt, a pair of pants, a skirt, a jacket, and have worked through the basics of a wardrobe to see the patterns so that you know what they look like and the order in which they assemble. That means you are seeing how they can be better and how you can bring something new to the table.

I think that to be a good drafter, it's important to be familiar with pattern design first by working with what has already been produced. It's going to visually imprint into your mind how patterns look and how they function best beef for jerky what cut the construction process.

When you begin to make your own, and you see problems, then you know what you can start implementing in your own unique ideas of design. After this first conversation, if a student is on board with everything I just asked and outlined, then we begin their first lesson. Pattern makers are the hardest working people I have met. They are exquisite problem solvers, and when a designer tosses them a design, immediately their minds start to compute the math, and how those lines and shapes can be accomplished in the drafting, how it will be sewn, and how to communicate that to a team of people who are going to sew that garment.

Why how to reduce weight in thighs and bumps professional pattern maker cringes when they get calls from aspiring designers to produce their patterns is because their job is NOT EASY.

It is their aptitude, profession, and talent, but their draft must perform and that's going to take a high degree of their skill. They want to know that you know the process and the challenge that every design you sketch brings. When I've taught pattern making, we start by drafting the basic blocks.

Pattern blocks are drafted from a set of measurements, they can be from a dress form, a standard measurement chart, your fit model, or your very own measurements of your body. I've taught how to measure the body first, because most people want to make patterns for how to stop psychic attack body type so that they can draft future patterns that fit them best.

These blocks are the most basic pattern, and all patterns are drafted from there. The first blocks that you draft are a front bodice block, a back bodice block, a sleeve block, a skirt block, and a pant how to run jar file in windows xp. Most people start with the bodice front back and sleeve because that is the hardest part to fit.

So if some of you are aspiring to find a fashion program, make sure you ask if you are taught to what should be included in a contract of employment blocks or are they using preexisting blocks. In what is a tamil tiger opinion, drafting from a preexisting block is going to have the same problems as a commercial pattern, because you did not make any decisions as to how the pattern should fit, or what body type you are drafting for.

Drafting the basic blocks shows you if you have the aptitude to proceed. You must be precise in your use of your rulers and measurements. You must be able to add and subtract fractions, and follow the steps outlined in order, in whatever text you are following. There are pattern books that have all of the math and measurements and steps involved for making your own patterns.

Pattern books can be expensive because they go out of print fast, and these are technical texts to help you achieve your design. You have to have a good dependable book to really help you in the design process.

After your blocks drafted, you will sew up a muslin and check the fit. You will still need to alter the fit, and also use your best visual judgment to make those alterations. Sewing a lot of garments helps you develop a critical eye, as well as trying on a lot of clothes. When the block is complete and the fit is achieved, next the patternmaker goes in and uses applied math and measurements to design the different style lines that the garment needs to achieve the design.

Blocks can work great for those of you who struggle with the fit of commercial patterns. You can use them to compare where the dart apex is on your body compared to the pattern, where your sleeves should set, the length of your shoulder seam, the length of your shoulder span- you can lay the block over the pattern and get a quick compare.

It is so much work and can be frustrating to have to go back and redraft and sew a new muslin. But it's part of the process. Some patterns that I design go through 3 iterations to get the fit that I want to achieve, which can take up to a week at a time just to get the pattern to fit exactly how I want it to fit. Like I said above, it's a massive investment of time to draft your own patterns and you can use your blocks to help you fit commercial patterns. Now, if you are an aspiring designer, and you want to produce and sell clothing- it is UNETHICAL and a form of stealing to take a commercial pattern and turn it into your design and sell it.

If this is your dream, you either need to hire a patternmaker to make your design or learn pattermaking, because you need to have a production pattern to proceed. But if you are wanting to build your own wardrobe, and bring more of your unique perspective and voice to the design of your patterns, then you can choose to alter existing patterns. If fit is the problem, you could draft your blocks and stop there.

Or you can get a great book in pattern alterations like Pattern How to make school magazine cover page and Alteration by Elizabeth Liechty and Judith Rasband and learn to analyze the problems in the fit.

I know its challenging but in advanced sewing, to make things for your individual and unique body, you are going to have to learn some pattern alterations. I am a pattern maker myself, though of a different variety. Have you heard of my signature fashion design online courses, The Fair Fit Method? It's a series of courses designed to teach you intermediate to advanced fashion design skills like padding a form to your shape and size, fashion draping, pattern alteration, and adaptations for custom design.

Enrollment happens only 3 times a year. If you would like to learn more about these courses and possibly take a class with me yourself go here to learn more:. I know this has been a lot of amount of information, and but I totally want to encourage you to get started and head to your local library to check out some of what is a passive solar heating system resources!

What do you think? Is this a skill that you are going to learn, or are you more interested in altering existing patterns? Online Sewing Classes for Beginners. Fair Fit Method Online Courses. Online Fashion Design Workshops. Private Lessons. Schedule a Lesson. Got a Question? Shoot me an email :. How to overcome jealousy of an ex 3.

Andrea Eastin. Next step: get some books There are pattern books that have all of the math and measurements and steps involved for making your own patterns. Learn how to manipulate existing patterns Now, if you are an aspiring designer, and you want to produce and sell clothing- it is UNETHICAL and a form of stealing to take a commercial pattern and turn it into your design and sell it.

The Fair Fit Method.

6 tips for turning you favorite garments into a pattern!

Jun 27, Fold the sleeve toward the center of the shirt and trace all the way around. Mark a line where your neckline starts on the front of the shirt. Draw an arc from your front neckline to the top of the shoulder. Add seam allowance to the pattern by tracing all around your pattern from step 2 about 1/2" from your original lines. Apr 20, First make all your pattern pieces, and then sew a muslin to test the accuracy of your pattern. If the garment you started with was not quite the right size, copy it, after which you can do the fitting adjustments on your muslin. Once you have the muslin fitting nicely, you can go back and make the adjustments for size on your pattern pieces. Aug 16, Method 1: Drafting Sewing Patterns From Scratch. This is the one people go for when they are new to pattern making. They Method 2: Tracing Existing Garments Into Sewing Patterns. This technique is used in the fashion industry ALL THE TIME! Method 3: Deconstructing An Existing Item Of .

Last Updated: December 14, References Tested. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

The wikiHow Video Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed , times. Learn more Creating your own sewing pattern is a great way to save money and time spent in the dressing room.

You can draft your own custom bodice piece using your specific measurements. This will allow you to sew tops or dresses and be assured that they will fit well. For an even easier way to make your own patterns, choose an item that already fits you well and trace it to make a pattern. Tip: To determine how long to make a dress, look at your height measurement and decide how much of your body you want the dress to cover. If you're making a shirt or top, refer to your back length measurement and where you want the shirt to fall in relation to your waist.

Tip: The number of pattern pieces you need to make will depend on the garment you're making. For example, if you're making a plain T-shirt, you might only need 4 pattern pieces, 1 for the front, 1 for the back, 1 for the sleeves, and 1 for the collar.

A full skirt that flares out may need 6 identical pieces that are attached with a waistline piece. Tip: Ensure that the item you're copying fits you well.

This will make it easier to create a pattern that fits you without having to adjust it very much. Tip: Remember to label each piece of your pattern. This will make it easier to use the pattern later once you've forgotten which pieces are which!

To make your own sewing patterns, trace a garment you want to copy on a sheet of pattern paper, keeping it flat and still to ensure accurate measurements. Make sure to trace separate patterns for each section of the garment, such as the front piece, back piece, front sleeves and back sleeves. Cut out your sewing patterns by cutting along the outer line of each pattern.

For step by step instructions on making your own sewing patterns, including how to make a basic fitted T-shirt pattern, scroll down. Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers.

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Tips and Warnings. Things You'll Need. Related Articles. Article Summary. Method 1 of All rights reserved. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc. Take your measurements. In order to create accurate patterns that fit you well, you'll need to use a soft measuring tape and write down the following measurements: Bust for women's clothing: Wrap the tape around the widest part of your bust.

Waist : Measure around the narrowest part of your natural waist. Height for dresses: Stand straight against a wall and have someone measure from the top of your head to the base of your feet.

Neck for men's shirts: Wrap the tape around the neck where the collar of the shirt will sit. Hips : Wrap the tape around the widest part of your hips. Back length and width: Measure from the neck to the waist to find the length and measure across the widest part of your back to find the width.

Chest for men or women's clothing: Measure across the widest part of your chest above your bust. Sleeve length: Hold the tape from the shoulder down the arm as long as you want the sleeve to be. Shoulder length: Measure from the neck to the edge of the shoulder. Upper arm width: Wrap your measuring tape around the thickest part of your arm near the armpit.

Sketch a design of the garment you want to make. Decide if you're making a skirt, pants, or top and whether or not it will have sleeves. Then, draw a rough design of how the garment should look. This will help you determine how to divide the garment into pieces so you know how many separate pattern pieces you'll need to make. Lay a sheet of paper flat and plot the length of your pattern. Place a large piece of pattern or brown postal paper on a flat work surface and ensure that 1 side of the paper is perfectly straight.

Then, place a ruler 2 inches 5. For example, if you're 6 ft 1. The straight edge of the paper will become the center front CF of the pattern. Make your length mark along this edge. Draw horizontal lines to mark the shoulder, bust, waist, and hip line.

Place a straight ruler so it's at a degree angle at the top of the line you just drew for the center front. Draw this top horizontal line, which will be your shoulder line. Then, bring the ruler down to make the horizontal bust line. Move the ruler down again to draw the horizontal waistline.

The bottom of your shirt will be the hip line. Refer to the measurements you took to determine where to place the ruler for the shoulder line, bust line, waistline, and hip line.

Draw a line connecting the bust or chest, waist, and hip measurements. Do this for the waist and hips too. Then, use a pencil and curved ruler to sketch a line that connects the dots on the bust or chest line, the waistline, and the hip line.

For example, if your bust measurement was 40 inches cm , divide it by 4 to get 10 inches 25 cm. Make a mark that's 10 inches 25 cm from the edge on the bust line. This will make 1 edge of your center pattern piece. Draw the neckline and shoulder. Use a curved ruler to draw your neckline from the top of the shoulder line to the center front line.

You can make the neckline as low or high as you like, keeping in mind that the back neckline is usually higher than the front neckline. Then, leave space for the armhole and draw a curved line from the shoulder down above the bust line.

Add a seam allowance around the curved edges of your piece. Use a ruler or seam allowance ruler to draw a line that's parallel to your pattern outline. This can make it easier to hem your garment. For example, if your pattern piece is 61 inches Create a sleeve pattern if you want a dress or shirt to have sleeves. Refer to the measurements you took for sleeve length and upper arm width and decide what style of sleeves you want for the garment.

Draw your sleeve pattern on the fold. Cut out and label the pattern pieces. Lay another sheet of pattern paper under your traced pattern. Pin the papers together and use scissors to cut through both layers along the seam allowance line. The bottom layer will become the back pattern piece. Take care not to cut the curved neckline so you can adjust the front and back pieces as you like.

For example, you might want to cut the front neckline low while leaving the back piece's neckline high. Label each pattern piece you make so it's easy to keep track of them. Method 2 of Cut a piece of paper that's larger than your garment and fold it. Then, lay the paper on a flat work surface instead of on carpet or a rug. If you don't have pattern paper, you could use brown postal wrapping paper.

Once you've lined up the garment so the edges and seams match, insert pins along the seams for the panel you folded. Lay the item on the paper and pin it in place.

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