10 Sep 2012 8 Comments
Since I got my hands of a copy of Helen Joseph Armstrong’s Patternmaking for Fashion Design I have the feeling learning to do the patterns I want to make is not that far away. I’ve said it before, but the book is great.
Maybe you remember my Sewing Course: Lesson 2 in which I was showing you how to draft the front part of a bodice pattern. I was using Helen Joseph Armstrong’s instructions in this book. Coming back to my blog post I discovered a few errors in the guide and fixed them. I realize that for some of you this is beginner stuff and you probably read my course and think: how did she not she that error there? It doesn’t make sense at all… but I am also sure, that there are others like me as well, who are newer to pattern making. Maybe even newer than I am.
Anyway, for the super pattern makers out there: if you see a mistake or a construction error, please point it out. And to the sewists who read my posts on pattern making: if something doesn’t make sense, leave a comment; it’s a blog, that’s the point :)
I had a few free hours today and I started drafting my own bodice.
At first I was going to add a second lesson on the bodice, describing the steps one by one, but again, Helen JA does it better, so I am going to post her instructions in a separate post.
If you try this at home – and please do – you’ll feel intrigued at first, then unsure of what you’re doing, you might even mess it up completely and have to start over (been there:) but then, at one point, it just start making sense.
All the measurements, the center back and the bust point, and the cap height of a sleeve, they start to tell you how they are going to affect your pattern. And you’ll feel like pattern making is the easiest thing in the world.
Well, until you try the bodice on and everything is perfect except the sleeve is falling, the bust point was taken too low and the back dart should eat more into the back bodice. And you fix those. And everything fits – and looks horrible! :)
I mean it’s just at the exact half distance between being awesome and… weird.
(Back to first person now, thank you for your patience).
I can’t tell if the fit is good because I’m just not used to sewing things that have so many darts and that fit so close the body (even though that’s not completely true) or I just unable to recognize a fail when I see it. Ideas?
This is what I’ve learned and my tips for you:
- Make sure you understand which measurement you are taking (I had to redo the front bodice because I mistook no less than 5 measurements from parts of my body that had nothing to do with the bodice in question);
- Use a pencil. You will erase lines.
- When you cut your bodice, don’t leave a huge sewing allowance like I did. The bodice already has some ease to cut the fabric closer to your edges than you would.
- If you are fitting for a dress (or blouse) that you are going to use with a bra, wear the bra when doing the fitting.
- Don’t use elastic fabrics for your muslin. You’ll steal your own hat :)
- Fit the muslin then go back and alter the pattern; even though it sounds impossible right now, you will forget that there was something to refit in the firstplace
- Keep in mind you’re learning so it’s ok even if you won’t wear your first muslin. Or the second. That’s what it’s all about;
- Last but not least – keep your eyes on the prize: you’ll learn how to make any kind of garment you want :D
Happy sewing :)