Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pattern Making 101

Look at me being a good blogger and actually posting how-tos! 

For my snake dress, I'll be posting every single step I take in order for you to really see what goes into sewing a dress from scratch. Get excited, and be sure to have a diet coke, because this will be a lot of work.

Last night I started tracing my slopers and making the patterns. Making a custom pattern involves slashing a basic pattern and moving around and closing darts, adding fullness or making yokes, in order for a real style to be created. 

All patterns, even from a pattern shop, start with a basic sloper in a particular size, and the move from there to become a style. So, if you have slopers, you can really make any pattern you could ever dream of 

(unless you drape your clothing, which is a whole other post. Actually a whole other blog, since i really don't know you to drape). (draping is what they do on project runway, more or less). 

So, with my particualr style in mind, I started by making Princess Seams. I have never made a pattern with princess seams as of yet, so this should be interesting. 

Making seams in a pattern starts with taking out the darts completely and using them to create a seam. If you think about it, there are two darts in basic bodice front that point to the center of the bust. If you make the darts long enough to touch, you create a seam, making the garment fit better and more "couture" like. 

So to move around the darts, I start by making a cut in my pattern peice from wherever I want the new dart to be, to the bust center. 

Princess seams can either start in the arm hole, or at the shoulder. Since I am doing a yoke on this dress (as seen in the sketch), I wanted the dart to end at the bottom of the yoke going up towards the shoulder. So I made a slash from the shoulder after I had already cut out the yoke part from the bodice (this isn't pictured because I messed up and forgot to cut out the yoke before hand. I fixed it, dont worry). So now that I have slash, I have to decide which dart I am going to move. Obviously I want to keep the waist dart because, well, that's how princess seams are made. So I moved to side seam dart. 

Once I made that slash, I "closed" the dart completely and the new dart is formed. As you can see, the side seam dart is completely closed and has overlapped itself. It's like I made a giant pie piece with the slashes and just moved the piece until the new dart was formed.

I hope I haven't lost you yet. Continuing on.(I feel like Perez Hilton painting on these pictures).

All that is left is joining the darts together by drawing the tips up to touch, making two separate bodice pieces.

All pattern pieces need seam allowances as well (5/8" is pretty standard). And then you're done! This really can be done with any sort of pattern with a bodice. It will probably take some altering once I get sewing to fit over my bust just right, but that's pretty standard when you make your own patterns. 
If anyone tries this with a pattern and emails me with pics, I'm sending you a headband. Plus you'll be featured on sewn by ellen! Get sewing, people! 

Tomorrow I'll be posting about making a flared skirt.

1 comment:

  1. Um, say what? I'd try it, but I can barely follow store-bought patterns. And by "barely" I mean "almost," as in I can't even do that. Heck, I can't even figure out how to thread the bobbin in my delightful old Singer.