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Where to start...first steps in pattern drafting
Agnes
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Agnes
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International NETHERLANDS
Member since 11/16/02
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Date: 9/27/05 0:20 AM

Hello,
I'm sure this topic must have been discussed on the board over and over again. So I hope you don't mind me doing it again.

I've started to fiddle about a bit with drafting my own patterns.
My sewing has been improving steadily and I have developed a basic understanding of the patterns I've been using.
I sometimes do have some issues with the fit of the patterns (inaccurate sizing, e.d.), so with the help of the fast fit book I've achieved better fitting garments.
So the next step for me would be drafting my own patterns.
Unfortunately I'm not in a position to go and do a course right now, so I'm looking for a good book to help me on my way.
I do have a very old copy of the Aldrich patternmaking book and have drawn some slopers with this.
My problem is that the styles in the book are quite old-fashioned.
What I really would like to achieve is to look at a picture of a garment I like and then be able to recreate it as a pattern (don't we all ).
I've tried this, but really became stuck on the question of how much ease to add.
What books would you recommend to learn from? I'm looking for a book that's probably got some more up to date styles, but that will also teach me how to go off and put my own ideas onto paper. Maybe this is a bit much to ask, but I hope you can point me in the right direction.

Claire99
Claire99
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International UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 12/18/04
Posts: 47
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In reply to Agnes


Date: 9/27/05 8:09 AM

Try Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong. See thread with the same name about 10 down from this for a very excited discussion on the merits of buying the recently published 4th edition for those of us that have older books!

I've got the third edition and its an incredible book - I never realised there were so many design options! You can either design patterns from scratch or use it to modify existing patterns e.g. to change a sleeve shape. The book is expensive but worth it as far as I'm concerned. It has also had lots of positive feedback from others on this website.

Maychi
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Maychi
Intermediate
International SLOVENIA
Member since 9/4/04
Posts: 348
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Date: 9/27/05 9:04 AM

Hi Agnes!

Check out these links: books, software, software2 and software3.

HTH!

------
Maja

"Only creativity brings us close to paradise." (Hundertwasser)



Agnes
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Agnes
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International NETHERLANDS
Member since 11/16/02
Posts: 140
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In reply to Maychi


Date: 9/27/05 1:37 PM

I've been checking out the links you've posted and have been reading up about the Armstrong book.
Just wondered....
The Aldrich book that I have got doesn't really explain things, it just tells you the calculations that will lead to a certain design.
Does the Armstrong book actually explain things likes ease, etc....
I'm very tempted by the raving reviews, bit pricey, but he I've got a birthday coming up soon.........

Maychi
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Maychi
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Member since 9/4/04
Posts: 348
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Date: 9/27/05 3:09 PM

I don't own the Armstrong book, but there's a thread just below this one about the book and you could ask there. :)

------
Maja

"Only creativity brings us close to paradise." (Hundertwasser)



twistedangel
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twistedangel
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Member since 7/18/05
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In reply to Agnes


Date: 9/27/05 5:12 PM

Hi Agnes,

I learned pattern drafting at a young age.

My grandmother was a couture seamstress, as was my mother. These are the steps in which I learned:

1) constructing from patterns
-using store bought patterns from the package
2) altering patterns
-altering the above
3) copying RTW patterns
3) melding patterns
- this is where a fitting form starts to become neccessary.
- finding basic pieces that fit me (or my dolls) well (bodice, basic pant, basic pencil skirt), and adding or subtracting details (moving darts, waistlines, adding removing fullness (ease)). When you start doing this, you will get a good understanding of ease.
4) and finally the sketch-prototype&drape-final pattern lessons.

As for ease, if you have favorite patterns, you can note the ease in the finished bust, etc for a good idea of what works for you. You can also measure RTW clothes that work well for you. I always keep notebooks on people i sew for... they contain the following information: Measurements & Measurements of favorite (basic style) garments. Sometimes even sketches with diagrams and measurements of some of the clothes they have that fit them exceptionally well.

If you haven't tried creating your own designs from patterns you already own, you could try that next.

I do take some of this knowledge for granted, so if I'm way off on my gauging of your skills, I'm sorry!

------
My website: http://www.twistedangel.us.com

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/27/05 9:38 PM

Agnes, I'm taking a college patternmaking class and we are using the Armstrong book. It's very good and I think it will be all the help you need. Just know that it's a very detailed book, but it does have some minor editing mistakes. I'm taking notes on where the mistakes are and at the end of the semester I plan to start a thread listing what they are so we can all fix our books. So, my recommendation is to get this book. It is truly worth every penny.

------
Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

Claire99
Claire99
Advanced Beginner
International UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 12/18/04
Posts: 47
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In reply to Agnes


Date: 9/28/05 6:14 AM

Agnes, the Armstrong book does talk about ease but doesn't give masses of detail on this. The net result is it states the ease for, say, a fitted jacket, but doesn't give you loads of information about alternative unusual shaped jackets.

I've used it to draft from scratch but also use it to check unusual shop bought patterns to decide what size to cut and where to make personal adjustments. This gives you the best of both worlds in my opinion cos you can still use your creative flair but can also take advantage of unusual designs produced by experienced pattern drafters. I think you need this combination because however keen you are, it will take ages to acquire enough skills be able to produce every design you might fancy.

For example, although the Armstrong book does tell you how to make a swing top, I wasn't happy with the one I designed so used a Burda pattern for the basic design and the information from the sloper I produced from the Armstrong book to decide size and alterations. This worked really well for me.

Hope this makes some kind of sense!

Agnes
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Agnes
Advanced Beginner
International NETHERLANDS
Member since 11/16/02
Posts: 140
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In reply to Claire99


Date: 9/30/05 1:47 PM

Thanks for all your tips!
Measuring my RTW-clothes for ease is a brilliant idea.
But you've got me really going now....
I've downloaded demo's of PMB and Dress shop and am playing around with those.
Now it will have to be a toss up between the book or the software, the pennies won't stretch far enough to get both.......ahhh decisions, decisions

Thanks a lot!
Agnes

Dixielynn

Dixielynn
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Member since 1/14/05
Posts: 12
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Date: 9/30/05 3:56 PM

I went to a night class at a local high school years ago. It was helpful to have a class setting not just learning from a book.

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