Pattern drafting from body measurements is the best way to achieve a perfect fit. It eliminates the need to alter your commercial patterns.
Pattern drafting simply put means taking your body measurements and drawing a 2D shape that will eventually become a 3D form which fits your body. If you start with 2D pattern (purchased pattern) which used industry standards for measurements, it isn’t going to fit you well in all areas. Unless of course you are the person they designed it for.
Altering a purchased pattern to meet your body’s shape can be complex and confusing depending on how many changes you need to make or how severe those changes are.
Since this article isn’t about alterations. Instead it’s about pattern drafting. Therefore I’m not going to cover how to alter patterns today. Instead I am going explain why pattern drafting may be the best way to get a good fitting garment.
Body measurements vs Commercial Patterns
Sewing patterns (Simplicity, Vogue, McCalls etc.) offer you lots of options for styles. They also offer lots of sizing options. However, what they lack is the perfect fit. Most commercial patterns are designed on a perfectly proportioned manikin, and uses industry standards for measurements. What happens when you aren’t perfectly proportioned? You have to alter every pattern you buy. This is a lot of work and depending on the number of alterations it could take a lot of time to do.
Where do you go to learn pattern drafting?
- Find someone to teach you – Community colleges, fashion schools are a good places to start.
- Blueprint (former Craftsy.com) offers a number of classes. Suzy Furrer does several classes on drafting which are well worth the money. You can also find some of her work for free on YouTube. (see link below)
- Blogs, websites – too many to list. Just do a search for “how to draft sewing patterns” and see what you find.
- YouTube.com – Just search pattern drafting. Kim Dave, Suzy Furrer are two of my favorites.
- Sure Fit Designs – Uses a scaled down pattern block which you eventually enlarge using your own body measurements. You will need to purchase her kits first. She offers lot’s of assistance along the way which include a Facebook group, her website, learning center and blog. She also does retreats and personal lessons for a fee. I have purchased this system and it does what it says it does. See my other blog post about my first experience with this company here.
- Books – Amazon, or your local library would be a great place to start.
My business, Sewing 4 Fun, which is located in St. Charles IL is looking for a few brave souls who want to explore the process of pattern drafting. My goal is to help you understand the process, and then document it on the blog so that others can benefit too even if they don’t live near here. If you are interested in this pattern drafting study group please contact me.