Monday, June 28, 2010

Drafting patterns........ yourself

Hello all!

Stephanie Ann asked how I learned to draft patterns. I would like to dedicate a post just to answering this question because there so many ways to go about it and to learn this skill. These are just a few hints and suggestions and I hope they are helpful.

First off, I really do not know that much. There is so much to learn and while I can do some, it is not that much in the scheme of things! Keep that in mind :)

If you are interested in drafting (as opposed to draping!) historical patterns, specifically those from the 1850-1870 time frame, I would recommend checking out some helps from James Ruley and the manual by DeVere. It is mostly men's wear but also includes some boys suits along with some more structured women's garments. Drafting using DeVere's.
Resource for DeVere.

Do remember that "draping" is an entirely different creature and is what is most commonly used when making historical women's apparel. If you would like more detail on that, Elizabeth Stewart Clark's Dressmaker's Guide can help.

Now, for modern wear, there seems to be a whole slew of books out there! I have barely started to scratch the surface so I do know that it can be rather overwhelming! I have also observed that there seem to be a lot of expensive books out there that are meant for Fashion Design schools and such but those do not seem to be really within reach for most people. I know they are not inexpensive enough to tempt me! I would assume that it is the same for most people so I am keeping that in mind with my suggestions.

My first ever venture into drafting patterns myself was when I was rather young (maybe 12 or so) and I used Sew What! Skirts. It shows you how to take your measurements and draft all sorts of styles and sew them. I highy recommend it! It does only cover skirts so that is a bit of a draw back but it is absolutely the best for beginners. It will get your feet wet without being overwhelming! I was also just gifted Design-it-Yourself Clothes. I am really excited about using this one more and from what I have seen, I think it is great for those who want to take the next step and make dresses, blouses, trousers ect.

I hope you all find this to be helpful and please do let me know if I can be of any further assistance!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn


  1. Those books look good. I have been looking at those expensive fashion design school books. I have not seen one in person so I really can't judge whether or not they are worth the money. Thanks for the post!

  2. These books are a great way to get started. But draping and drafting your own pattern does take practice.

    Thank you for sharing,

    simply, maria.