Easy Pattern Making – No Block Required

Easy Pattern Making – No Block Required

When I look at the vast amount of pattern making posts I’ve blogged since 2013, I’m overwhelmed!  So I’ve no idea how you’re all coping out there.  I’m going to make an attempt to curate some of the posts into different categories so you can use them for a little gentle pattern making.  Many of you ask for online training, so this isn’t a bad place to start by working your way through the accumulated knowledge in these posts.  I’ll be Highlighting some of my posts that are particularly friendly for the beginner pattern maker.

Fitting Commercial Patterns

These two posts will help if you’re fitting any commercial patterns.  My advice would be to always make a toile (muslin, calico sample) of any new pattern to check for personal fittings.  If possible have someone else do the fitting for you because there is no way we can properly fit ourselves.  Especially the back of the garment.  It would be an advantage, when doing your own fittings, to get someone to take photos of your garment on your body from every angle.  These photos make great reference as you learn how to deal with your own individual fitting needs in all patterns.


Self-Draft – No Block Required

Gil Brandao

Over the past three years, as I’ve searched the internet for interesting ideas to unpack in my #PatternPuzzles, I’ve come across some amazing work.  In particular the work of Gil Brandao a pattern maker from Brazil.  His drafting work and pattern pieces appear so basic you’re sure they’re not going to work.  I’ve only tested two of his designs but both have made up incredibly well.  The Conjunto Pratico below is a perfect example of the brilliance of his work.  The drafting is simple and the bodice very flattering.  And you can easily imagine a full skirt attached to the bodice waist.  I’ve also added a grading post (below) for drafting this design into different sizes.

Direct Draft Skirts

Direct Draft Skirts are a category all on there own!  They don’t rely on any conventional block and include the circle skirts and a multi-panel skirt patterns as featured in The Morticia Skirt pattern.  You use your own body measurements to make these simple drafts.  The circle skirt in particular is the best first-ever skirt pattern you could draft.  Go to the post to get the pattern drafting instructions and see some samples.

Squares, Rectangles and Folk Costume

The history of clothing has so much to offer the modern designer.  In particular folk costume shows us how to use every single bit of the cloth in some of the most fabulous ways.  Many of them have the potential to be zero-waste garments and maybe that advantage could give them some status in our sustainable fashion future.  All of the following posts start with either a rectangle, a square or a folk costume pattern.  No Block Required!
I have made a sample of this Drape Back Dress and cut it in a tunic length although not yet posted in detail it’s featured on my Facebook page.

The Folk inspired pattern below has also been cut into a few different size samples (yet to be posted) with some measurement specs and photos on Facebook.  The way the pattern plan works out is that you use the entire width of the cloth and that then determines the size of the garment.  Using full width of 150cm voile and I get an oversized but drapey tunic that covers size 10-18 at least.  When I used the same pattern plan on a 110cm wide patchwork fabric it resulted in a Size 12 top/tunic.  So much better for the smaller sizes.

The last example in this post is the ever popular Japan Skirt that is now a PDF Sewing Pattern.  It starts with a rectangle that is gently modified to make an elegant drape skirt.  I’ve made it twice in a printed cotton (photos in the post) and they’re both fantastic summer skirts.  I’m yet to try it in a wool ponti for winter. 😉
I hope this series of posts makes it easier for everyone to navigate all the pattern making information, here on the blog.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂
Anita McAdam
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