introductory Tag

One of the biggest pitfalls in being a designer/pattern maker is the making and testing of sewing patterns, and the continual accumulation of sample garments related to these patterns.  For the on-going operation of my business I have to make these samples to test my patterns.  But personally I don't really ever need more clothes, but many of these samples end up in my wardrobe.  Many designers have regular sample sales to pass on these items to a more useful end or send them to the local charity shop for resale.  Clearly I'm having trouble distinguishing between personal clothing needs and the output of my creative work.

Every now and then I like to put together a blog post that details some of the garment blocks and techniques I use when making patterns for my industry clients and my website.  This post is to highlight the features and potential of my knit block for all users and new pattern makers.  It may help you decide if it is in fact the block for you in your new design project.

To begin, a quick recap of previous posts for the Gil Brandao, Conjunto Pratico.  You can start with the first post, the self-draft instructions for this vintage bodice.  If you think you'd like more detail you can download my detailed worksheet - Vintage Style Pattern Making.  The instructions in the worksheet include information for drafting different sizes, from 6 to 22.  If you're unable to access the worksheet there is a post where I outline the grade rules to make the original draft in to other sizes - Grade Rules - Gil Brandao Conjunto PraticoTaking the vintage bodice further I have a post with the instructions for adding a skirt to the vintage bodice to make and wrap style dress -Vintage Bodice as Dress - Fist Sample.
Vintage Style Pattern Making

When you'e making your own clothes the first and most important bit of information is what size pattern you'll be using.  To work this out you need the Size Chart (body measurements used to make the patterns), your own basic body measurements (bust, waist and hips), and if possible the pattern measurements as provided by the pattern company.  My Pencil Skirt Sewing Pattern has been designed for woven cloth with no stretch and I've allowed 5cm garment ease in the fit of the hip on the skirt.  So once you know your own hip measurement it's important that the pattern you use is at least 5cm (2") larger in the hip.  This 5cm (2") is added to the pattern as garment ease for basic comfort and good fit.

The fabulous thing about this pattern is that for many it can be made in a woven or a knit fabric.  The Drape Back Tunic sewing pattern is available as a one-size only pattern with instructions to increase the size and length printed on the pattern.  These images are for the sewing instructions for woven fabrics but I will make notes regarding the sewing instructions you need for knit fabrics.  If you cut this pattern as it is in a woven fabric it'll fit up to Aus Size 12.  If you cut it in a two-way (four-way in the US) stretch knit fabric that has some elastane content it can fit up to a Aus Size 22.

The beauty of this Folk to Fashion zero-waste pattern is that you can select your fabric width to determine different sizing outcomes in the final garment.  And the length of your available fabric will determine the final length of your garment and sleeve.  This garment is an historic pattern called a Eura, believed to be worn as an undergarment around 500-1,000 AD.

This post is specifically dedicated to working a full bust adjustment (FBA) on my knit block.  This particular pattern alteration is important for anyone with a bra cup size above B & C.  Because we are working with knit, I'd prefer not to include a dart in any of my knit patterns.  If you add a Full Bust Adjustment to a woven pattern you'll usually end up with a side seam dart.  For knit patterns I have a different way of dealing with the extra fabric that results from an FBA and that would usually become a dart.
All details following:

The Japan Skirt has it's origin in Japanese folk costume.  It's based on a simple rectangle of fabric, wrapped around the waist.  In this case I've finessed the fit on the waist by including a dart shape in the zip/drape seam.  Even with the dart you'll find the waist of the skirt is positioned more in the low waist area, and is not a tight fit.  If you would like to create a closer fit on the waist you'll find all the details at the end of this post.