introductory Tag

As a follow-on from Taking Body Measurements, this tutorial will help everyone understand garment ease, what it's for and how to use it in pattern making.  Garment ease is the minimum amount of fabric we add to our body measurements so that our woven garments are comfortable in wearing.  That is, enough extra fabric to sit comfortably, bend your elbow, reach forward to grip the steering wheel when you drive your car or use the computer, sit down, eat lunch, bend your knees, etc.  When fitting basics blocks for woven fabrics, you'll always include the full ease allowance and when you cut patterns from these blocks you can alter the ease to suit the design and fabric you're cutting.

Moving beyond your first skirt patterns to drape skirt patterns:  To work with these more complex skirt patterns you would need to have confidence in your skirt block.  By that I mean you know if fits because you've used it to make number of skirt patterns.   A small fitting or shape error in your basic skirt block will have some impact on outcome of these skirts.  Try my graded set of skirt blocks for any of these delicious drape skirt patterns.  Or you can try this pattern for yourself.  You'll find my Drape Gather Skirt Sizes 6-22 on the website as a PDF download.

My women's fitted block is a tailored, rather formal fit with the side seam sitting towards the back of the body.  The front block is 4cm wider then the back block.  This is a more tailored fitting and entirely appropriate for many garment types.  It's especially fabulous when used to make a a corset block or tailored jacket block.  The PDF download from the website is the original block and ideal for your toile fittings before cutting any dress patterns.  However many designs will work better if you equalise your dress block, in particular drape dress designs.

My women's fitted block is drafted past the waist, down to the hip level.  It's currently available as a pdf download here.  Although most drafting systems for a women's bodice blocks stop at the waist, it's essential for modern or commercial pattern making to have a bodice block that is fitted to the hip line and ready for both shirt and dress pattern making.  The addition of length past the hip line to the knee level renders this basic fitted block into a dress block.  Drop your centre front and centre back line and side seams straight down to your knee level and square across for the hemline.  Check the hip curve of your dress block, at the hipline, to make sure it has a clean curve after you have added the extra length to the knee level.

This is another in the post series where I curate my many blog posts so you can use them to self-train at your own pace.  This post is focussed on my basic skirt block and I've listed all the pattern puzzle posts that use this block.  Because there are so many posts, I've decided to separate the designs that need a stretch skirt block and I'll be featuring them in a separate post.  And my more demanding drape skirt patterns will be posted separately.

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.

Trawling through my blog post archive I've come to realise that many of my posts have vintage content, and I discover there are at least twenty vintage posts!  So this Vintage Inspired Round-Up is to refresh your memory of some of my earlier Pattern Puzzle posts and to share a few points in history where vintage style has influenced my work.  Where does it all start?

We've already worked out how important it is to consider the effects you want from your permanent pleating and how that may impact on the overall design of the garment.  The examples below show the variable impact of the decision to Hem Before or Hem After.  Both skirts are half-circle.  The skirt on the left is Sun-ray Pleated and the skirt on the right is Sun-ray Crush pleated.  The more precise and formal aspect of the Sun-ray pleat (left) really suits the clean finish of hemming before sending to the pleaters.  Whereas the example on the right, with a more casual, rough pleating style, visually benefits from the kick in the hemline as a result of sewing the hem after pleating.

For this #PatternPuzzle post, you have an elegant Drape Skirt that can be cut from my basic skirt block or any pencil skirt pattern.  My Skirt Block is now available here as a PDF download.  I've included some interesting seaming that works well with the drape feature that's included in the front left skirt.
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