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Easy Pattern Making - No Block Required

Thursday, September 22, 2016

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.

Drape Back Dress Self-draft Instructions

Fitting Commercial Patterns

Fitting Sewing Patterns

Pattern Fix pooling fabric.

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.

Vintage Pattern Making

How to grade patterns.

Self-draft Vintage Pattern

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 as featured in The Morticia Skirt post.  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

Circle Skirt Drafting

The Direct Draft Panel Skirt is a very special set of pattern drafting instructions that can make many different skirt styles.  In fact The Morticia Skirt Post covers all the basic skirt drafting methods you'll ever need to know.

Mulit-panel skirt pattern making.

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!

Zero-waste Pattern Making

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.

Elegant drape back tunic pattern making.

Rectangle Sewing Pattern

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.

Folk Costume as Fashion

The last example in this post is the ever popular Japan Skirt that you'll find on the old blog.  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. ;)

Rectangle Drape Skirt Sewing Pattern

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. :)

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Meg commented on 22-Sep-2016 07:36 PM
I've been trying to draft the kimono wrap dress but am stuck on the basic kimono block. Do you have a good resource for draft that?
I am using a drafting text book to help but it appears to be drafted quite differently than what you have shown.
I have forward shoulders so my sleeve block is not symmetrical. I'm trying to understand how that translates into the kimono sleeve.
Anita - studiofaro commented on 22-Sep-2016 07:48 PM
Hi Meg, thanks for getting in touch. I use a simple undarted block to make my kimono block. I lift the shoulder point by 5mm, front and back, and add half a sleeve to the front and back bodice. It's a simple block that has common centre line and side seam. The important difference is that the back is at least 1cm higher that the front as you can see in my pattern plans. I think Helen Joseph Armstrong would be a good guide for making this block.

Let me know if you have any questions, I'm very happy to help.
Anneve MultiVroon commented on 22-Sep-2016 10:09 PM
Please keep on using the permalink in your Facebook-posts :) In a few months this blogpost will not be on top any more and harder to find.

Love your pattern puzzels,always hoping to make one of them. Too bad you're not in the Netherlands!

Anita - studiofaro commented on 23-Sep-2016 10:17 AM
Hi MultiVroon, thanks for dropping by both blogs. I'm not entirely sure what a permalink is? Can you explain that to me? Thx in advance, Anita.
Anne commented on 10-Oct-2016 01:22 AM
Fascinating. I must try to save this post so I can access it in future. (Not really sure how to do that!)
Anita - studiofaro commented on 10-Oct-2016 11:21 AM
Hi Anne, thanks for dropping by. You can save this specific post if you go to your "File' drop down menu and select 'Save As' and save it to a pattern making folder. This will give you a .webarchive file. At any time in the future you can go back to this .webarchive and click on it. It will take you back to this specific post. Hope this helps. :)

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All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available for HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use my content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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All my sewing patterns.
These are the first of my sewing patterns as PDF downloads for you to buy and sew.  The more I sell the more time I have to make new ones.  So if you fancy supporting the work I do here on the well-suited blog, this is your opportunity.  These patterns are based on my size chart listed here on the website.


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The challenging patterns, the exciting new design trends and the impossible drapes; that's what I live for.  Disclaimer: These new ideas are offered here for testing and are offered without guarantee.  Allow yourself time and space to truly test and perfect the patterns for all your new ideas.  And please don't give yourself a hard time if the first toile is less than perfect.  It's simply part of a process. Enjoy :)

Using my content

All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available FOR HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use our content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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