Introductory

A sweet opportunity... After a fabulous weekend in Melbourne, teaching at the Stitches and Craft Show, we drove the long way home and stopped off in Bendigo to catch this amazing exhibition. I'm not very good at giving myself time off for rest and recreation but I've long been aware of the great work they do at the Bendigo Art Gallery. And although the show has ended I've selected a handful of my favourite images from the show to share with you here. In particular the main exhibition image below: I'd love a pair of sunglasses just like Edith's. They're so stylish!

In this post I hope to link up some of the illustration and patternmaking resources I have on the website so you can plan your pattern making creativity over the summer break.  These suggestions are a combination of free access blog posts, PDF worksheets with pattern making instructions and Digital Garment Blocks to begin all your pattern making projects.

So often I'm asked how I make my fitting toile's for Trouser Blocks, so I'd thought I'd put together a short post with some detail.  Many of the points are small but essential for a good #FirstFitting. You can access a download of my Trouser Block here.  I've also uploaded a worksheet that covers the detail for the first stage of fitting the trouser block.  The PDF worksheet includes detail instructions and technical diagrams to take you through every step of the process.

For the past decade I've been going into secondary schools and teaching fashion illustration and every time I learn something new about teaching. Each year I develop new materials and techniques to make learning fashion illustration fun.  This year I decided to create some up-to-date illustration templates to use as a ILLUSTRATION TASK in the classroom. After reviewing some recent designer shows I generated about a dozen new images like those below.  Mostly featuring latest catwalk fashion and they were so well received in the classroom I'm thinking of making them into a colouring book that everyone can access online.

Following on from the Skirt Block and Design Options post I've separated skirt designs that use a stretch skirt block to start your pattern development.  You can use my skirt block to make a stretch skirt block to use with all these pattern puzzle posts.  Some of them have been sampled and those sample posts are also included here.

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.

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.
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