In the tutorials we offer you,’ there have often been enquiries on how to work with the’ pattern diagram we publish. Primarily, how to draft and grade the pattern according to your size. So we are going to have two blog posts consecutively, demonstrating to you the basic steps of making your pattern.
This tutorial is going to be especially useful if you are new to sewing.
This week, we will show you how to follow our pattern diagram and draft your own.
Pens (in various colours if it helps)
Pattern master/French curve
For the pattern paper, it is always better to have a long continuous roll, or a big piece of paper. However if you do not have access to it, you can always attach smaller pieces of paper together with sellotape. Also having markings on your pattern paper will help a great deal with you are drawing straight lines.
In this tutorial, we are going to use part of a pattern from a tutorial that will be published in the near future. This is so that we can prepare our readers for the next project. We will be making a simple dress. And here we will show you how to draft the bodice pattern of the dress.
Below is the pattern diagram depicting the front panel of a bodice pattern.
1. When starting with a pattern, always draw the centre seam first.
2. As it is at a right angle, you can proceed to draft the bottom seam, as well as the side seam. Both in relation to each other.
3. Next, we will work on the collar. In the diagram you can see the measurement for the collar are shown by a horizontal line for its width, and a vertical line for its height. Draft these two accordingly. With a pattern master, you can easily use the right angle line to do the measurement to ensure accuracy.
4. For a smooth curve for a collar, use the curve edge of the pattern master or a french curve to help you. Make sure the start point from the centre front seam is flat, and the curve gradually goes up towards the top point, with a smooth curved seam.
5. Now we move onto the armhole. As the pattern diagram stated, there are three sections of measurement in terms of the height of the arm hole. So first you measure out the width of the armhole, and using the right angle line on your pattern master, measure and list out the three sections to make it clear for yourself.
6. Now we need to measurement out the outward curve at the top of the arm hole as indicated by the diagram. After which this point will be joined to the top point of the collar seam, creating a diagonal shoulder seam.
7. And following the diagram, draw in the outward curve at the top of the arm hole, as well as the inward curve at the start of the arm hole. Make sure you draw as much of a curve as possible as this is one area of the pattern that needs the flexibility of a curve/bias cut of the fabric to allow movement.
8. After drafting the pattern, we will add on the seam allowance. In all of our tutorials we advise you to add on 3/8 inch (1cm) of seam allowance on all seams. This step will show you how to, especially those curved seams. It is easier to draw the seam allowance on all the straight seams first.
9. For the curves, instead of using the already curved edge of the pattern master, use the straight edge and do the line little by little, constantly shifting the ruler to get a smooth curve.
10. One thing to remember, if the seam is going to be binding with binding, there is no need to add on a seam allowance, as the binding will not be taking this extra allowance away, only adding to it. So in this future tutorial, we will actually be using binding tape to bind off the arm hole, so no need for a seam allowance to be there.
Next week we will continue this tutorial with the grading of a pattern.