Especially for ready-to-wear designers, pattern drafting is an important step in the design process. Using patterns to create your outfits greatly removes stress from you and ensures that all your outfits come out in the same size and shape. For bespoke designers as well, using patterns helps create that snatched and clean finish fashionistas love.
This week, we reviewed a video by Ada-Uju of StitchADress on the easiest way to understand pattern drafting. In it, she shares ways that you, as a fashion entrepreneur, can learn pattern drafting easily. The video aims to help fashion entrepreneurs that are finding pattern drafting hard to learn how to make the process easier for themselves.
This video review will cover;
- useful points fashion designers can learn from,
- the relevance of the information provided to fashion designers,
- important points missed out.
Easy Pattern Drafting Review: Useful Points
Many fashion entrepreneurs struggle with the concept of pattern drafting. It seems difficult and many cannot quite grasp the concept behind it. Learning to draft patterns does not have to be so hard and there are easy ways to understand it. Here they are;
Easy Ways to Understand Pattern Drafting
1. Learn freehand cutting skills
To learn pattern drafting effectively, you need to have good marking and freehand cutting skills. You must first learn how to mark out your measurements and shape out your waist, hips, bust, and so on. You must ask yourself, “Do I know how to mark out these important measurements on fabric?” Do you also know how to shape your neckline, shoulder line, armhole curve, bustline, and waistline?
If you know how to shape these out, drafting a pattern is just interpreting whatever you do with freehand onto a piece of paper. You just add further manipulations, slashes, tearing, and spreading out to the pattern depending on your style. To learn to draft patterns, don’t just go straight into pattern drafting, but learn freehand first. Learn to cut a basic skirt and blouse, mark out your measurements on fabric, and shape your neckline without tools.
Whatever you learn from doing all of these freehand will go a long way to help you draft a pattern. If you don’t know how to shape out your normal neckline and shoulder line or to interpret different measurements on fabrics, it will be difficult for you to draft a pattern.
2. Start with basic pattern drafting tools
As a beginner, you do not need every pattern drafting tool that there is. You don’t need the pattern master, Italian curve, Spanish curve and so on. Buying all of these tools is a waste of money when you don’t even know the basics of shaping your waistline to hipline. If with freehand you did not learn how to mark on fabric or calico, these tools will confuse you more.
Getting advanced tools is not bad, but getting them when you can’t connect your bust to your waist or waist to hips is a waste and will confuse you. Just learn how to mark properly and start with basic tools like the French curve and straight ruler. As you grow your skills, you can move to more advanced tools. Using the basic tools first teaches you how to correct mistakes you might discover when using the more advanced tools.
3. Learn to draw curves and angles correctly
If you notice that every time you draft your patterns with the tools it doesn’t come out well, it might be that you are not using the rulers appropriately or you don’t know how to draw curves properly. If you truly want to go into pattern drafting, you must learn to draw curves and angles correctly first.
The experience you get from this will help you make your patterns better. With freehand tailoring, you get into the rudiments of drawing curves and angles without using tools. This helps you know how to draw curves and angles much better. By the time you go into pattern drafting, you will know how to manoeuvre them even when your tools fail.
Master necklines, armhole curves, waist to hip curves, and so on. It will save you plenty of trouble when drafting patterns. It will help you learn how to manipulate your pattern better and be able to draft any style.
4. Always test your patterns and note your mistakes
If you notice that your patterns don’t come out well after you have sewn your outfit, get a test fabric. It could be any cheap fabric, calico or muslin fabric. Make sure that whenever you are done drafting a pattern, you test it first on these test fabrics. When you have sewed it on your test fabric, wear it and note where your mistakes are.
By the time you do this often you begin to get better at drafting. You remember what you did before that caused the error and find a different way of doing it. This way, you get better results. Don’t forget to test your pattern, it is important to help you correct your mistakes. With testing, you know better how to place your tools on your fabric to get your desired results.
5. Practice frequently and be patient
You cannot draft one or two patterns and decide pattern drafting is not for you. You have to practice it over and over again till you perfect it. If today you drafted a blouse that didn’t come out well, you can try again tomorrow. Practice is very important with pattern drafting.
You get better with each pattern you draft and each sewing project you carry out. Don’t shy away from learning pattern drafting because nothing good comes easy. It is a skill and can be learned.
Important Points Missed Out
6. Consult an expert when in doubt
When trying to understand pattern drafting, sometimes you run into issues that you cannot solve on your own. It is at this point that you consult with an expert. You must have a community of other fashion designers that can help you out in your hard times. A person(s) you have built a relationship(s) with over time that knows more than you.
Sometimes, however, you might not have any such person around at that moment and at this point you can go online to search for help. There are thousands of resources in form of videos, books, blogs, and courses that can teach you what to do. You do not have to try to figure everything out on your own.
7. Start with the basics and leave room for adjustments
Don’t just rush into learning the most advanced patterns you can find when you have not yet learnt simple skirts, blouses, or dress patterns. It won’t help you. It is the basic knowledge you have gotten from the simple patterns that will determine how well you can do advanced styles. Take your journey easy.
Also, you need to remember to leave adequate seam allowances in your test patterns so you have room for correcting errors. These allowances will give you enough room to make small adjustments to mistakes you might find when you sew your patterns onto fabric.
The Usefulness of the Information to Fashion Designers
This video helps to show fashion designers basic ways to make learning and understanding pattern drafting easier. It provides basic easy-to-follow solid points that make up the foundation of learning the skill maximally.
Overall, the information provided in this video proves useful for fashion entrepreneurs looking to know how to understand pattern drafting better. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily pick up pattern drafting skills and discover that it isn’t as hard as it initially seemed.