The Sewing Place

Self Drafting

NatalieSews

Self Drafting
« on: July 12, 2019, 13:55:13 PM »
Afternoon my lovelies.

I'm wanting to self draft as commercial patterns are really quite strange on me. bust doesn't sit right.

Is there any literature on drafting a basic sloper for body, skirt, trousers, sleeves the whole shebang and then I can go from there.

Recommend away. Books would be useful, websites and videos would be better.

Regards

Francesca

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 14:02:26 PM »
There are loads of resources! The thing I find with a lot of them though is that the best resources are quite old-fashioned, so you have to be content with getting the basics from the books and then going elsewhere (mainly online) for more up-to-date ideas.

The Queens of self-drafting IMO are Natalie Bray and Winifred Aldrich. I would start with the book on pattern drafting (in mine and many other's opinions), Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for women's wear. It's expensive but it's the book to get you started. You can sometimes get cheaper older additions (I use an 80s copy) but the result is that some of the measurements are a little different to account for the common styles and shapes of each era.

This book will guide you through drafting of basic blocks for a bodice sloper, skirt, knit sloper, jacket etc. The use a flat pattern method where you draw between A and B, B and C, etc until you have a full sloper. They're quite intensive but once done you'll have a basic sloper. From there, the book then shows ways to adjust this flat pattern into varied styles.

Natalie Bray's Dress Pattern Designing has more options for taking a sloper further, and is a really great book.

If you're looking for something more modern then I recommend Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method however I would still suggest Winnie's book as the first step before this book - you need a good base first.

After that... I find it easier to find style ideas online than in books because, as I said, a lot of them are quite old fashioned. I often find that Russian and Spanish sites are good for locating examples of how to adjust blocks into interesting designs. Often they don't come with instructions but if you're a visual learner I find these images pretty easy to understand. I have a Pinterest board full of ideas: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/franhaselden/sewing-block-ideas/
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

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Acorn

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 14:08:18 PM »
Have you ever used Lekala or Bootstrap patterns?  They are custom made (by computer) to precisely your measurements.  I have recently used this Lekala pattern to make a bodice/top sloper, very successfully.  It has front and back darts which I tweaked until they worked for me.

Bootstrap offer patterns for slopers, again, made according to your measurements (I'm sure you would have to tweak them, but they would give a good starting point).  I haven't tried them myself.
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Francesca

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 14:12:53 PM »
I tried the Lekala/Bootstrap slopers but my problem is that unless a sloper fits you perfectly I just didn't find it all that useful. And even one drafted "to your measurements" as they say does not actually create one to perfectly fit you. The B/W/H might be correct but the rest may well not be. Mine fit awfully. It fit on width only and wasn't really that well shaped to me.

For a sloper that fits, the best I've ever got is still from Sew Fitography. It's actually perfect, it even handles my tilted waist! I was looking at it on my dressform last night and noticing how much the waistline dips at the front which is exactly correct when looking at my figure in the mirror. https://thesewingplace.org.uk/index.php?topic=3733.0
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram

Acorn

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 14:16:45 PM »
I found it quite easy to make the Lekala bodice pattern fit perfectly - just two test toiles before I was happy.  I may not be quite as particular as you though Fran!
I might look as though I'm talking to you, but inside my head I'm sewing.

Francesca

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 14:18:08 PM »
I think I just have a very difficult shape to fit :(
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram

Ohsewsimple

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 15:06:00 PM »
As Fran says there are loads of resources.  They are few and far between but if you can get to a class it is so much better.  Books are great but don’t always tell you why you are doing something and you will have questions. 
If you want videos and can afford to pay then I think this would be good
https://www.inhousepatternsstudio.com/designed-to-fit-the-bodice-block
It works out at about £78. 
Her site is full of useful info and downloads. 

I was lucky enough to have a good teacher who could pattern cut all sorts of things.  She maintained that there was no one good book.  Some were better than others at a certain draft.  Natalie Bray features heavily in my files.  Her books are quite wordy for a beginner but well thought of.  My first bodice blocks were from Winifred Aldrich.  But when I changed college and tutors we used
Hilary Campbell's Designing Patterns-A Fresh Approach to Pattern Cutting for the bodice block.   The sleeve block is useless.   :)
Whatever you choose I would use a block that has more than one dart on the front.  There are some methods out there that feature one large dart and these only really work if you aren’t too busty. 

doesntworkonwood

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2019, 10:36:44 AM »
Suzy furrer also has a class on craftsy/bluprint. If you've already got a subscription that's a good option!

HenriettaMaria

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 14:06:53 PM »
You could simplify things by using Vogue V1004 (dress/bodice) and V1003 (trousers) and some cheapish gingham, to make grain and levels easier.


It is quite possible to learn from the books if you are the sort of person who can learn complicated things from written instructions.  I am much more monkey-see, monkey-do and so two terms of evening classes were needed before I could picture the end-result of Bray's instructions - I made stupid mistakes before then.

Kwaaked

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 15:13:46 PM »
Connie Crawford Pattern Making made Easy is another good book, and Suzy Furrer has a book as well.

I used Armstrong in college, but use a cross of Crawford, Furrer's and an Indian college method for myself.

Missie

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2019, 19:05:08 PM »
I learnt to draft with Helen Stanley's Flat pattern Cutting..  I have the Wini Aldrich children's drafting book and I really don't like it.  I'm assuming the adult version is of the same ilk and find the Helen Stanley one much more user friendly.
A measly 2.5m of stash used so far!

Morgan

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2019, 14:14:29 PM »
Whichever method you use it's important to remember that it is a process.   Your draft personal blocks/slopers have to be fitted and refined before they can become your personal block/sloper.
If you struggle with how to fit or reading a good fit then get help.

The advantage of working with your own measurements is that (in theory) you have smaller or fewer fitting adjustments to make to the draft until it becomes your final version of your blocks.

The next stage in the process is to make patterns from your personally fitted blocks.
Again it's a process - you still have to fit and adjust the draft patterns to get your finalised pattern.  The advantage is that once you build up a collection of patterns of styles that work for you and that you like, making an outfit becomes quite a quick process.

Doing the fitting and building up a small collection of 'go to' patterns is what takes the time.



Marniesews

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2019, 16:15:10 PM »
If you really like the video approach - I got almost a full set of Suzy Furrer's patternmaking classes on Craftsy as it was then - now Bluprint. I bought them when the big sales were on so they were great value for money, although Bluprint doesn't notify me of sales so I don't know if that happens so much now. Nevertheless, I can't over-stress just how good they are. She is a great teacher and very efficient at getting the principles across to you, even as a newbit to patternmaking. A great present to yourself.
Aka Jacky F in a former life...

Francesca

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2019, 16:27:20 PM »
Whichever method you use it's important to remember that it is a process.   Your draft personal blocks/slopers have to be fitted and refined before they can become your personal block/sloper.
If you struggle with how to fit or reading a good fit then get help.

Yes, it took me quite a while (6 iterations I think) to get my sloper to a point I am happy with. However I now want to make a princess seamed version and it's proving more difficult than I anticipated!
Stash Busting 2019
Sewn: 36.4m
Traded: 45.9m
Added: 41.9m
Up/down: -45.95m

Follow me on Instagram

charlotte

Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 10:21:32 AM »
I like the Winifred Aldrich book that Fran recommended too. It has a great section towards the back about adjustments for various body issues, which you can go to after you have drawn a block to your measurements. The Vogue Sewing Book is also full of useful tips for adjustments for various bodies, which you can also use on your block to make it fit you.