The Sewing Place

Self Drafting


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.



Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #1 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.


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #2 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.


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #3 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
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. 


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #4 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!


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #5 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.


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #6 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.


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #7 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!


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #8 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.


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #9 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.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 50m
So far: 6m fabric; approx 40m crin (horsehair braid)


Re: Self Drafting
« Reply #10 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.