I am planning on designing a small range of vintage inspired clothing for children (+6s), men and women. I have a few rough drawings, saved photos and pictures, favourite book, websites etc. that I am taking inspiration from, and I thought it might be helpful to me to blog my ideas and progress, so I can get some feedback as I go along. So to get me started I am starting to renew my drafting and machining skills as I have not done any commercial sewing etc. for 15 years, woah that’s a long time!
So starting at the beginning, one always starts with the right tools. Of course I started without the right tools like, and regretted it every time I had to rule a line longer than 50cm, which, when drafting a pattern is most of the time! You really don’t need a whole list of expensive tools the following is a list of the basic tools I used to draft up the first pattern I did the basic fitted skirt.
- 1 meter long ruler
- paper big enough to draft your pattern on. [ I used interfacing (non-woven) but I have read several reviews on Swedish tracing paper that I still have to check out. You can also use brown paper, and thin card especially for any block patterns you will make to base your designs on.]
- sharp HB pencil
- large table
- Set square 45˚ angle
- tape measure and a notebook to take down your body measurements.
- Compass (useful if you are making a circular skirt)
- Scissors (one pair to cut paper and another good pair to cut out you fabric with.)
- muslin to test fit.
Tools I still need
French curves: a set of tools used to make, well, curves.
Dress stand (love to have one, but there are some great tutorials around the net on how to make one using duct tape and then stuffing with newspaper. This one is done using neon pink duct tape! Might have to try it)
I have several pattern drafting books, but the ones I find most useful are by Winifred Aldrich. Mainly because I learnt this way of drafting in clothing class at school.
- Metric Pattern Cutting – for women’s patterns.
- Metric Pattern Cutting for children’s wear and babywear.
She also does a menswear one which will be the next on my list.
I started with the basic skirt, and then made an Aline skirt out of it. Not going to do a step by step, as with everything there are plenty of tutorials on the net, and a good pattern drafting book will definitely give you alot more information than I can put here. I used the metric pattern cutting book by Winifred Aldrich. But here are a couple of website tutorials I found in a google search:
an easy Aline skirt here
So this is it, I did some running stitch in black embroidery thread around the waist band, am loving running stitch in contrasting colours at the moment. Only had a black zip on hand, so you can see the zip through the calico, but otherwise, I like how it turned out. Would probably line the skirt once I get the design down right.