The Joys of Pattern Drafting part II

Okay, since my last pattern draft post, I have been able to complete all my pending projects and finish two others. I finally went back to the drawing board… literally. As I stated before, the pattern draft, for my body style, required 3 darts each for the bust area. This caused the fabric and prints to be severely butchered, ruining the aesthetics of the outfit. Granted, the fit of the outfits were perfect, all of the sundresses require no underlying structure for bust support. Amazing!

Now I want to get the fit with out misshaping the fabric or disfiguring the print designs.

I started where I began before, cutting a basic shape from muslin and sewing in all the darts. I then marked lines all the way up the underlying darts and up to the opposing seam. On the back piece this was easy, I only needed one dart on either side, thus the curvature of the dart to the arms-eye is slightly sloped. On the front, in order to figure out where to place my “master” line, I drew lines all the way through each of the three darts. I then picked the one that was most freezable for the fabric, taking into consideration the slope of curvature. I cut the fabric all the way up these “master” lines, giving me 7 pattern pieces, in total.

Now in doing this, one might notice that one or two of the pieces do not lie flat. This is where the iron is very important. On the pieces where there are intact darts, iron out the pieces so they are as flat as possible. (The fabric may dimple or round over, just get it as flat as can be!) Now I transferred these fabric patterns to paper, and Voila! a new pattern, fully fit with NO darts.

These 7 pieces, require more sewing in total, but they allow for the print, fall, and drape of the fabric to stay intact. Finally I feel more confident modifying this base pattern into the different clothing designs that are rattling around in my head.

As a side note, I do have to make a little statement on seam allowances. I never forget to add seam allowance to all my drafts. I had a teacher in college who drilled that very successfully into my head! But I have noticed that I forget to transfer this seam allowance to the sewing machine. On one of my latest projects (the blue striped sundress with black edging), I drafted out 5/8″ seam allowance, but placed my sewn seams at 3/8″. As you can imagine, the final fit was a bit off. Lets do the math… 2/8″ x 14 = 3 1/2″ off of drafted pattern. that is 3 1/2″ added to the final fit of the dress… that is 3 sizes too big, and needless to say, it fell off. Luckily I figured out this mistake early, and only wasted about 20 minutes of sewing and ironing.

Always remember to sew your seam allowances at the correct width… also! when drafting out, if you use a large tip pen or sharpie, to cut INSIDE the lines, or else you will end up adding 1/8″ to all your pattern pieces. The more pattern pieces you have the greater error will occur.

Pictures to come soon!

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