This week, I’m switching out my needles for, well, needles. Rather than knitting, I’ve been sewing! I still hope to make a felted blue fedora before winter flees entirely, but for this week, a dress was in order.
Now I’ve been making my own patterns for quite some time now, and usually base them off an existing garment. This method works well for me, but the first few times I tried it I ran into an issue. To be honest, the first few times, I ran into quite a few issues, but I’ll just address one in this post. What I found myself doing, in the giddiness of creating my own clothes from scratch, was losing track of what pieces I needed to cut. To solve this, I drafted my patterns on a whiteboard before I actually drafted the pattern pieces on tissue.Here’s the board for my latest project. It’s a fairly simple jersey dress, in a lovely print. I followed the same pieces as the template dress, and charted out visually what I would need to draft and cut, and made a few notations, like directions for gathering.The lines at edges of pieces denote gathers, which reminds me to cut the pieces to accommodate them. I’ll also use arrows to mark what pieces will be joined, and if there’s folded fabric, like the waistband above, I draw it like a tent. Additionally, I mark down how many of each piece a need – the “x2” by the bodice piece.
When I’ve mapped it all out, I actually start drafting the pattern and cutting the pieces. At this point, I go back to the board and check off each piece as it’s cut. That way I have a quick and easy way to ascertain my progress.