whiptips: making patterns

by kath_red on 18/05/2007

in News+Letters

Whiptips craft advice column for readers to ask questions or offer advice by leaving comments. Whiptips archive here. Questions to whiptips@gmail.com.

Kassia wrote:
I recently saw a dress in a magazine that I would like to recreate. The problem is, I can’t find any patterns that are similar. I’m not interested in buying special pattern maker software (too expensive and specialized for a one time thing) – so I was wondering if anybody knew of any resources or tips for making your own patterns? (Or better yet, are there any custom pattern makers out there?) Thanks!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sandy May 18, 2007 at 7:19 pm

There was a big article written by Michaela Murphy in Threads magazine, March 2007 issue, that gives you all the inside info on how to copy a favorite gament. Additionally there is another article in the same issue about replicating shapes of exosting garments. A twofer! Sandy


2 Terry May 18, 2007 at 8:07 pm

Try the phrase, “pattern making” on Amazon and you’ll come up w. some good reference books on the subject of pattern making – some of these may even be in your local library. There is a classic book by Donald H. McCunn – old but good.


3 linquesdesign May 18, 2007 at 9:29 pm

The book Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph-Armstrong is really good. I have an older edition, 3rd I think, but there might be a newer one available. Or if you wanted to email me a photo (lindseymarcella {at} gmail {dot} com I could take a look and let you know if it would be easy to knock off without actually drafting a pattern!


4 patsijean/Patricia May 18, 2007 at 9:32 pm

The pattern drafting information I have used for years is all in a book from the 1980’s titled “The Custom Touch, Creative Sewing Techniques” by Mary J. Wadlington still available at very good prices at Amazon.com. You will find a wealth of information on drafting nearly anything you want. The book is worth every penny in my opinion. If you follow the link to Amazon at http://www.elephants.com the Elephant Sanctuary in Holenwald, TN receives a 5% donation for every purchase. No affilation, I just love the elephants.


5 Melissa May 19, 2007 at 12:45 am

Another approach is to buy a commercial pattern that’s as close as possible to the garment — especially to the more complicated parts. Or mix commercial patterns. It’s always wise to make a sample out of cheap cotton / no pretty finishings to check out the CREATION.


6 Ahava Jora May 19, 2007 at 3:06 am

Oooh! I’m now waiting for the McCun book from Amazon. Glad to see it mentioned here, as I, too, am beginning to explore pattern making.


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