Make Your Own Dress Patterns

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Cut out your sewing patterns by cutting along the outer line of each pattern. For step by step instructions on making your own sewing patterns, including how to make a basic fitted T-shirt pattern, scroll down. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Together, they cited 15 references. This article has also been viewed , times. Categories: Working with Sewing Patterns. Learn more Method 1. Take your measurements. In order to create accurate patterns that fit you well, you'll need to use a soft measuring tape and write down the following measurements: [1] Bust : Wrap the tape around the widest part of your bust.

Waist : Measure around the narrowest part of your natural waist. Hips : Wrap the tape around the widest part of your hips. Back length and width: Measure from the neck to the waist to find the length and measure across the widest part of your back to find the width. Chest: Measure across the widest part of your chest above your bust.

Shoulder length: Measure from the neck to the edge of the shoulder. Upper arm width: Wrap your measuring tape around the thickest part of your arm near the armpit.


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Sketch a design of the garment you want to make. This will help you determine how to divide the garment into pieces so you know how many separate pattern pieces you'll need to make. Lay a sheet of paper flat and plot the length of your pattern. Place a large piece of pattern or brown postal paper on a flat work surface and ensure that 1 side of the paper is perfectly straight. Then, place a ruler 2 inches 5.


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  • Make your length mark along this edge. Draw horizontal lines to mark the shoulder, bust, waist, and hip line. Place a straight ruler so it's at a degree angle at the top of the line you just drew for the center front. Draw this top horizontal line, which will be your shoulder line. Then, bring the ruler down to make the horizontal bust line.

    Move the ruler down again to draw the horizontal waistline. The bottom of your shirt will be the hip line. Draw a line connecting the bust, waist, and hip measurements. Do this for the waist and hips too.

    Fashion Sewing vs. Custom Sewing

    Then, use a pencil and curved ruler to sketch a line that connects the mark on the bust line, the waistline, and the hip line. Draw the neckline and shoulder. Use a curved ruler to draw your neckline from the top of the shoulder line to the center front line. You can make the neckline as low or high as you like.

    Then, leave space for the armhole and draw a curved line from the shoulder down above the bust line. Add a seam allowance around the curved edges of your piece. Use a ruler or seam allowance ruler to draw a line that's parallel to your pattern outline. This can make it easier to hem your garment. Cut out and label the pattern pieces. Lay another sheet of pattern paper under your traced pattern. Pin the papers together and use scissors to cut through both layers along the seam allowance line.

    The bottom layer will become the back pattern piece. Take care not to cut the curved neckline so you can adjust the front and back pieces as you like. For example, you might want to cut the front neckline low while leaving the back piece's neckline high. Label each pattern piece you make so it's easy to keep track of them. Method 2. Cut a piece of paper that's larger than your garment and fold it. Then, lay the paper on a flat work surface instead of on carpet or a rug.

    If you don't have pattern paper, you could use brown postal wrapping paper. Once you've lined up the garment so the edges and seams match, insert pins along the seams for the panel you folded. Lay the item on the paper and pin it in place.

    How to Make a Sewing Pattern

    Line up the folded edge of your garment with the folded edge of the paper. Insert sewing pins about every 3 to 4 inches 7. This technique can be used on any garment, but it does work best on simple garments stitched together from basic shapes. Trace around the folded piece of the garment.

    Julia from The Flora Modiste has written a really useful guide to getting your sewing patterns printed, with tips on patternsheet and pattern envelope design. Is there a particular format patterns have to be designed in? Any recommended software to use? It all depends what type of pattern you are designing. Bag patterns and small craft patterns can easily be designed using Illustrator. Illustrator CS6 can be hired monthly at www. For larger garment patterns it is better to get them professionally graded digitally.

    Graders will accept a hand drawn base size of the original n dot and cross paper or any other paper for that matter which they then scan into their system Gerber for example and grade up to the sizes you require. Yes you can draw them out and then have them scanned on a large scanner, then imported to Illustrator and traced over. This is good for smaller patterns, but not recommended for larger garment patterns. There are so many good books on pattern drafting, you could see www. What markings should I use? Should I label the individual pattern pieces?

    How To Make A Dress Pattern Easy Tutorial For Beginners

    What should I put on them? Labelling your patterns is personal preference, you could go for industry standard markings, or you might want to add more or less information on each pattern piece. It all depends on how much you want to communicate with the sewer about your pattern. Clear, concise instructions in line with your branding are the ideal way to approach this and yes you should definitely label all of you pattern pieces. Your size range is again personal preference.

    For ladies wear you can go for industry standard sizing and use the sizing scales used by The Big Four MCalls, etc , or you could go much more bespoke like the indie designers tend to. For example, indie designers tend to have much less ease in their designs and sometimes none at all. The Big Four pattern companies typically have generous amounts of ease in their patterns, it is down to what you feel is right for your target audience and what you think, or know they will want.

    Myths of Patternmaking for Home Sewing

    Is it best to just print a few patterns initially and get them tested before doing a larger run? For any business the ideal way to is to test a market before spending a lot of money on production. There are now companies which can offer a smaller print run which allows you to test the viability of your patterns and expand your collections. Smaller craft patterns would be an good place to start to gain confidence, but really if you are a designer and want to sell your patterns, just jump in at the deep end and create the patterns you really want to make. You should check out the Indie sewing pattern designers for inspiration, these are just some of them;.

    Check out our comprehensive list of Independent Dressmaking Pattern Designers here for other indie designer websites to look at for inspiration and advice.