July 2, 2012


As you know, I usually draft my own patterns. I love to be able to make whatever I like, I love the technical challenge and I love to know what I'm dealing with. When you draft your own patterns, there are not that many nasty surprises, cases in which the ease is way more than you expected or where you have no way to determine the height of the bust point before sewing up the whole thing...
Yes, pattern making is rather time-consuming. And it takes time and effort to get the practise that makes sort of perfect. Effort which needs to be repeated for any new element you try to master... To me, it's been well worth it but I always considered it very understandable that ladies with busy lives would prefer to just buy a pattern they like and get sewing. 

That's where I stand. Or, where I thought I stood. The truth is I don't usually look back to sewing from patterns. Yes, I made a dress from a Marion pattern, but that pattern was over 50 years old. Somehow, that makes a difference.
Last week, I decided to do what I've announced before and sew a dress from one of the last patterns I bought a few years ago, when I was just starting to learn pattern making.

The pattern in question was this lovely Vogue reproduction (still for sale, I believe) and I was going to make it in the home-dyed crepe. I did make it. It's almost finished. I hope I will be able to take a picture tomorrow. When I do, I will do another blog post to tell you how I got on. 
For now, let's just say I really don't want to go back to using commercial patterns. Any time I spend fitting slopers and planning designs is won back by not having to second-guess the oddities of someone else's pattern and being assured of a decent fit. 


  1. I am curious to read your next post - until now it is the same with me although I am far from being as good as you are. Sewing is so much more fun when you kind of know what you will get instead of ending up with something that makes you look misgrown ... ;-)

    Love your blog for quite some time now btw.

  2. I absolutely love this dress! I made it twice, in a green solid and in a blue print- just like the cover :P Those gathers are so flattering, I reallyw ant to make one in red too. Here are mine:

    can't wait to see yours!! x

  3. I love this dress too and own the pattern. I've not made it yet but look forward to seeing your take on this.

  4. Your lovely sewing is so inspirational! I'm not fast at pattern drafting yet, but it takes me no more time than it does to fit a commercial pattern to my non-commercial body. The big advantage is that I can have pretty much whatever style I want. Plus it only costs my time and some paper, tape/glue and a pencil. So worth it.

  5. Hee! Can't wait to see it. Sorry it gave you fits, though. Every time I am scratching my head trying to fit something, I find myself wishing I had just drafted from a sloper I *know* fits...

  6. I am curious to see it, but what I am even more wondering about is how your own pattern drafting works in real life. Do you always make test garments to check the fit again and the design? And do you have several slopers with different ease or only a fitted one and add ease with the design? (Maybe you will tell us about your workflow some time?)

  7. I love your drafting and your design ideas. I am like you, starting to move away from patterns. I stlll love Burda so, perhaps because I didn't grow up with it and have only been able to buy it the last couple of years. It would have been hard to resist this pattern, though! I love the reverse gathered yoke.

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