Creating a Pattern Design Library

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Sewing, Theory | Comments Off on Creating a Pattern Design Library

9 times out of 10, I draft my own patterns, so why do I own over 100 retail patterns? Because I don’t usually actually use them by taking them out of the envelope and using them as is. I use them as a design library.

To show you what I mean, I pulled three random women’s patterns out of my collection.

2015-01-29 11.52.10Each of these dresses (and patterns, honestly) are from different eras and have different styles, but there’s no law that says you can’t combine these patterns into new looks.

For example, if you take the top from McCall’s 6557, the skirt from Butterick 4186, and the sleeves from Simplicity 3532, you’d end up with this dress:combo pattern 1Likewise, if you take the very top from Simplicity 3532, the (lengthened) skirt from McCall’s 6557, and the long sleeve from Butterick 4186.

combo pattern 2The (shortened) top from Butterick, the (shortened) skirt from McCall’s, and the short sleeves from Simplicity.

combo pattern 3And finally, you can make a top by shrinking down the top from the McCall’s pattern along the same cutting line as the top from the Simplicity pattern and a much shortened version of the skirt from McCall’s.

combo pattern 4

After you get even more used to how pattern pieces look, you can start using the pattern piece layout in the instructions to alter the basic pattern pieces into the shape of new, advanced pieces.

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