• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

A service I wish existed! Custom made-to-fit sewing pattern drafting

 
master steward & author
Posts: 20950
Location: Left Coast Canada
5888
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is from another thread, but I thought it such a neat idea, it would be worth investigating.

I want to sew clothing.  Not only that, but I also want to sew clothing that fits.  That fits me.  My body.  Clothing that I can feel comfortable knowing that my shape doesn't look like a sack of watermelons.  But as a well endowed, hunchback with scoliosis, my so far attempts to sew clothing have been dreadful.  

This self-teaching is HARD!  Not only do I need to learn how to alter the pattern, I need to learn what looks acceptable and what just doesn't work with my shape.  

Wouldn't it be great if someone could offer this service?  

Custom-fit patterns for a basic wardrobe.  

You spend the afternoon at their house with lots of tea, they measure and make the sloper or whatever, then next week you pop by and pick up 6 basic patterns that are custom measured to your shape!  
1. Vest/tank top
2. short sleeve top
3. long sleeve top
(alternatively 3 bodices styles with interchangeable sleeve - is this possible?)
4. a skirt
5. pants/shorts
6. a dress

A few notes on each pattern for best fabric choices - both in general for the pattern and specific to the individual (no horizontal stripes for me).  
I could see the person having a standard booklet with construction techniques that they provide with the patterns so they don't have to write it out each time.

Then the person can take these patterns and make clothing that FITS!!!

Optional extras (for an extra fee): jacket and coat patterns


Or they could pay extra for a quick tutorial on skill... xyz (how to choose the fabric, how to sew enclosed seams, how to...)

If a shop or person could offer this service, then I would be very happy to save up the money and pay.  
This service would change people's lives!  It's the biggest barrier to being able to sew - not getting over that initial hump
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20950
Location: Left Coast Canada
5888
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know if this would work, but it sounds like someone is attempting to create a service like this on the internet:



The big problem is self-measurement.  It's very hard to get accurate measurements on yourself.  

I would find it less stressful to save up the money and have someone else do it.  (or maybe they would take payment in handwoven cloth?)
 
master gardener
Posts: 1916
680
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For someone great at designing and customizing, it could prove to be a sweet income.
 
pollinator
Posts: 340
122
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting idea. I have a few books on pattern-drafting, and got pretty good at it at one point. That was a while ago, though.

The catch is the measuring stage. A lot of the necessary measurements are impossible to get on your own, and tricky to get even with help. And measurements have a way of changing, all my patterns from 5 years ago no longer fit me.

That said, one of my books was written with real-life bodies in mind. It's called "Sewing For Plus Sizes", and includes alterations for humped backs and lopsided spines, among other things. I highly recommend that book.

One trick that might help is making a mannequin of yourself. One method is shown here: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Mannequin
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6284
Location: SW Missouri
2825
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Don't know if this is helpful for anyone. I made it years ago, for my sewing and costuming for myself and other people. I have been known to email  it to people, tell them I need these number measurements (IE: a corset needs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and a few more.) they send me back the numbers and I can sew them up what we want.

I offer this file to the permies community, use it as you will, I hereby put it into public domain.

There are other measurements that are needed sometimes, but this is a good base. If you need a bigger copy, try clicking it and right clicking "View image" and see what you get if you download it. If that doesn't work, PM me and I'll send you one that prints out to 8.5 x 11

:D



 
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
109
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Besides providing accurate measurements, one caveat is the distribution of body mass is different  individually. People with same hip circumference can have wide hips or prominent back, and their pants will fit totally different.  There is a company that develops algorithms to tackle this by asking customer to provide pictures of front back and side views for pattern drafting service. I can't remember the name now, but the concept makes sense to me.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20950
Location: Left Coast Canada
5888
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Everyone is so uniquely shaped.  That's the value of an experienced seamstress - they can see the shape of the person rather than just the measurements.

I expect once the person got the service set up, it would be about 10-20 hours to measure and draft the 6 basic patterns.  That would be about $600 (CAD) worth of labour plus materials, taxes, tea, etc.  Not bad for a week's work.  And that's about what I would expect to pay for custom-built patterns.   I would have to save up for a few months to afford it, but it would be money well spent!  
 
pollinator
Posts: 205
Location: SW Ohio
50
duck forest garden fish fungi trees tiny house chicken cooking
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It would definitely be an awesome service. I don't know how many times I cried in dressing rooms as a teen and young adult before I finally started to understand that a LOT of people have trouble finding clothes that fit, and that there was nothing wrong with my body. That my proportions are correct as they are, and that the clothes are not. Fit issues with mass produced clothing have serious consequences for mental health, self esteem, body image and feelings of alienation for like... most people. I don't want to feel like Cinderella's crappy stepsister trying to shove my foot into a shoe (or dress, or jeans, or blouse) that wasn't made with me in mind.
Also, most seasons the choice of garments available is about 95% total crap. Bad fabric, ugly colors, unattractive designs that are pushed just because "it's trendy!!!" I want clothes that won't make me look/feel like an idiot if I wear them 5 years from now. I can't really find any blouses off the rack that don't look either redlight worthy or retirement home chic. Why womens' clothes in particular look so ridiculous and unprofessional, I will never know. As a consequence I mostly just wear t-shirts, and it's part of what steers me away from a lot of more lucrative jobs. Feeling like I'd have to dress like a ridiculous peacock and stuff a bra so the front of my blouse wouldn't collapse.
Having a set of custom patterns would make it really simple to alter thriftstore finds, too. A lot of things I find are just a size or two off, or just not cut right for my shape. ANY pants that fit my hips have extra inches up at the waist, petite pants drag on the floor until I cut the bottoms off, "maxi" skirts are so long I'd have to wear them as dresses to keep them from dragging on the floor and I can't fit my ribcage into any dresses that fit my hips (although there is a huge a void where there would normally be bosom.) I haven't tried a dress on in... oh.... 12 years because it just makes me feel like hideous prepubescent troll.
Anyway. Yes. We need custom patterns designed and/or altered to our needs, by people who know how to design and construct garments that don't suck.
 
May Lotito
pollinator
Posts: 171
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
109
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Sarah Koster wrote:It would definitely be an awesome service. I don't know how many times I cried in dressing rooms as a teen and young adult before I finally started to understand that a LOT of people have trouble finding clothes that fit, and that there was nothing wrong with my body. That my proportions are correct as they are, and that the clothes are not. Fit issues with mass produced clothing have serious consequences for mental health, self esteem, body image and feelings of alienation for like... most people.



Being not able to find clothes that would fit can be so destructive to self esteem for a teenager, that's   what I felt and luckily I now know how to sew for myself.
Is it possible you have a shorter nape to back length? That could be the cause of many fitting issues unless the pattern is adjusted for petite. I am petite plus so any blazer that I can button closed has extra fabric pushing up my neck and giving me a hunchback, at the same time the sleeves are longer than my fingertips. :(
 
gardener
Posts: 615
Location: Western Kentucky
216
dog gear foraging trees hunting food preservation cooking fiber arts woodworking wood heat rocket stoves
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I do not have much experience sewing, and I've never sewn a complete garment (much less from a pattern), but I wonder if there could be a way of applying a standard set of changes to common patterns of similar style? Maybe take an example pattern and sew it with removable stitches a little large and adjust by trial and error until just right. Trim all pieces and remove stitches and lay each piece on the pattern in its spot to measure and/or mark your differences from the standard. Maybe keep those pieces as an exemplar to mark adjustments on other patterns. It would take some time, but would save a lot of money. I would imagine many people would be afraid to venture into your idea due to relatively few people making their own clothes, and that number further reduced by people who fit the standard pattern close enough, or who don't really care if it fits perfectly.
 
pollinator
Posts: 147
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
29
hugelkultur cat dog forest garden books fiber arts bee solar homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I can do that. At least I could do that. I do have a degree in Fashion Design which includes pattern drafting, as well as being a third-generation dressmaker so my grandmother and mother taught me drafting. Of course, nowadays everything is done by CAD which is after my time. When I was a teen, my mother was a representative for a company called Dot patterns, There were sample shapes with numbers on them. You then took your measurement did some math and followed the lines out and made a dot. Connect the dots and you have a custom pattern to fit you. I still have a different version from the 70s. I'm planning on using it to make new slopers for myself as I have gained weight with age. I did see a Swedish company that still made something like it a few years back. Hold on while I do a google search. yes, I'm aware that you will not really be waiting. This would have been the set that my mom sold.https://www.pinterest.fr/pin/323062973269892283/   Ok on further searches, I found a copy of the book that you can download. You have to join the library, but they have a 14-day free trial. The key things that you could use though are the proper measuring ruler, I'll try the one that came with my other set. If it works I can try to replicate it for those interested. You should have a set of french curves as well.  https://www.scribd.com/document/230841075/Dot-Pattern-System  These are all great 70s styles, but you can make some basic slopers from them and then adjust. As for all our physical issues, they would need to be custom adjusted having a friend would help. Meanwhile, if you're in New England we could make a plan. I do have a separate building for my sewing room, it's just rather a mess, due to deaths in the family leaving me with endless "stuff." Once that as cleaned up, I am thinking of offering sewing lessons there.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20950
Location: Left Coast Canada
5888
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Editing existing patterns is the way to go if you're only an inch or two out on one measurement.  But my body is so different than norm.  My ribcage is tiny for my hight, my breasts are ginormous for my body, my legs are almost 3/4" different in length... and the list goes on.  I imagine some people might find it easy to adjust patterns but I find this learning curve to be dramatically frustrating.  

I'm having a great deal of difficulty staying motivated to keep on making mockup after mockup... With no hope in sight.  The only thing I'm tenuously holding on to is knowing that anything I buy from the shops will look just as bad.  It's getting very hard to find natural fibre clothing.  
 
Josephine Howland
pollinator
Posts: 147
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
29
hugelkultur cat dog forest garden books fiber arts bee solar homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
r.ranson, I agree finding natural fiber is very hard. There is a web store that sells natural linen in various weights. What I really miss is finding good wool fabric. I used to make myself wool skirts all the time in the 80s, now it seems to have disapeared.
 
Ellendra Nauriel
pollinator
Posts: 340
122
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:  my legs are almost 3/4" different in length... and the list goes on.    




Not to sound repetitive, but that book I suggested, Sewing For Plus Sizes, has suggestions for when one side of the body is different from the other. I really think that book might help you.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20950
Location: Left Coast Canada
5888
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I never thought I counted as plus sizes because my ribcage is small.

But maybe I need to rethink this.  
 
Carla Burke
master gardener
Posts: 1916
680
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:I never thought I counted as plus sizes because my ribcage is small.

But maybe I need to rethink this.  



The 1st thing about it is learning the skills to make your own adaptations. The 2nd thing is, in my experience, it's almost always easier to make something smaller, than larger, when it comes to a pattern. My arms are huge, needing about a 2x (even then, it's often a snug fit) - but my torso is comfortable in a large. So, unless a top has no sleeves (which only serves to accentuate the disproportion and my selfconsciousness about it), or very generously sized ones, my torso swims in my tops. It's much easier to just wear men's tshirts, honestly, but for dressier wear, the bodice needs to be taken in, because trying to expand the sleeves just ends up looking weird, to me.

My body is several different sizes, too. Arms - 2x, torso Large, hips XLarge, hands XSmall, feet smallish (7.5 in American sizes/38 EU sizes)...
 
Posts: 73
21
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've learned the hard way that making a muslin for anything remotely fitted is an absolute must. I can wing it for children's clothes  (worse comes to worst, they'll grow into it or it will fit a sibling), but not for my own clothing.

Even with a fairly standard sized body, I often need to move the bust darts, raise the underarm seam, etc. I make my muslins from old bedsheets, so it's essentially free. (People always want to give me their old stained bedsheets to upcycle).

For a recent very fitted woven tank top, I even made TWO muslins before I was satisfied with the fit. But  now I have something that skims my body exactly as it should without showing any gaps or a peek of my bra, and I can make that pattern as many times as I want with slight design changes.

Otherwise, for skirts, I tend to go with patterns that are made from your own measurements. My two latest were a linen wrap skirt and a linen circle skirt with yoga waistband.
 
pollinator
Posts: 358
Location: Southern Germany
175
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting topic!
A friend once told me that she had ordered pattern slopes for blouses, but I believe it included self-measurement. However, she was very happy and used that pattern for all her blouses.

I have also read about a (German) company that created individual patterns according to your size for a variety of garments, but again I think you had to send in a range of measurements, and it was quite pricey (understandable).

For my own sewing, I have several go-to patterns:
Some were based on existing garments or I sketched them on newspaper (t-shirts), some were created by following instructions where you "insert" e.g. your hip measurements (mainly skirts), and some are patterns where I bought the e-book.

I am very happy that there are some small designers that sell patterns in a wide range of sizes, the big companies like Burda (or even worse Simplicity) do not cater to my body type (petite and slim, but not like an Asian lady or a teenager).

For example, Pattydoo (https://www.pattydoo.de/) has lots of both leisure and a bit more formal garments and it starts at German size 32, with lots of tips on how to adapt further. There is usually a print-your-own pattern on various sheets, an e-book and often a video tutorial. Many patterns are in English, so you could have a look.

Apart from that, I have a Pinterest folder where I collect tips on pattern alterations, e.g. Small bust adjustment, swayback and similar.
I am sure there are lots of tips on every possible body "nonconformity", like different shoulders, hips. leg lengtsh etc.
 
pollinator
Posts: 251
Location: Poland
90
purity dog forest garden tiny house books earthworks fiber arts writing wood heat rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anita, I would love to learn sewing! I only learned crocheting and knitting.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6284
Location: SW Missouri
2825
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Flora Eerschay wrote:Anita, I would love to learn sewing! I only learned crocheting and knitting.


Flora: It's a shame you and I can't hook our brains together and swap skills! I can only sew, I have books on crochet and knit, but haven't learned more than minimally. I think I knitted a 6 inch by 6 inch block. Have crocheted about as much. One of these years I'll get to it!! :D
 
Ellendra Nauriel
pollinator
Posts: 340
122
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

r ranson wrote:I never thought I counted as plus sizes because my ribcage is small.

But maybe I need to rethink this.  




Yeah, I wish they had called it "Pattern-Making for Non-Standard Bodies", but they didn't.
 
Anita Martin
pollinator
Posts: 358
Location: Southern Germany
175
kids books urban chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Flora Eerschay wrote:Anita, I would love to learn sewing! I only learned crocheting and knitting.


I learned knitting in elementary school and crocheting from my aunt, butI think crocheting is quite an advanced task - if you master that, you should be ok with sewing.

I made a sewing course after high school (gifted by my grandaunt) which was really good, I learned many basics.
Then I did very little sewing in the following decades.

I took it up again with things like bags, pillow cases and clothes for the kids. I have got a great book on repurposing old garments, table cloths, bed sheets etc. into other garments or home decor items. It helped me overcome some fears and got me creative.
The book is by a German-Swedish designer, not sure if the link lets you browse through the book a bit:
https://www.amazon.de/war-einmal-ein-Hosenbein-gebrauchten/dp/3258600090/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&hvadid=80264381115218&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=es+war+einmal+ein+hosenbein&qid=1596057107&sr=8-1&tag=hyddemsn-21

Then lately I have become more ambitious and made more things both from scratch with nice fabric and repurposed garments (people know that I cut up and use everything, so they started donating me stuff and now I have got way too much, haha).
I am not a totally confident and experienced sewist, but I know that I can work my way through tutorials and videos. I have a bad memory and cannot rely on getting it right the second time when I made it a first time - I always have to refer to the initial instructions but in the end it works out, even if it takes a little longer.

That was a bit off-topic, but I wanted to make a point that sewing is nothing awe-inspiring.
You can start cheap, with a simple machine (I sew even knits/jersey with a normal sewing machine), donated fabric and self-drawn patterns and work your way to more ambitious clothing little by little.

I find that knit fabrics are quite forgiving if you don't get the pattern to match to the last inch, plus I was really proud when I made my first t-shirt. Wow, you can make your own t-shirts! (now there is little I don't sew, apart from tight dresses or dress shirts and other more formal garments).

If I can do it with my bad memory, you can do it too!
 
Josephine Howland
pollinator
Posts: 147
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
29
hugelkultur cat dog forest garden books fiber arts bee solar homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It seems to me, that what we need to do is find a place and funding to hold a patternmaking, muslin making weeklong seminar. Post pandemic of course. Pearl Sutton, do you think so? We could also have knitting and crochet sessions. Or several shorter, smaller ones
more locally?
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20950
Location: Left Coast Canada
5888
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What about some sort of online/real world class?  You partner up with someone from your city, but the teacher and the rest of the students (who are also partnered up with someone local to them) are online?

That way it minimizes human contact but we can still take the class?

sigh, a girl can dream.
 
Carla Burke
master gardener
Posts: 1916
680
personal care gear foraging hunting rabbit chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honestly, I think if we can at least find someone to pair up with, to take accurate measurements &/or make dress forms with, we could do a class as separately as necessary for everyone's comfort. The key, imho, is getting those dress forms done, first.
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6284
Location: SW Missouri
2825
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've lost track of which sewing thread had what in it. Off of a link on one of them (about a skirt sewing online class) I found this link, which I think is excellent reading for anyone looking to make their own patterns.
Two Myths of Learning To Make Your Own Sewing Patterns

Short spoiler version is she says it's EASIER to make your own than to follow an already made one (which I agree with!) as you don't have to learn to modify someone else's system, using their words and systems and modifying their math, you can make your own, and make it make sense to you.

This makes sense to me, as I design everything I do my own way, my color coding system I use makes sense to me, it's not meant to make sense to others. I run into issues if I have to make it make sense to others, to me that's a LOT more work. My design drawings don't look like anything I have seen anyone else do.

So what this means for people who are frustrated by patterns they buy is maybe it will make more sense in your OWN system, made to work with YOUR head. That's a very good incentive to learn that way!

:D
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1569
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
495
hugelkultur dog forest garden urban cooking bike
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good ideas here!
I am able to sew my own clothes. And I have a fairly 'normal' size (European size 42-44, sometimes that's Medium, sometimes Large), The patterns of Burda (I don't know if that magazine / brand is known in where you live) are the right fit for me.
Long ago I did learn how to make patterns that fit. So maybe I can do my best to find back that knowledge I had then (it must be somewhere in my memory )

The way R. says it: you visit the pattern maker, you have a nice time together (with tea and so), the pattern maker does the measuring needed. Then you go home and some days later the patterns are ready. I think that's the best way.
But most of you can't come visit me here in the Netherlands ... It would be nice if such pattern makers were spread all over the world, at least one in every region.

 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This sounds like an awesome project for a senior college student!
I’ve seen a shift to more Types of bodies and shapes in the fashion industry. There are larger bodies in ads. Project Runway on tv had a variety of sizes of models including a few in wheelchairs.
 
Posts: 27
Location: South Texas
11
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I did not read through each comment, so I hope this is still helpful.

I’m going to leave two links here... one is for an awesome tutorial for creating your own sloper that will allow you to customize bodices for yourself. It’s free. You have to do the work. If I remember correctly, she gives detailed instructions and tells you how to measure as well (didn’t re-read today).

https://mellysews.com/how-to-make-a-bodice-pattern/

The second is a link to a Russian company that drafts any selected pattern to the measurements you input. You can put in very detailed measurements and save them to you profile and then select any of their patterns and they will send you that pattern digitally, in your specific size. It isn’t perfect (as previously mentioned, they can’t see your actual body) and the patterns have to be printed and taped and cut (which is obnoxious), but the patterns are cheaper than even regular, non-customized retail patterns.

https://www.lekala.co/
 
Posts: 1
Location: pacific northwest
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://freesewing.org/ might also be of interest. It's more about sharing novel customizable patterns than solely drafting up slopers that you then have to modify into the garments you want...

But having sewn my own clothes for awhile, this feels like "why do it the old way when we could keep what's challenging about the old techniques and introduce technological problems too?" to me. The most eco-friendly way to get clothes that fit you is to find secondhand clothes that are a bit too big, then take them in to suit your needs. And if you're growing most of the food you eat with hand tools, walking or biking instead of driving, and doing other pemie things, you're likely develop a body shape on which clothes discarded by folks who sit in chairs all day eating as much processed foods as they like are generally too large.

Then once you've taken in a garment to a fit you love, you can take the pattern from it if you want to make copies. There are plenty of articles on how to take a pattern without destroying the garment, like https://www.mybluprint.com/article/make-pattern-from-clothing, and historical costumers do it a lot on old garments too. Then you can use your pattern to make as many copies as you want, and you don't even need to own a measuring tape for the whole process.

If you're actually weaving all your own fabric, you'll probably want to sew from the types of patterns that were used when fabric was more precious than human labor. If you grew and spun and wove every square inch of cloth yourself, you don't want to waste a bit of it, so you'll do better with less-fitted garments constructed mostly from squares and rectangles than with modern cuts that waste a lot of cloth in order to take advantage of the figure-hugging stretch and drape of synthetics.

Josephine, I've inherited some bolts of wool fabric that my aunt and grandmother bought decades ago from Pendleton, and they seem about the same quality as the cloth I find at the Pendleton store in Portland, OR today. So that might be a source of old-fashioned good wool for you.
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe a custom dressmaker form would be helpful. There are a few companies that do this. https://beatriceforms.com/ is just one.
 
Posts: 2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sewing is the bomb! I like to say that sewing (+ modification and mending) is one of the most empowering skills I've ever acquired. My mom taught me to sew when I was a teen. For a while I sewed a bunch of my own clothes, and I still sew "makes" entirely from scratch sometimes. But a lot of what I do—what I love to do—is go to the thrift store, find stuff in awesome fabrics that's /almost/ perfect... then go home and make it perfect! Making hemlines shorter, taking in the wideness of a dress—all awesome, pretty easy mods. And you might be surprised what nice things have been discarded because they were missing one button! Alteration/modification is the bomb. My one caveat is in the thrift store I like to think about how /hard/ it will be to modify something; and think if I really want to buy a project.

At first I wasn't going to weigh in, but I decided I have a nugget worth sharing. And it's this:

Drafting from nothing can be  pretty frustrating. Satisfying, worthwhile... frustrating. Especially when you consider you already have tons of patterns you love hanging in your closet. (Probably.) So instead of drafting from scratch, which is a process that includes making muslins to test and get things right, which is a long and fiddly process, I love to copy clothes I already know and love. You can get creative with fabrics and get more out of a style that's your favorite!

Someday, I will make my own sloper and draft off that. But in the meantime, I've got a tanktop I've been meaning to copy!

My advice, as a random stranger on the internet, is to start by modifying/mending secondhand clothes and building the sewing skills and confidence that will make you want to draft from existing clothes, or from scratch!
 
Nikki Corey
Posts: 27
Location: South Texas
11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just to clarify my link... I believe the “draft a sloper” link is to modify existing patterns (by laying that sloper on top and drawing the correct lines) so that existing patterns can fit you in a very custom way. Not to try to draft your own patterns from scratch.
 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The Skirt Skills class by Brooks Ann Camper may be what you're looking for. The class addresses most of the issues raised in this thread.

Brooks Ann learned to sew without reference to patterns and now teaches her method, resulting in what she calls "you-sized" patterns. One particularly memorable video shows her and her husband side-by-side, both with the same "skirt measurements" if you go by commercial patterns. And you see plainly how ridiculous that is in the video: he is a tall, gangly fellow and she is a tiny thing. But since they have the same waist and hip measurements, they must of course wear the same size.

An assistant for taking measurements is helpful, but she goes through ways to DIY.

Poochy tummy, uneven hip, flat bottom - whatever figure variation needs to be addressed, it's covered in the class, or can be covered during Office Hours or in the Facebook group.

The skirt class is the foundation to Brooks Ann's other classes: pants and tops. I believe the skirt block is required to enroll in the pants class.

I cannot recommend it highly enough. Registration opens soon, and fills quickly.
gift
 
Common Weeds And Wild Edibles Of The World (HD video)
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic