Pattern Drafting Tutorial

 

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  • For the tutorials on this page I used white paper for visibility, but for making patterns brown construction paper is used.

 

  • The measurements used are for the standard 12.  However you will be using your measurements.

 

  • The measurements quoted in this tutorial is just for examples only.

 

 

MAKING A SLEEVE PATTERN

 

This tutorial will guide you through drafting a straight sleeve pattern.  From this pattern you can make most any style sleeve, except a tailored sleeve, which I will show you in another tutorial.  You will require the same tools required for drafting the bodice and skirt patterns.

I used white paper for visibility, but for making patterns brown construction paper is used.

The measurements used for this pattern is for the average size 12. However you will be using your measurements.  The measurements quoted in this tutorial is just for examples only.

Terminology:
UA – Under Arm
TA – Top Arm

Average size 12 measurements for sleeve:

Top Arm                                                             11 1/2″ + 2″ ease = 13 1/2″
Length of Sleeve                                           22 1/2″
Length of UA seam to elbow                    7 1/2″
Length of UA seam, Elbow to Wrist      9 1/2″
Total UA Length                                              17″ (from armpit to last crease on wrist)

 

 

Cut paper the length of your arm measurement by the circumference of your top arm measurement + 2″ for ease.

FOR SIZE 12:

  1. Cut a rectangle of paper 25″ X 15″.
  2. Fold paper in half lengthwise
  3. unfold and draw a line on this fold (this is called the top line

 

 

Fold paper in half again then make another fold then draw on these two side folds.

The line on the right is the front fold line.

The line on the left is the back fold line.

The right edge of the paper is the front underarm line.

The left edge of the paper is the back underarm line.

 

 

 

Measure down 7″ from top edge of paper and draw a line across.

This is the top arm line.

From top arm line measure down 7 1/2″ draw a line across for the elbow line (this is standard for all sizes)

From elbow line measure down 9 1/2″ draw a line across for the wrist line

(this is standard for all sizes)

 

Take 1/2 of your  TA + 2″ for ease ie:(1/2 of 13 1/2 = 6 3/4″) and mark this measurement to either side of the top line  and mark the “U”.

Either side of the top line measures half of 6 3/4 = 3 3/8″

 

 

 

From top arm line measure up 5 1/2″  for cap height

(this is standard for all sizes). Mark this point “T”

On the front fold line measure up from the top arm line 1/2 of cap height + 1/4 ” ie:  (1/2 of  5/12 = 2  3/4″ + 1/4″ = 3″ –  Mark this point F.

On the back fold line measure up from the top arm line 1/2 of cap height + 1/2″

ie: (1/2 of 5 1/2 – 2 3/4″ + 1/2″ = 3 1/4″ for point B.

Now you are ready to connect the dots to form the shape of the armhole.

 

Join point “U” to “F” to “T” to “B” to “U” as seen in diagram.

This is the guide line.

To curve the sleeve two guide lines are needed.

  • 1:  Measure from point “U” on back UA line, along the top line 3/4″

Mark this “G”.  Join this to point “B”.

  • 2:  For the second guide line:  Measure from point U on front UA line, along the top arm line 1 3/4″

Mark this E.  Join this to point “F”.

 

 

Follow the points and use your French Rule to shape the curve of the sleeves.

 

 

To shape the wrist:

Along the wrist measure up 1/2″ on the front fold line.

Measure down 1/2″ on the back fold line.  See diagram.

 

 

Use french curve to make a smooth curve line.

 

  Note:  
The finished crown should be the total armhole measure + 2″ for ease.
ie: For a size 12 the total armhole is 16 1/4 + 2″ = 18 1/4″.
The front curve is deeper than the back.

 

When the draft is completed use tracing wheel and trace on to bristol board, indicating the UA lines, top line, elbow line, writs line and measurements.

We will use this block/sloper in subsequent tutorial to create different sleeve designs.

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A SKIRT PATTERN

In this tutorial  we’ll make a basic skirt pattern.  From this pattern you will be able to make a variety of styles which I will show in subsequent tutorials.

You will need:

A roll of brown paper, ruler, tracing wheel, tape measure, a yard stick. scissors, french rule, eraser, pencil.

(For the purpose of this tutorial I used white paper, for writing visibility)

Have your waist, hip and length of skirt measurement.
  • 1:  Measure paper half of hip measurement by length of skirt, determine the length of skirt plus 2″ for hem”.

 

  • In this tutorial the hip is 40″, waist is 30″ and skirt length is 26″

 

  • The width of the paper should be 20″ + 2″ for ease = 22″

 

  • Length of the paper should be 26″ + 2″ for hem = 28″

 

  • (Paper should measure 22″ x 26″

 

(These measurements are examples for the sake of the tutorial, you will be using your own measurements)

 

  • The top line of the paper is the waist line

 

  • 2:  From the top line of paper measure 4″ down from the waist, this is the upper hip area. Draw a horizontal line across

 

  • 3:  From the top line of paper measure 9″ down from the waist, this is the lower or real hip area.  Draw a horizontal line across.

 

  • 4:  Measure down the length of skirt draw a horizontal line across the natural skirt length, the extra 2″ is the hem.

 

  • 5:  Fold paper in half and draw line down the center.  The left line is the center back (CB) of skirt the right line is center front ((CF) refer to diagram.

 

You now have skirt back and skirt front.  1/4 of hip skirt front = 11″ – 1/4 of hip skirt back = 11″

 

Now you have to shape the waist and place the darts.

 

  • On the waist line from CB measure 4″, mark with pencil, measure 11/4″ this is the width of the back dart, measure 5″ down this is the length of the back dart.

 

  • On either side of the 5″ center line measure 1/2 of 11/4″ ( 11/4 divide by 2 = 5/8 on either side) and draw a line to meet at the center forming a triangle.

 

  • This is the back skirt dart as seen in diagram.

 

  • On the waist line from CF measure 4″, mark with pencil, measure 1″ for width of front dart, measure down 4″ this is the length of the front dart.

 

  • On either side of the 4″ center line measure 1/2 of  1″ (1″ divide by 2 = 1/2″ on either side) and draw a line to meet at the center forming a triangle.

 

  • This is the front skirt dart as seen in diagram.

 

Before shaping the waist verify the measurements are correct.

Bear in mind that patterns are quarter the circumference of your measurements and are placed on fold line for cutting;

ie: if your waist measurement is 30″ the finished pattern should be:

  • 1/4 of the waist measurement = 7 1/2.

 

  • Skirt Front: 7 1/2 + 1″dart = 81/2″

 

  • Skirt Back 7 1/2 + 1 1/4″ = 8 3/4″

 

  • For a 40″hip, 1/4 of hip measurement = 10″

 

To shape waist. raise 1/8″ at the sides and drop 1/4″ at the center front, (CF) and center back (CB) and shape with French Curve. (See diagram below)

Always add 3/4″ seam allowance.

 

 

 

The final step is to transfer the draft on to the bristol or hard board, to do this you will need a tracing wheel and hard or bristol board, purchased at any craft store.

 

Place pattern on bristol or hard board and trace with tracing wheel, included all the markings including darts.

Outline with pencil  include:

Upper hip line, lower hip line, and all measurements and markings.

This will be your permanent skirt block, from this basic block you can create just about any style skirt.

 

Always allow 3/4″ seam allowance

 

 

 

 

 

 HOW TO MAKE A BODICE PATTERN
In this tutorial you’ll make a basic bodice pattern.  From this pattern you will be able to create stunning designs by just manipulating the darts.
You will need:
  • A roll of brown paper, ruler, tracing wheel, tape measure, a yard stick. scissors, french rule, eraser, pencil.

 

  • (For the purpose of this tutorial I used white paper, for writing visibility)

(For the purpose of this tutorial I’ll use the bust measurement 38″ and 40″ hip)

  • 1:  Measure the paper half of the bust or hip measurement plus 2″ for ease whichever is larger with an extra 2″ for margin.

2:  Divide the paper in two which will be a 1/4 of the body measurement.  (See diagram below)

3:  Draw a line parallel to the left edge of the paper at a distance of 1″.  this is your center back line (cb)

4:  Draw a another line parallel to this line also 1″ inside of the right edge of the paper.  This is the center front line (cf).

5:  Draw a line at top of the paper  1″ from the top of paper this is the top line.

6:  From the top line measure 26″ down this will be the approximate hip line where your bodice draft will end.

7:  Divide the paper in half and draw a line down the center. (see diagram).

The Back
  • 1:  On the CB line mark point “0” 1″ below the top line.   (for bust 38″ and larger , point “0” will be 1 1/2″ down.
  • 2:  From point “0” down CB line, mark the following points, using your measurements.
  • 3:  Shoulder Line 1″ down from point “0” (fixed for all sizes)
  • 4:  Waist length (This is your neck to waist measurements)
  • 5:  Bust Line 8 1/4″ (For bust 36 – 38″ it is 8/ 1/2″ down, then 1/4″ more for every size bigger.  (ie: For bust 32″ it will be 8″ for bust 34 it will be 8 1/4″)

 

  • 6:  Back Line 4 1/8″ (This is always half way between points “0” and the bust line)

 

  •  7:  Hip Line 25 3/4″ or 9″ from the waist line.
The Front

You have already drawn a line across the waist and bust line.

Point “0” on the CF is at the intersection of the top line.  This is 1″ higher than the CB point “0”.

1:  From CF point “0” measure in 2 1/2″ draw a line down, then measure down 3″ draw  a line across (use french curve to connect and shape neck line. (see diagram)

2:  Chest line:  From the bust line measure up 1 1/2″ to determine chest line.  Draw line using measurement 1/4 of your chest measurement

3:  True bust line:  1″ below the bust line.

Shoulder Line and Shoulder dart:

a)  Measure the width of your shoulder plus 2 1/2″ for dart (ie if shoulder measure 5″+2 1/2″ for dart = 7 1/2″)  to determine shoulder point (SP) measure 2 3/4″ from top line.

b)  From your neck point measure down to the tip of your bust (nipples) this is the length of the dart.  (This dart will be modified and moved around for different designs)

c)  Take half of 7 1/2″ measurement, for center of dart and draw line to tip of bust.

d)  Next measure 1 1/4″ both sides of center and draw line meeting at tip of bust (see diagram)

e)  Fold shoulder dart to face neckline, use tracing wheel to draw line from neck to shoulder point (SP). Open and trace perforated line.  It will form a dart mouth (see diagram)

f)  To shape the armhole:  Use the french curve shaping from SP to bust line.

(Finished armhole = Top arm measurement + 4 1/2″.)

Waist Line:

1/4 of waist (ie if waist line is 30″=7 1/2″+ 2″ for ease + 2″ for dart.

a)  To determine center of dart mark directly under tip of bust on waistline then measure and mark 1″ on either side.  At CF measure down 1/4″ and reshape waistline.

b)  To shape draw line from underarm to waist.
To shape the hips use french curve to slightly curve hips.

c)  For the back bodice.  The shoulder dart is 1 1/2″, and is shaped using the same method as the front shoulder

d)  The back waist dart is 1 3/4″, follow the same as the front dart, but without the 1/4″ waist shaping.

When the draft is completed use tracing wheel and trace on to bristol board, indicating darts, bust line and waist line and seen in above diagram.

We will use this block/sloper in subsequent tutorial to create amazing designs.

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