Adventures in Pattern Making: Take 1

Zig Zag Skirt

A little over a month ago now, I took that pattern-making class at the local art college and in the weeks leading up to our Philly trip I tried my hand at my first pattern-drafting project.  As one might expect for a first go, this one had its ups and downs and a number of changes along the way.

Big change #1 - this started out as a dress. I'd carefully drafted and sewed together a bodice and had started doing some draping with a skirt when I realized that this pattern was waaaaayyy to busy for a head to toe garment, at least for me.  As

just a top I wasn't digging it, so I turned my focus to skirt portion. (As I side note, I wouldn't recommend using a heavily patterned/directional fabric like this for your first drafting project, but then again I never did anything the easy way).

Skirt on Hanger

Over all it's a pretty basic high-waisted a-line skirt, but it's rather fitted. The most major design feature in it's construction is the inverse pleats at the waist.

Big Change #2 - the pleats were originally mirrored on the reverse side for shaping, but that made the posterior region look terrrrrible.  So again, we adapt. I ended up moving the shaping into the zipper seam and let me say that it's an interesting experience trying to put tailoring/pins marks on the backside of something that you are wearing and then trying to take it off. That said, it only took three round of basing stitches to get a well fitting seam that didn't make me look like I was wearing a bustle.


After that it was just finishing, which was easy. In honor of clean lines and hand-sewing month at Sew Mam Sew! I handstitched both the waist band and hem, which looks really sleek.

Hand-Stitched Hem

Overall, I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It fits really well, though  in hindsight, I think I would have added an additional inch of ease in the hips (is that a pun?). But not too bad for a first try. I'm looking forward to doing more of this in the future!

Zig Zag Skirt

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The Learning Continues

I finished weaving my scarf this past week, which means my weaving class is sadly over, but it doesn't mean I'm done learning.

The first thing I did after Lent when I had use of my credit card again, was to register for a pattern-making class at the Maine College of Art (MECA). Since then I've been eagerly awaiting this weekend for the two-day intensive workshop.


It was well-worth the wait. Over the 12 course hours, my 12 classmates and I learned how to make a fitted sloper, how to adapt commercial patterns to fit better, how to recreate existing clothing and a teensy bit of draping.


Obviously we couldn't cover everything in such a short amount of time, but I felt I was solidly introduced to each of the methods and am hungry to do some research and practice and learn some more on my own.

Draping Detail

I'm eagerly waiting for college to publish the fall continuing studies catalogue to I can pick up some more art/design skills. But hopefully we may be seeing some Ms. Cleaver original designs gracing these pages soon!

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