Pattern drafting / Video

Video: Pattern making tips for beginners

Want to start drafting your own patterns? Or perhaps you are already experimenting with it, but have encountered some roadblocks? Learning pattern making consists of a lot of trials and errors, because unfortunately there is no magic formula that will guarantee a perfectly fitting garment on our first attempt! But there are lots of things you can do that will vastly improve the end result, even if you are just starting out. So in this video, I share my best pattern making tips for when you are starting out learning pattern drafting.

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Pattern making books mentioned in the video

Amazon affiliate links

Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear

Metric Pattern Cutting for Menswear
Both by Winifred Aldrich

Practical Guide to Patternmaking for Fashion Designers: Menswear
By Lori Knowles

Patternmaking with Stretch Knit Fabrics
Julie Cole

Swedish pattern making books

Rita mönster av Gunilla Kruse

Mönster och konstruktioner av Inger Öberg

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  • Judith van der Leeden
    May 2, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Johanna,

    Thank you for all your inspiring and informative posts, live chats and video’s! Because of your enthusiasm about the coverstitch machine I bought one and now I find your recent book on the coverstitch machine really helpful to understand the machine. So thank you for that!
    But for now, I want to ask you something about the book Patternmaking with stretch knit fabrics, which, I must say, I also bought because of your recommendation! I learned pattern drafting by using different methods. I have the books of Winifred Alldrich, a Dutch method (Danckaerts), another Dutch method which is a mix of Alldrich and Danckaerts, and I also have the books of Teresa Gilewska. None of this books contain good information about pattern drafting for knits, so therefor I bought Julie Coles’ book.
    What I don’t understand regarding to this book, is her way of taking measurements (page 70). Her first measurement is “top of front form to base of neck”. What can she mean with this? Neck width, I suppose? As is the same with “top of form to bust” (top of shoulder to apex?) and “top of form to waist” (chest length?). You’ve already used this method for I think drafting the patterns of your tee’s you wear often in your video’s, so I really hope that you are able (and willing) to answer my question. I would love hearing from you! Cheers, Judith

  • Gabrielle
    April 9, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Judith, Hi Johanna, Although this post is a bit out of date, I want to contribute to the question of Judith because I meet exactly the same problem as she does when using Julie Cole’s book to make patterns for stretch fabric. The bust sloper is just impossible to make, the way she takes measurements from the top of the “mannequin” just does not make sense. So I tried to interprete the instructions, considering that what she calls “ligne repère” (I have the french edition) was the top of the shoulder line at the base of the neck, and I applied my usual measurements from there, but that does not work either because then you get a sloper that is much too long, because it is based on the front length which includes the breast volume. On the other hand, if you apply textually her instructions, it is too short, and the neckline is juste a nonsense, except, maybe, if you have exactly the same bust as the one she uses, but I don’t. Same for the pants, you just cannot understand how she draws the back waist, etc. I have been designing my own patterns for overs 40 years, and I just cannot use this book, so I do not understand why so many people say it is excellent, I wonder if they have just read through it without really trying to make the slopers. But a few people do meet the same problems as Judith and I, so … Johanna I do have your book on sewing with stretch and I love it, so , as Judith, I would be very happy to know if you had some success with making a sloper from this book, and if you did, I would be very grateful if you could explain how to deal with these measurements of Julie Cole. Thanks in advance, and sorry for my poor English speaking, Gabrielle


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