Well Suited

This is a short but dedicated post for all those lovers of Vintage Style.  The focus is on using my fitted dress blockto design and cut your own vintage dress sewing patterns.  To work your way through the fitting process you can go to DOWNLOADS on the menu bar and checkout My Blocks PDF (downloads).  The Fitted Dress blockhas to be one of my favourites and the best place to start for fabulous dress designs.  You can also checkout some of my Members Blog posts that cover the fitting alterations for this block.  To Become a Member all that's required is a password to access even more pattern making magic.

For the past decade I've been going into secondary schools and teaching fashion illustration and every time I learn something new about teaching. Each year I develop new materials and techniques to make learning fashion illustration fun.  This year I decided to create some up-to-date illustration templates to use as a ILLUSTRATION TASK in the classroom. After reviewing some recent designer shows I generated about a dozen new images like those below.  Mostly featuring latest catwalk fashion and they were so well received in the classroom I'm thinking of making them into a colouring book that everyone can access online.

Following on from the Skirt Block and Design Options post I've separated skirt designs that use a stretch skirt block to start your pattern development.  You can use my skirt block to make a stretch skirt block to use with all these pattern puzzle posts.  Some of them have been sampled and those sample posts are also included here.

Last Saturday we swapped our regular #PatternPuzzle for some #PatternFundamentals.  The focus of the conversation was GAPE DARTS and how to use them in your pattern making to get a better result in your first toile of new designs.  You may know them as contouring darts as suggested by Alexandria of In-House Patterns.

As a follow-on from Taking Body Measurements, this tutorial will help everyone understand garment ease, what it's for and how to use it in pattern making.  Garment ease is the minimum amount of fabric we add to our body measurements so that our woven garments are comfortable in wearing.  That is, enough extra fabric to sit comfortably, bend your elbow, reach forward to grip the steering wheel when you drive your car or use the computer, sit down, eat lunch, bend your knees, etc.  When fitting basics blocks for woven fabrics, you'll always include the full ease allowance and when you cut patterns from these blocks you can alter the ease to suit the design and fabric you're cutting.

Moving beyond your first skirt patterns to drape skirt patterns:  To work with these more complex skirt patterns you would need to have confidence in your skirt block.  By that I mean you know if fits because you've used it to make number of skirt patterns.   A small fitting or shape error in your basic skirt block will have some impact on outcome of these skirts.  Try my graded set of skirt blocks for any of these delicious drape skirt patterns.  Or you can try this pattern for yourself.  You'll find my Drape Gather Skirt Sizes 6-22 on the website as a PDF download.

My women's fitted block is a tailored, rather formal fit with the side seam sitting towards the back of the body.  The front block is 4cm wider then the back block.  This is a more tailored fitting and entirely appropriate for many garment types.  It's especially fabulous when used to make a a corset block or tailored jacket block.  The PDF download from the website is the original block and ideal for your toile fittings before cutting any dress patterns.  However many designs will work better if you equalise your dress block, in particular drape dress designs.

My women's fitted block is drafted past the waist, down to the hip level.  It's currently available as a pdf download here.  Although most drafting systems for a women's bodice blocks stop at the waist, it's essential for modern or commercial pattern making to have a bodice block that is fitted to the hip line and ready for both shirt and dress pattern making.  The addition of length past the hip line to the knee level renders this basic fitted block into a dress block.  Drop your centre front and centre back line and side seams straight down to your knee level and square across for the hemline.  Check the hip curve of your dress block, at the hipline, to make sure it has a clean curve after you have added the extra length to the knee level.

This is another in the post series where I curate my many blog posts so you can use them to self-train at your own pace.  This post is focussed on my basic skirt block and I've listed all the pattern puzzle posts that use this block.  Because there are so many posts, I've decided to separate the designs that need a stretch skirt block and I'll be featuring them in a separate post.  And my more demanding drape skirt patterns will be posted separately.
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