Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Learning to Draft patterns.

I bought Make Your Own Patterns by Rene Bergh. I used my 40% off coupon from JoAnn, so the cost was only $10.77. After a preliminary reading, I think I could make a pattern for a simple pullover blouse and skirt. The book gives step by step detailed directions on drafting each line in a bodice front and back, sleeve, pants and skirt. Then, it gives directions for drafting style details like gathers at the neck, shawl collar, kimono sleeves and pleated pants. There is even a chapter on drafting a pattern for jeans. Quarter scale pattern pieces are included with directions on how to grade up the pieces. If I never draft a pattern piece, the information on grading up will be worth at least the $10.77 I spent.

This is the first book on pattern drafting I've read, so I have nothing to compare. This 127 page book isn't intended to be a definitive text on pattern drafting. I still would like a little more information on grading-up. It is a good introduction, though. Now that I've seen this introduction, I can look for the additional resources I need. After I work through a few pieces in this book, I can move up to a more "intense" text.


  1. Hi Elaray-
    I've been interested in looking at some books on pattern drafting to help me for redrafting patterns for fit. Do you think this book falls in that category?

  2. This book focuses on drafting original patterns more than redrafting patterns. I use Fitting Finesse by Nancy Zeiman for redrafting for fit.

  3. The basic idea behind pattern drafting is that you start from a sloper, so you don't need to change anything for fit. The fun thing about it is how many things you can make from a pattern that already fits if you play around with drafting. I'm glad to see that there's an affordable book out there now - the ones I have are textbooks, and were $60 each when I bought them more than a decade ago. If you're really interested in learning as much as you can, you might be able to find copies on ebay or used on Amazon. They're "pattern Making by the Flat Pattern Method," by Norma Hollen and Carolyn Kundel, ISBN 0-02-356312-5, and "Patternmaking for Fashion Design" by Helen Joseph-Armstrong, ISBN 0-321-03423-6. The Hollen book is a little easier to understand if you're just starting out, but they're both outstanding resources.