If you are just starting out making your own patterns, it helps to first outline a Plan of Action rather than just diving in. The plan of action consists of looking at the Flat and any specification and making notes about what needs to be done, such as:
- determining many pattern pieces the design requires
- listing the pattern pieces
- making notes on what needs to be done for each pattern piece, or groups of pattern pieces (where relevant)
- doing any necessary calculations (e.g. how much needs to be added onto each pattern piece at the hem area)
Basically, you want to make sure you study the design and have everything you need to do laid out so that you don't overlook or forget anything.
You then refer to these notes when creating the pattern pieces.
My plan of action may be helpful if you are following along; you can see an overview of what I am planning to do.
How many pattern pieces?
The Flat gives the necessary information for the external pieces, but you also need to think about the internal pieces such as lining, facing, interfacing etc.
There are 10 Pattern Pieces for Dress 001. As it is fully lined, some pieces are the same for the fabric and the lining, and in the case of the waistband, the same for the fabric, lining and interfacing. The skirts lining is the same as the fabric with one difference; the lining is about 3 inches shorter than the fabric. For this reason I'm making separate pattern pieces for that lining.
- Bodice Front
- Waistband Front (also for lining & interfacing)
- Skirt Front
- Bodice Back
- Waistband Back (also for lining and interfacing)
- Skirt Back
- Skirt Lining Front
- Skirt Lining Back
- Bodice Front Interfacing
- Bodice Back Interfacing
Notes/Plan of Action for creating Pattern Pieces
Now in this section keep in mind that I'm walking through my thinking process. Although I am showing you images; these actions generally haven't happened - they are just in my head at the moment. I'm showing you the images so that the points make sense.
Although the is an Empire Line on this dress, it is not the standard Empire for which I have markings on the block; I will have to make some changes.
In the image for the POA Bodice I have removed the contour markings that aren't relevant so that it is easier to see the essential information.
First I will make my notes of what I need to change, then below I will go through how I've indicated this on the image.
- Make changes to the Empire Line markings to attach square waistband (rather than shaped midriff).
- The low front neck requires contouring.
- Sleeveless: if using basic Bodice Block, need to make adjustments. (Not relevant for me but if you were using your basic Bodice Block you would need to make these adjustments also).
Refer to the image:
- The green lines in the blocks at the top of the image show the standard empire line marks.
- The red lines in the blocks at the bottom show the changed EL markings, to attach a square waistband rather than the sloping and close fitting Empire Line midriff.
- The blue shaded portions on the bottom blocks shows the gape darts that needs to be moved into the waist dart.
Now you may be wondering why I have two different circles indicating my bust mound on my block. The larger circle is my actual bust mound and I use this for a loose fitting garment. The smaller one results in a higher tighter EL style. I decided to go for a closer fit with this dress, and my using the smaller circle.
The waistband is square, i.e. the same width at the waist level as it is at the under-bust level. It is 3 inches (8cm) wide.
- Need to measure the block at the under-bust/Empire Line level and add some ease to get the width of the waistband.
- Will need to make an adjustment to my skirt to increase the waist measurement so that it is the same measurement as the waistband.
- Need to increase the waist measurement to match the waistband measurement.
- Need to create a flared skirt from my skirt block, with a hem area of 110 inches (280 cm).
- The lining is the same as the skirt but shorter - as shown by the orange shading in the Pattern Pieces image at the top of the page.
I do not want (or need) interfacing on the whole Bodice Front and Bodice Back lining pieces - I will create the interfacing pattern pieces as I would facing, as shown by the orange shading in the Pattern Pieces image at the top of the page.