The Great Pattern-Drafting Experiment

This project looks simple, but it has taken me many months to complete. Okay, I have to admit, over a year, but I wasn’t working on it that whole time. I haven’t sewn much for myself  in the last few years, mostly for my kids and our home. Part of that has been not wanting to spend so much time on something that might not fit me in the end. So when I heard about Cal Patch‘s book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes, I fantasized about making something to fit me perfectly.

Fiber July 1 – 5, 2011: Design (and MAKE!) Your Own Clothes with Cal Patch

I really like this book. The instructions are clear and written with a sense of humor. The projects are just the right speed for me——beyond beginner but simple enough not to be intimidating. But my favorite thing is that the book leaves lots of room for experimentation. So I like to flip through often and just dream about what I might create. For me, dreaming is more than half the fun.

That said, my first project doesn’t involve a lot of experimentation, besides the pattern drafting itself. It’s the first project in the book, with very little deviation besides the added waistband.

I crossed off a lot of firsts with this skirt. Besides my first self-drafted pattern, I also made my first muslin (trial run of the pattern in a cheap fabric), sewed my first invisible zipper, and used my first French seam. I now realize flat-felled seams would be better here, but oh well.

I’m not completely crazy about the skirt. There are a lot of flaws you can’t necessarily see here, and although the fabric is lovely and soft, I’m not sure what to wear it with. Just having made it feels like a big accomplishment, though.

Since I had plenty of fabric left over, I offered to make a skirt for my daughter, too (just a simple gathered rectangle). If you know me well, you know I’m really not a matchy-matchy type. Our bridesmaids didn’t even match. But my Little Miss loves matching, so she was totally hip to it, especially when I offered to add a floral strip at the bottom.

I love her styling choices here. She’s a bold little fashionista. I feel a mother-daughter matching day coming on. Oh, the things we do for our kids!

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5 thoughts on “The Great Pattern-Drafting Experiment

  1. Beautiful job, I will have to look at the book you referenced. It looks like one I would love, too. I want to sew for myself but I haven’t been very successful so far. Thanks for the great ideas!

    • Hey Jeny. I love this book. I don’t feel that successful either though I’m beginning to think that like with anything, I just need to keep at it to get better. Easier said than done.

  2. I’ve just hopped over from Burdastyle, after seeing your lovely linen dress. I think your skirt is lovely too and I am inspired to start making patterns myself. I’m just not sure where to start so this book sounds great. I would love to do a proper course and I do have have a branch of the London School of Fashion close by but realistically, with children and house and work… and sewing time… that leaves no time! Love how arty and crafty your site is. Glad I found you :-)

    • Thanks so much! I’m so glad you stopped by. Yes, I know about children and housework. Most of my creative projects move at a snail’s pace. This was my first time working with linen. I love it, too, though I hope next time it won’t fade so strangely.

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