Friday, July 9, 2021

Drafting a Dress Block

Following along with the pattern drafting series in CreativeBug means that I'm not really getting a lot of other sewing done! I've cut out three dresses from stash fabric that are now awaiting the sewing process, but in the meantime I've kept busy rewatching old seasons of the Great British Sewing Bee, and the lessons in the CreativeBug summer sewalong my guild is doing.

This week's lesson was pretty straightforward -- take a whole whack of measurements and draft out a basic dress block. This is based on your own measurements but also has a couple of standard issue elements like darts and armscye to add in. The next step is to sew up a muslin and do the fine tuning required. 

I found this quite straightforward. The lesson was easy to follow and the draft looks like a basic dress shape, that's for sure. In the class, it's drafted as front and back as one, with differing necklines drawn in. However, I usually prefer making my pattern as two pieces, front and back, since there are differing adjustments I like to make on each part for a better fit on my figure.

I'm not much of a muslin maker in my regular sewing life; I like to make as many flat pattern adjustments as I possibly can before starting on a project. So I think that I will also be doing the same here -- looking at the drafted pattern and evaluating if any of my usual adjustments need to be made around the dart length, bust point, back length etc. before starting my first muslin. Reduce any extra work in the muslin stage is my mantra. I'm hoping that because this is based on my own measurements to begin with that there won't be many changes to worry over. We will see...

My plan is to get my muslin sewn and tested, and adjustments made asap, so that I can sew up a sample dress testing out the theory that I can draft something wearable for myself. If so, I think I'll have a lot of fun with this over the next few months! Never mind the literal hundreds of dress patterns I own, I'll just make some of my own too. In all my spare time. 

I am enjoying the technical skills here and the very entry level style of pattern making that these classes offer. I do have the series of pattern drafting classes by Suzy Furrer on Craftsy as well, and perhaps after working my way through these Cal Patch classes I won't be so intimidated by the more complex work in the Suzy Furrer ones. It's always good to stretch the mind and learn something new, and I'm finding this sewalong is definitely delivering there. 


  1. Where have you been able to watch the Great British Sewing Bee? I am in Canada too and have never been able to find it anywhere.

  2. And of course, once you have that block all worked out there are so many resources how to use the block to add design features. Our library has multiple copies of Helen Armstrong's books, and I have a series by Antonio Donnanno. They are wonderful books. Good on you for actually doing it, I just spend so much time reading and dreaming of doing it!

    1. Exactly! I'm really hoping I can crack this. I have Helen Armstrong's book (an earlier edition) plus a number of other pattern drafting ones like Adele Margolis' and more. So I'm hoping to get something going!


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