Your Patterns, Your Way!
Our friends at Named Patterns have rounded up their top three tips for making sewing patterns work for you and your style!
Understand Your Style
When deciding what to sew next, start by doing a little research of what you already have. Instead of making garments that already exist in your wardrobe, or that are completely different from your current style, make ones that your closet lacks, and that can be easily combined with the clothes that you already have. Make conscious decisions – detect what are the garments, colors and textures that you feel most comfortable wearing, and that feel like ’you’, and expand your selection towards that direction.
Know Your Body
Learn to know your body type, and teach yourself the most essential pattern alterations you might need to make in order to create garments that fit your shape. By ’knowing your body type’ we don’t mean categorizing yourself into an H or an O, an apple or a pear, body type is so much more than a letter or a fruit!
Having worn ill-fitting ready-to-wear for a long time might cause one to be completely unaware of what a well fitted garment is, so detecting fit errors can be a challenge at first. To put it in a nutshell: a garment should feel good and comfortable as it is, without having to be adjusted, rolled up, or otherwise manipulated all the time. The garment should fit you, not the other way around. Most of the fit issues (or at least the biggest ones) are in lengths, or around the bust, waist and hips. It is hard to give an unambiguous answer to all those fit issues in one sentence, but as a rool of tumb – if you feel any pulling, puffing or straining that makes you feel uncomfortable or restricts your movement too much, there might be a fit issue there, and it could be fixed!
Use this as a starting point, and then look for more information on pattern alterations online, from books or pattern courses. The good news is, that the more you sew and alter patterns, the more quick and confident you become in making them. Most often it is the same alteration that needs to be made to most patterns, so it will become a routine. And after that, you can enjoy garments that fit like no garment ever!
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Besides fit, you are always free to amend the style of your garment, too – and that is the true beauty of making your own clothes. If a pattern comes with long and pointy collar, but you prefer a neat round one, re-shape it. Do you prefer dresses with pockets? Add pockets. Does that midi dress look a bit too dull for your sassy style? Shorten that thing! Add seams for color blocks, remove or add details, try unexpected materials and color combos. Once again, spend some time figuring out, what it is that makes your favorite garments so enjoyable, and then adapt the same qualities to your new makes.
Remember that the sample made from the pattern might look like that, but you have nearly endless possibilities to adjust it. You do you!