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Drafting methods, basic blocks & fitting adjustments

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tenebris (empathy)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:28 am    Post subject: Drafting methods, basic blocks & fitting adjustments Reply with quote

Some of the new films have costumes that it can be quite difficult to find commercial patterns for. It's sometimes less work to start from scratch.

Here is some info on making your own blocks, which is a basic pattern that's close to your body, you can then add design elements to, ie collars, cuffs, seam detail.

Just to note, if your body is hard to fit (like mine) you may need to tweak a block even if its directly made from your measurements.

Article on slopers ( in the UK we generally call them basic blocks)

Ready made blocks

Pattern Lab are a company who make a basic block for you, from your measurements and you print off a PDF pattern. (once its downloaded its yours to print as you want). I have a very hard to fit body and they did a pretty good job of mine. You do it all online, its all computerized so it's instant. I think i paid £8 so pretty reasonable. You can change the ease (how much room is in the garment) and the dart placement. They will be doing trousers and mens blocks soon.

Taking a pattern from an existing garment

Fitting Shells

Pattern companies make 'shells' or basic block patterns you can further adjust to fit your body.

Vogue 1004

Vogue 1003 : trousers








Measuring yourself

Tutorial from pattern lab

Traditional Pattern cutting/drafting books:

Winifred Aldrich Metric pattern cutting: is the book they still use on alot of UK degree fashion and pattern cutting courses, it teaches you to draft your own basic blocks from measurements. Then how to add design elements.

Womenswear version
Menswear version

Designing Patterns :Martin Shoben

teaches you to draft your own basic blocks from measurements. Then how to add design elements. It also includes info on pressing and making up.

Designing patterns - Hilary Campbell

Drafting from measurements

[u]Less traditional Block making books[/u]

Pattern cutting primer

Making a block from a square grid in S, M, L it has a bit of drafting a bit of draping and design elements.

This book is good because you can create the basic blocks for making your own patterns by upscale onto grid paper and it also includes some core sewing info.

How to adapt and design sewing patterns

Create the perfect fit: Joi Mahon

This book is a less traditional approach, she uses a fitting shell pattern. Vogue 1004, but it also teaches you to apply the method to any pattern.

Fitting books

Fitting and pattern alteration (this book is pretty hardcore and has 3 different methods for fit alteration and alot of fit defects I've not found in other books.)

Perfect fitting: Sarah Veblen

Lots of toile making

Pattern fitting with confidence, Nancy Zieman:

Complete fitting guide:

Fitting adjustments can be applied to any pattern, or basic blocks.

Fitting adjustments

Pictorial Guide for fitting adjustments, not the most technical, but gives you a good visual idea of fit issues:

Shoulder slope:

Shoulder adjustments:


Sleeve adjustment, to match shoulder adjustment:


High round back

Broad back:


Dart manipulation:

Full bust adjustment: (you you need more room in the bust area)

How to alter bust height:

Adding a dart and bust adjustment to a pattern with no dart:

Dress Forms

Having a dress form that mirrors or is similar to your body is important, especially if you have significant fit issues.

polystyrene with cover from ebay


How to make a duck tape dress form:

Dress form pattern from your measurements

They have a few options: Use over an existing dummy, custom from measurements, standard sizes. Men and women.

Padding a dressform to your shape.

Threads DIY

Fabulous fit set
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Duty Officer Home One Command, Elstree Base UK
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RebelLady (Kristina Gundersen)
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding this tutorial from Melly Sews:

How to Make a Bodice Pattern – Draft a Sloper of Block
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