28 Sep. 2009

Making my own patterns

I find myself starting to learn how to make my own patterns. Or maybe I started long time ago and I just got some progress recently. I guess I'm the kind of person who prefers doing everything from scratch with minimal aid. Maybe it's because I hate anything commercial, or maybe I just hate spending money.

I've browsed a lot of Chinese websites where people discuss about making their own clothes and upload their own books which have illustrations to tell you how to make your own patterns. After seeing many many photos, I kind of have an idea of the basic shapes of the basic patterns, and I've also got a bit of idea of some simple variations. I find myself starting to try to draw the simple patterns on a piece of scrap paper and think about how it'll work and find errors and modify it.

It seems that there's no real sized patterns produced in China. All the patterns are illustrated on books with measurements (which I can't understand) and you need to work out your own from the books. I think it's great because you don't rely on commercial patterns. Thinking of how much it costs to buy a commercial pattern for RRP price, it'll save the sewer a big amount of money by just making her own patterns. I used to buy patterns at half price sale in Spotty but they were still too expensive for me. Then I bought a lot of vintage patterns from charity shops for 50c to $1 each. Then I realized that most of them are quite similar. Maybe just some small details are different and it's called another pattern.

I remember when I was little I saw my mom drawing out her patterns using chalks (maybe sewing chalks) straight on fabrics before she cut them out, or cutting her patterns from newspaper for future use. These techniques cost almost nothing, yet you get a very good fit because you use your own measurements to make the pattern, not the approximate commercial pattern.

I also find using commercial pattern is annoying because the paper is too big and I need a big room to lay it out and I need some kind of transparent paper to trace the pattern so I have to spend money on buying the transparent paper too. Newspaper cost nothing as we receive community newspaper twice a week.

I don't think I'll buy any more patterns. I believe the patterns I've got at the moment can give me enough inspirations to design my own clothes.

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