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Showing posts from April, 2015

Section 8: PDF Pattern Design and Grading

While I currently struggle more with the PDF aspect in pattern design (technical design was never my strong suit), I'd like to end this series with a post about PDF pattern design and pattern grading. This is in no means comprehensive, but I will provide many links in order to make your self-learning process a little less confusing.

I've spoken with independent pattern designers in the past, and many use a similar process for pattern design though everyone has different techniques.

My college spread technical design into a few courses, some being Computer Patternmaking and Production Systems. From all my notes, it appears I took at least one of these courses in 2006, so perhaps my information is dated.

My old binder for Computer Patternmaking in 2006. Yup, liked vintage fashion even then!
In the industry, there is an absolutely completely different system for importing your patterns into the computer (a giant table where you apply grade rules to each point of the pattern). Aft…

Psych Lace Dress and Zwan

Sometimes I like to make life difficult for myself and this dress experiment is no exception.

This is one of those designs that came to me one day and I just had to get working on it. The process I used to make it is much like the Trafalgar Dress.
I created a silhouette I wanted and then went ahead and traced the lines I wanted onto the muslin. I had also recently seen this tutorial on sewing opposing curves without pins and wanted to try it for myself. Lately, I have been cranking through the fabric I have and I have a TON of little teeny scraps. Needless to say, I used the scraps for the colorblocking on this dress. 

The dress isn't 110% perfect as the opposing curves even though clipped and pressed (a ton) still don't lay entirely flat, but I am mostly pleased with the design detailing of it. The dress is also fully lined! I needed a way to encase all of the clipping that was going on, so I just went for a full lining. 


Here are some photos of it on my dressform....



I had…

Section 7: Digital Textile Design

Hey everyone!

This is something I have been playing with a bit lately - digital textile design! In this post, I will be taking you step-by-step with how to do your own seamless prints for Spoonflower.

 (Side note: I've fixed that off-color blue in there since this repeat was saved last)

 Back in college in 2007 or so, I took a surface design class where digital print design was part of what we learned. Fashion design school will generally teach you a bunch of surface design techniques - from distressing denim, to screen printing, to a batik, hand-stamping, fabric dyeing, and lastly, digital design.

Digital print design was a little lesser-focused on back then. One of the most exciting things to happen not long ago for print designers is Spoonflower. Before them, there was almost no way for anyone at home to a repeat on fabric except by hand. We had a giant fabric printer in one of the design labs at school, but we only got to use it once to print out our "scarf" designs…

Section 6: Advanced Patternmaking, Concept to Creation

Hope you guys didn't get too frustrated out there drafting your blocks!

Patternmaking can be tedious and there is a lot to learn. It took me about almost 5 years after design school to be comfortable with patternmaking and to be confident in my drafting skills. This doesn't mean you will take as long to learn as me, but note that there are MANY elements to learn in pattern drafting, many mistakes to be made, and lots of trial and error.

Be patient and kind to yourself and soon enough you will be drafting like a pro!

That being said, let's go over the process of patternmaking from concept to creation with lots of little tips and tricks and the basics that you need to pay attention to while patternmaking.

Patternmaking 2 is yet again another 11-week class but I don't think that is nearly enough time to learn how to be proficient in making your own patterns. Take your time learning! There is a lot of ground to cover. As such, this will be a fairly long post. 

You will ne…

Space Dress Redux

So I had this dress I like to call "The Space Dress" hanging around in my closet upstairs and I thought, "Why don't I ever wear that thing?" Then I realized it was the sleeves. So I took them off!



I made this dress sometime back in 2012 and apparently a few things have changed about my body since I last wore it. I can't even believe 2012 is 3 years ago. Observe how the exact same dress fit me back then.

I always have my measurements saved in my pattern making book somwhere and around then, the measured at 33" but in 2015.... I have gained nearly 2 inches on my hips! Thus, less movement and more....bunchiness. Whoops.

My bust size has also increased an inch and my waist is only about a 1/2" bigger so... yeah. I guess I have a more womanly body at almost 30 years old now. Either that, or it's a combo of winter weight as well as living in Michigan and driving all the time. Or maybe I've had time to relax and actually not be stressed out. Wh…

Section 5: Preparing For Patternmaking

Patternmaking is by far one of my favorite aspects of fashion design. This is where you make your ideas come to life! With patternmaking, you are only limited by your imagination.

Much like fashion design school, this will be broken down into two segments. In Patternmaking 1, you get familiar with the basic concepts of patternmaking, making your pattern blocks, and learning about fit adjustments.

Patternmaking 2 is more about applying those skills you learned in Patternmaking 1 and you get to actually design your own garment after practicing some advanced patternmaking skills.

We can go ahead a refer to this section as Patternmaking 1.

First, let's gather together our tools!


Seen here is what I consider some of the bare minimum tools for patternmaking, minus your specialized design rulers.

Paper scissors vs fabric scissors - Yes! Please follow this rule. I didn't for a long time, and the black Mundial scissors shown used to be fabric scissors. Paper dulled them way down. The o…