How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns pdf by Lee Hollahan


How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns

By Lee Hollahan

How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns

About this book 6
Chapter 1: Tools and materials 8
Essential equipment 10
Choosing fabrics 14
Chapter 2: All about
commercial patterns 18
Why use a commercial pattern? 20
How to measure accurately 22
Buying a commercial pattern 26
Understanding your pattern 28
Preparing a commercial pattern 30
Preparing your fabric 34
Pinning, marking and cutting out 42
Chapter 3: Altering a pattern 46
Simple alterations for
commercial patterns 48
Simple bodice alterations 50
Simple sleeve alterations 56
Simple skirt alterations 57
Simple dress alterations 60
Simple trouser alterations 61
Chapter 4: Designing your
own patterns 62
Creating your own pattern 64
Using pattern blocks 66
Making and fitting a toile 68
Advanced pattern alterations 72
Designing patterns 80
Simple dart manipulation 84
Styling sleeves and cuffs 88
Styling skirts 93
Styling dresses 96
Collar styles 100
Facings and waistbands 105
Pocket styles 108
Chapter 5: The pattern blocks 110
UK SIZE 8 pattern blocks 112
UK SIZE 10 pattern blocks 114
UK SIZE 12 pattern blocks 116
UK SIZE 14 pattern blocks 118
UK SIZE 16 pattern blocks 120
UK SIZE 18 pattern blocks 122
UK SIZE 20 pattern blocks 124
Chapter 6: Core sewing techniques 126
Glossary 140
Index 142
Credits 144
About this book
Making your own clothes allows you to get the perfect fi t, and once you have perfected the fi t, you can begin to add details of your own design. This book guides you through the process of using and adapting commercial sewing patterns to suit your body, and then moves on to explain how to create your own patterns using the pattern blocks provided in chapter 5.

Tools and materials
In this chapter, you‘ll fi nd all the information you need on the tools and materials essential for sewing and dressmaking. There is a guide to useful equipment and a full discussion on how to select the right fabric for your project.

Essential equipment
To get the desired quality of fi nish in your sewing projects, it’s important to have the right equipment. Over the next few pages, you’ll find a guide to the essential tools for dressmaking and for designing and adjusting patterns. A guide to the different types of fabric can be found on pages 14–17.

Dressmaker’s fabric shears
The long, straight, sharp blades of these shears give a smooth cut and are ideal for cutting fabric quickly. Often the handles are at an angle to the blades, so the blades can sit parallel to the cutting surface, ensuring the fabric remains flat. They have moulded handles, with a smaller hole for the thumb and a larger one for the fingers, and can be right- or left-handed. They should be used only on fabric.

Serrated scissors
The fine, serrated edges of these blades hold delicate, lightweight or soft fabric in place. They are ideal for fine fabrics, such as silk or satins.

Pinking shears
The blades of these shears have notched teeth that leave a definite zigzag edge on the cut fabric. This provides the ‘pinked’ cut that neatens the raw edges on seams and makes the fabric less likely to ravel.

Paper scissors
It’s essential to keep a pair of scissors just for paper. Using fabric shears for cutting paper patterns will cause the blades to become blunt. Paper scissors do not need sharp points, but they must be able to cut paper cleanly.

Pattern tracing wheel
Used with dressmaker’s carbon paper (also known as dressmaker’s tracing paper), this tool transfers the line markings to both sides of the fabric at once. The method is not suited for heavy or textured fabric, on which the marks would be hard to see.


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