Hi Ya’ll. For the past few weeks, little by little, I have been working on recreating a Dior dress from Kandi Buruss’ Instagram page. It’s a denim dress with a semi-fitted bodice, exposed zipper and gathered skirt. My favorite part of the dress is the applique on the upper bodice. It makes the dress pop and elevates the casual silhouette.
Since I didn’t have a similar pattern on hand, I decided to draft my own pattern for this recreation. In this post, I’m going to share with you my some tips and tricks of my pattern drafting methods.
Disclaimer! I am not an advanced sewer by any means. I am still learning through trial and error and from my fellow sewist out here on social media. However, I have acquired enough skills to manipulate commercial patterns and draft simple patterns freehand.
- Pattern Mash-Ups. This is the easiest method of “drafting.” This is when you take pieces from a commercial pattern to create the pattern you want with little to no alteration. The key to making this method work is reading. You must read the finish pattern measurements, fabric suggestions and markings. If not, you could end up with the top being too long, or the seams not aligning or poor fit.
- Semi-Drafted. This is the method I used for the bodice of the dress. I took a commercial pattern bodice, used it as a guide and made several modification to get my desired look. When using this method, you want to use a sloper that’s similar to the garment you want to recreate. You also want to select a sloper you’ve used before. This is to ensure it will fit well and provide a silhouette comparable to your desired garment. With this method, you can also use a garment you’ve bought from a store as a guide as well.
- Freehand. This method can be easy and hard as it depends on what you’re trying to recreate. For me, this method is easy for loose-fitting garments without a lot of frills like pajama pants or gathered skirts. Still, you can use this method to create something more fitted and detailed like a formal gown. If you’re trying to make a more fitted or detailed garment, I suggest you invest in a dress form.
- Full Draft. This method is advanced. You don’t have to be formally trained to use this method but you will need to have an understanding of patterns, fit, measurements, ease and adjustments. This method the most cumbersome as you may have to do several mockups before you get the fit right. The positive to this method is that your garment usually turns out great because it it molded to your body. There are a lot of good textbooks and YouTube videos that will walk you through this process step by step.
Muslin is your friend! I’ve tried all the methods I mentioned above and the key to success is to create a muslin mockup. I know, it’s time consuming. If you’re anything like me you want to get straight to sewing but I’m speaking from experience and a trial runs is essential. Don’t mess up your fabric because you’re impatient.
Invest in drafting paper. Nothing is worse than making a beautiful garment and forgetting to capture the design on paper. Plus, I find it helps with making adjustments by drafting a pattern block. You can take the adjustments from your muslin mockup and translate that back to your block for future use.
Hope you all enjoyed this post and I’ll see you next week.
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