This post is about patterns and one of the biggest dilemmas that arise when we start sewing: what is better? To make your patterns or buy made patterns?
First of all, for all those who are not familiar with the word “patterns”, a pattern is a drawing of anything we are going to sew. It is the template that we will use to cut the fabric with the shape of the pieces that will be in our sewing project.
Many people start in the world of sewing through commercial patterns, which are basically patterns sold in sewing and craft stores. They are very functional patterns and in them you can find endless clothes designs. The commercial patterns come in envelopes or in PDF, and with one purchase you get the drawing of several sizes.
The advantages of a commercial pattern are undoubtedly endless, except for learning to read their complex language, it advances many steps and allows us to start sewing with projects that are already drawn and have already been tested by the brands that sell them to us. And with proven ones I mean that this drawing has already passed a series of quality controls that assure us that the garment that we will sew will be functional if we follow the suggestions that the same pattern gives us, and this is another advantage of the commercial patterns, the ones that come in envelopes above all, they come with instructions that tell us EVERYTHING we must do to make the garment that we see in the photo or illustration of the pattern, they tell us what type of fabric to use, how much we will need, what accessories the garment carries, etc.
On the other hand is the wonderful world of pattern making, which basically consists of drawing from scratch your own patterns and learning from experience what fabrics to use, the quantities of fabrics, accessories, etc.
Personally, the two main advantages that I find in this work system is that you can create ANY design that you can think of without having to look for it in any store or website. The second advantage is that, although at the beginning it is a confusing and complex world, the pattern allows us to acquire an incredible knowledge about the functioning of the human anatomy and that will undoubtedly be reflected in the final results of our garments and in the ability to innovate that we will have when creating clothes or accessories.
Learning pattern design requires practice but it is much simpler than we imagine and gives an incredible added value to our work. If you ask me what I recommend the most, I will have to say that I recommend, with my eyes closed, to know how to move and work with both types of patterns, both commercial and the ones made from scratch.
We should not go through sewing without knowing how to interpret and work commercial patterns but I also think we shouldn’t go through sewing without knowing how to trace those patterns ourselves. And do not get me wrong, my grandmother, who has been my great source of inspiration, was a great seamstress who never learned to draw a pattern but relied on commercial patterns, and that did not limit her work or deteriorate the final result of her clothes, but the truth is that many times she faced certain limitations for not encouraging herself to learn pattern making.
Both knowledges are incredibly valuable and the sum of the two will improve our work in sewing marvelously.
Now, tell me, what is your experience with patterns and pattern making?
Now that you know more about patters, it’s time to get back to sewing. Here is my list of recommended sewing accessories and tools. Sometimes inventory can finish really fast, so order them today, and use my affiliate links to get the best prices.
AmazonBasics Foldable Storage Bins Cubes Organizer, 6-Pack, Gray https://amzn.to/3bGEs4z
IRIS USA, Inc. CNL-5 Storage Box, 5 Quart, Clear, 20 Pack https://amzn.to/2WUf6MI
Wall Control 30-P-3232GV Galvanized Steel Pegboard Pack https://amzn.to/3dFvp5M
Simple Houseware Heavy Duty Clothing Garment Rack, Chrome https://amzn.to/3dHC3bW
New Apple iPad (10.2-Inch, Wi-Fi, 32GB) https://amzn.to/33TStJM
Other sewing tools and materials:
Color Head Straight Pins: https://amzn.to/2vLxlJ3
Hand Needles: https://amzn.to/3arV7Jj
Pin Cushion “Hedgehog” https://amzn.to/3drvTMU
Professional Tailors Chalk https://amzn.to/2JcJlGI
Tracing Paper https://amzn.to/2QILwFT
Tracing Wheel https://amzn.to/3afF5SF
Bias Tape Maker https://amzn.to/33Gtfyc
Dressmaker Shears: https://amzn.to/2y8CqMt
Buttonhole scissors: https://amzn.to/3dy39Ch
Pinking shears: https://amzn.to/39nhRbS
Thread clipper: https://amzn.to/2xC6UG0
Paper scissors: https://amzn.to/2WRaeYx
Image source: istitutomarangoni.com