Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Magical World of Pattern Making...Read More

Friends, the purpose of today's post is to talk about sewing patterns and a fascinating world of pattern-making...

Do you buy  or make your own patterns? 

That  was the question I've asked myself few years ago. My sewing journey started by the coincidence (so to speak). The catalyst for this hobby was a  dress that I saw  one day  in the magazine for my sister. Btw, the dress   was nothing over the top. The beauty of the dress was in its simplicity.

That day was a  pivotal day.  It is the day i embarked on my sewing journey. The simple dress managed to ignite the desire  and curiosity in me; prompting me to learn the beauty and  the intricacies of sewing and pattern making. I feel blessed for this random coincidence (if you would like to call it that way). I didn't know I had a creative side in me until this moment.

I remember buying my first pattern which was Simplicity pattern,  and it was a skirt. Yes, my first project was the skirt. Now that I look back - what  a remarkable and a steep learning curve! I worked on the skirt for days. I didn't even know how to switch on and/or thread the sewing machine. In a  single line, An Extraordinary experience!!!

Luckily with my patience, perseverance and dedication,  lots have changed since then. At least now I know how to turn on my girls (that is what I call my sewing machines and the Baby Lock, the overlocker, is the Queen of ' em all). I went on to do  the private classes in pattern making - The  Guarino method (aka An Italian) pattern making method, which guarantees  perfect fit at all time.  I find the Guarino pattern making method extremely useful and efficient way  of creating bodice, pants or skirt pattern in a remarkably short time.

The Guarino Method of Pattern Making

1. Bodice. The key measurement for the bodice pattern is the chest size (that is right not the bust but chest size) The  rest is a  piece of cake -- it's just a matter of connecting the dots... Literally

2. Pants - the hips measurements are used for the trousers. Again. once you have that, the rest is a matter of connecting the dots.

For the purpose of this blog, I am using the pants  pattern, which i have done on the weekend, as an example ... See below

New Pants Pattern ...Next Step, Fitting!!!!

The Tools of Trade

Depending what are you creating, the main set of tools are two triangles.

The process is really easy and effective, and  it allows you to  create  the fitted bodice, designed just for your body!!!! Please note, this is a genuine article on the patternmaking method I like using and not a paid blog entry...I wish it was :)

If you are interested in finding out more about this rather unique yet effective pattern making method, feel free to go the website Mind you,  it is in Italian, but thanks to Google Translate that shouldn't be an issue.

In summary, I know how to  draft any pattern without any  special triangles. Nevertheless I  find this method extremely useful and tend to use it quite often.

Friends, what about you?  Do you draft your own or buy the patterns? Would you like to learn to draft patterns? Let me know, I'd be interested to know your thoughts? What pattern method do you use?

xxx Mike


  1. Very informative Blog. I drafted a pattern for boxer shorts. They turned out great. I would like to draft more patterns. Maybe one day when I get more experienced.

    1. I drafted my boxer shorts, too. They are the best fitting garment that I own! So comfortable. I'd love to learn more about the method you use.

  2. I love making my own patterns. It's like solving a big puzzle...and then having something pretty to wear afterward. But it takes so much more time (testing, then fixing and retesting, etc) than sewing from a ready-made pattern, so when I'm limited in time but really want to sew (as I have been this whole year!) I choose something from Vogue, Simplicity, etc and then adapt it to my figure using my slopers. I also keep forgetting to buy pattern paper....

  3. The more I sew the more I realize that you can design things yourself but you have to have an intimate knowledge of how things are made. I like your bravery to do this yourself. It's fantastic to see that. I am experimenting myself but not ready to jump yet to drafting. I will be watching and taking more and more chances with sewing. Thanks for helping me with this.

  4. Where did you find the Guarino patterns? I've been looking everywhere for the men's with no luck...