So yesterday I managed to break off the "e" on my keyboard while cleaning it and it seems I'll need a replacement. Instead of pressing an "e" key I have to press this soft rubber nipple-thing -- ewww.
I'm trying to use as few "e" words as possible, but do you r-aliz how difficult that is?
Ystrday (I'll stop now) I dove into my Dorothy Moore pattern drafting book -- why wait? First thing I did was have Michael help me take all my measurements. It seems I've added an inch to my waist this past year, no doubt from all that sedentary seam ripping.
It's all very straight forward so far. Of course, a critical measurement is the waist, which in contemporary men's casual clothes at least, hardly factors in anywhere; most men's pants go no further north than the hips. But I decided I'd use my real waist, which is actually quite high (to me) on my body -- a few inches above my bellybutton.
The first project -- and Moore is very clear about the importance of working project by project and not jumping ahead -- is for a straight skirt. Look, Ma, I'm drafting!
I already had the pattern paper and all the (few) supplies you need to get started. Below is the diagram you work from and the directions are very detailed. I made one change: since my darts are very narrow given that there's only a 5" difference between my waist (31") and my hips (36"), I made just one 1/2" dart (on either side of the skirt front and back) instead of two 1/4" darts. It looks better.
Obviously, the greater the difference between one's waist and one's hips, the wider the darts will be, since they're what give the fabric it's three dimensionality. Does that make sense?
One of the things you don't do with Moore's pattern drafting system is add seam allowances to the pattern. Seam allowances are added only to the fabric before you cut it. Except for necklines, armholes and hems, seam allowances are one inch. It all takes some getting used to. The first time I cut my fabric (an old cotton/poly sheet) I cut right up to the pattern's edge despite having just marked a 1" seam allowance (d'oh!), and had to do it again. Old habits...
Anyway, I'm not quite done -- I still need to add the waistband-- but you can get an idea of how it's coming. I even learned how to make a kick pleat, which to my surprise doesn't involve kicking at all!
Where I'm holding my left hand (the skirt doesn't have a zipper yet) is just below my real waist -- can you see that slight indentation on the left? I think I have a somewhat distorted view of my own proportions...but who doesn't?
Anyway, I plan to finish this today and then move on from there. I really love learning how measurements relate to one another and why. I think it will make it much easier for me to make adjustments to commercial patterns when I need to. I'm obviously already very invested in commercial patterns and I'm not going to just stop using them (I don't think). But hopefully I'll be more skilled at altering them.
Have you ever drafted a pattern from scratch? It feels very freeing so far, though it does require careful measuring.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!