My first self-drafted pants -- well, culottes, but still. I made these yesterday from an obnoxious Ralph Lauren "preppy teddy bear" print flat sheet that I was thrilled to take a rotary cutter to. On the plus side it was a soft, densely woven cotton that was easy to work with. And I installed my first invisible zipper without the aid of Collins Wonder Tape, just pins. No sticky gunk.
Guys, I made an important breakthrough: pants are just skirts with legs.
To draft these culottes all you do is trace your pencil skirt pattern (Lesson 1) and add an inseam, which is basically just an approximately 4" wide rectangle starting from the bottom of your crotch down to your hem, with the inside right angle rounded to a curve.
Here's a pic. That panel on the left is the only difference between a skirt and culottes.
Because I don't have a swayback, there's little difference between front and back other than the depth and placement of darts -- also identical to the pencil skirt.
To quote Doris Day, "If I can do it, you can do it!"
Today I'm taking on a more fitted pair of pants -- keep your fingers crossed.
Daily, I read so much about people's struggles with fit -- I think we bloggers would lose 75% of our material without it. Once you learn to draft you don't have to struggle with all that anymore.
That's the beauty of drafting: you're using your own body's measurements, so provided you can handle a little math and draw a straight and curved line (and there are a zillion aids to help you), things are going to fit. You don't have to waste time with endless pattern adjustments. You can still use commercial patterns for inspiration and/or for the parts of your body that are easier to fit.
That's my beginner's insight anyway; we'll see how it goes from here. I doubt I'll ever draft everything (I'm a pretty standard size) but it feels good to know why patterns are drawn the way they are and how to make my own.
Plus, sometimes you end up with a pair of cute teddy bear culottes in the bargain.
Have you ever drafted a pattern? If so, how did it go? If not, are you open to giving it a try?
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!