Pattern drafting can be easy.
Now that I have annoyed the soul out of all the professional designers out there, let me explain. I am certain that drafting a commercial pattern is something of an estoeric skill. However, creating clothes to your own figure in your own design merely takes a small amount of practice and imagination. It requires very little patience, thank whatever you happen to worship, because if it took patience, I could never have learned it.
Like many a seamstress, I learned to sew by obtaining very simple commercial patterns and following the directions with much trial and error. Though I was always careful to buy a pattern that came as close to my measurements as possible, there was always the problem of fit.
I had experimented with altering the pattern to suit my body, but had not had the chance to experiment with it much before a friend wanted to figure out a way to make some garb for a Renaissance Festival. I bought a book that claimed to be a series of patterns. However, it was simply a series of pattern shapes with some construction instructions. What I did not know how to do was to draft a pattern.
After much profanity (and a lot of help from my artist husband), I was able to construct several inexpert garments.
I was very unsatisfied with the results. The bodice didn’t even come close to fitting me correctly in the shoulders — a problem area for fit for me, as they are narrow.
My dissatisfaction made me wonder about pattern drafting. I have always had a hard time finding clothes that suited both my tastes and my physique. I could imagine lovely clothes, but even if I found a pattern that came close, I was not skilled enough to alter it.
As usual, when I have a problem with something, I made a trip to the library. I obtained several books on sewing and fit. Most of the were very well-written instruction manuals on how to alter patterns. However, at seven different points, my physique falls outside of the design template for commercial patterns. To alter a pattern to fit me, I practically have to draft a new one.
So, that is exactly what I do!
I use a salwar kameez as a teaching aid because it’s incredibly basic and you can extrapolate a lot from the principles.