Patternmaking
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Pattern grading is an easy way to replicate a pattern to scale, saving you from having to draft the whole thing. It can be your go-to if you need to size an entire pattern up a smidge. (Though you shouldn't try to go more than two sizes up or down, as that would disrupt the balance of the pattern.) There are a couple different ways to pattern grade, but let's focus on two of the most common methods.
Pauline Alice
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You love browsing, buying and using sewing patterns. And while making patterns may seem like a job for the pros, there's actually one pattern any home sewer can — and definitely should —make. It’s called a sloper, and it's basically a generic pattern based on your measurements without any wiggle room, seam allowances or style. It's the building block of all patterns, helping you to not only sew clothes, but design them.
Beginner
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Ruching is when fabric is gathered along a seam to provide decoration or fullness. You may have seen it before on sheers (like in the skirt pictured above) or swimsuits, but there are so many opportunities for ruching in patternmaking. The technique looks particularly great on a fitted garment, where it accentuates your body's curves.
Maris Olsen
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Fitting can be a challenge for even the most seasoned garment sewers. But that's where a moulage, or "mold," fitting system comes in. It was developed and used in couture houses to reduce client fitting times, yet home sewers can use the technique to draft personal slopers for a blouse, dress, jacket or an overcoat.
Maris Olsen
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If you're under 5'4", you're considered a size petite by the fashion industry — as well as the pattern companies industry. And when you're searching for a pattern, you want one that helps you look taller and gives great proportions to flatter your shape. Keep these tips in mind while you're browsing to help you find the perfect pattern for your next garment.
Pauline Alice
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Discover the secrets to using a with-nap layout to cut out your jacket pieces. After that, assemble the lining to install later.
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Shoulder pads add structure to the jacket so it hangs properly on the body. See how to place them and trim the shoulder edges to match. Then hand-baste the sleeves into position, stitch the sleeves into place, and make and install flannel sleeve heads.
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Ready to make a gorgeous jacket tailored with ready-to-wear techniques? Begin as Kenneth discusses velveteen, lining and piping fabrics as well as interfacings and support fabrics. Then find out how to make modifications to your base pattern.
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Watch as Kenneth demonstrates his method for drafting pattern pieces for a full lining and support elements, including a back stay. This will add structure to your jacket and ensure it's as beautiful inside as it is outside.
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Frame the body canvas pieces with muslin using Kenneth's smart method. After that, carefully install it by sewing the neck darts in the canvas supports with an eye to reduce bulk.
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