Sunday, April 25, 2010

It’s a pattern.

I went back to the drawing board on TLo’s drafting blocks.  When I originally drafted her first “body block”, the resulting trial garment fit just right.  But exactly just right.  There is zero room for growth (I’ll try to get a photo of that garment soon.  TLo took a dislike to it all of the sudden today and refused to try it on long enough to photograph.)  Now, I don’t know about you, but I have no intention of going through the trouble of making a garment for a six-year-old that she is only going to be able to wear for three months.  Nope.  Not happening.  So, back to the drawing--- er, drafting board.  

If I was using standard measurements, I would just draft a block for the next size up (just like I would pick a pattern).  But I want to use TLo’s specific measurements.  The whole point in drafting these patterns myself is to avoid having to trace out and then severely alter a pattern, just to get it to fit TLo.    Her measurements vary pretty widely from “standard”.  For instance, for her height (108 cm), the average shoulder width is 8.2 cm.  TLo’s is 10 cm.  That puts her at a size 134 ( which is about a size 10).  Her chest measurement is 65 cm, which puts her at a size 128 (size 6-8) and her waist is 63 cm which puts her at a size12. 

Her height puts her at a size 4-5.  Seriously, you try altering a child’s pattern that fits a size 10 torso but is only a size 4 in length.  This, to put it succinctly, totally sucks.

Right.  So I’m drafting my own patterns.

I decided that in order to get some growing ease, I would go back and pick the body measurements for the next size up for each individual measurement.  So for her chest measurement, which comes in at a size 128, I bumped it up to the chest measurement for a size 134.  Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  Here’s a copy of the measurement chart:


After making these measurement adjustments, I redrafted the Body Block.  Here’s an image of the original body block (the “exact size” one) overlaid on the new “room to grow” body block.



Next I decided to try out a simple knit shirt to test out the sizing.  I really liked the neckline and sleeve styling on this top from Ottobre (3-2010 #31), so I used this design drawing as my reference.

IMAGE_6Using the body block as my basis, I drew in the squared off neckline, drafted the puff sleeves using the slash-and-spread method and added a slight curve at the waistline for shaping.



Pretty basic!  I’d like to say it took as little time to put together the shirt as it did to draft the pattern.  And I would say that.  If I was a complete and utter liar.  

I own three sewing machines, all of which I would normally use to make a basic t-shirt (my sewing machine, my serger and my coverstitch machine).  If I believed in gremlins, I’d say they had found their way into my sewing room this week.  Lets just say I did a lot (a lot) of mechanical work this weekend.  I never did get the serger completely sorted out.  In the end, I had to resort to the stretch stitch on my sewing machine (which I’ve actually never used before and found I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked).

In any case, I finally got the stupid thing sewn up.  Which meant the next step was… trying it on TLo.  Oh the agony of suspense!  Would it fit?  Would it be too big?  Would I have to start yet another block draft with some even more complicated set of measurements?  Would Slayde marry Thallon or would she leave him for the father of her baby?! 





It fit.  TLo is spared one more day of nakedness.  Whew.


  1. Well, you're nothing if not persistent. Or OCD.


    The top is freaking adorable though!! What a cutie! (Bet she refuses to wear it in 3 days.)

  2. Way cute! Nice work as well. Naked children are just sad.

  3. Actually, mine are usually pretty happy to be naked...

  4. Nice work! It doesn't look "altered"; it just looks like it fits.

  5. I like it! Persistence pays off. :) For your sake I hope she wears it longer than 3 days, lol.

  6. Cool! I really really hope you now feel you efforts are worth it - once you've got the pattern you can whip up a T shirt in no time flat right?

  7. Wow, she looks like such a cutie pie in her new tee shirt with the pretty neckline and puffed sleeves that you added. It's simply marvelous that you drafted that yourself! And by the way, I like your wallpaper, which handily sets off her hair too.

  8. Ooo, I wish that was wallpaper. Actually it's fabric (that I got for cheap cheap cheap as a remnant from Hancock's about four years ago). It's covering my Fabric Cube to protect the fabric from all the UV blasting through the front of our house. We do have yellow walls tho. I heart yellow!

  9. What an adorable model!!!
    Cute shirt, too.


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