Learning to Sew with Patterns

When you see a beautiful dress that cascades perfectly off the body and sets off the figure while showing the best attributes of the model, you can be certain there’s a well-made pattern behind it. That means every piece of the garment was traced on paperboard like a template, before being cut out on fabric and assembled by stitches. Patternmaking is a valuable skill if you want to be a consummated seamstress.

A sloper pattern is a type of basic pattern that we use on home sewing. It’s achieved by drafting the design based on body measures and they don’t include any wearing ease (like zippers or buttonholes), sew allowances or any other merely decorative elements on the piece to be made. For a perfect fit, it’s always recommended to prep the fabric before cutting and sewing.

Slopers are the best way to achieve a professional looking homemade garment, first you need to draw and cut it on paper but if you want better results you can use gingham fabric or muslin, these are very cheap fabrics, to add a couple centimeters for a basic sewing allowance and properly test the fit of the piece and make all the needed adjustments before jumping on the sewing machine.

How to create sewing patterns?

First, get the materials. You’ll need a pair of scissors, a large piece of paper (could be craft paper), a ruler and a pencil or a marker for tracing. You can download patterns and transfer or print them, also you can buy basic patterns on specialized shops or you can make your own from scratch cloning your own clothes. The leverage here is that making slopers allows us to create custom pieces that fit perfectly, learning how to correctly take the necessary measurements for sewing or fitting clothes is pretty useful.

Now is time to transfer the design on the paper, to create perfectly symmetrical pieces all the paper must be folded, this way the draft is half of every piece of the garment. Pay attention to details like collars, sleeves, inseams and have in mind the sew allowance anytime. Once it’s drafted any pattern could be custom-fitted, this means that is possible to add or take a few centimeters were is needed. It’s recommended to draw a dotted line first and when is perfect, trace the final line where the template will be cut.

At this point is convenient to make a muslin sloper to check the fit and then is time to transfer the pattern on the final fabric that  was previously treated, you can use a sewing pen to draw on the fabric or directly cut the fabric under the pattern. It’s important that the fabric is placed on a flat and spacious surface, it must be folded in half same as the pattern and should be ironed if is needed so that is neat and perfect.

As you can see, creating and using sloper patterns is very easy and you can renovate all your wardrobe for a fraction of money that represents buying new clothes, and the better part is that every single item could be customized at ease and perfectly fitted to any kind of body.

Try this project at home!