Basic Pattern Set, Fitting

The Basic Pattern Set – The Alter to Fit Method

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Remember I told you I broke out something fashion sewers either love or hate?  Did you guess what it was?DSCF0759

Yes, it is the dreaded Basic Pattern!  Can you believe this thing causes so much consternation with fashion sewers that most sewers just give up and swear off sewing all together?  There was a time when I didn’t understand that particular frustration.  I was young, in shape and I swear my body was the perfect size 12 proportions of Vogue.  Back then, my most dreaded alteration was to increase my waist or broaden the shoulders!  Hardly a deal breaker.

But now?  I completely understand.  Especially if you are trying to make a basic pattern set for yourself, at home, without help and you know because of your size you’ll need to make multiple modifications.  I think that is the typical sewer these days.

So why make a Basic Pattern Set?  For me, I want to go through the process to see how much different I am to the patterns that I’ve been buying.  I want clothes that fit and I know from experience that having these basic patterns is a good way to understand my own personal fitting issues (who doesn’t have them?).  The other reason is to make patterns from scratch, also again so they fit!  The Basic Pattern Set will help me with both.

In case you are wondering, there are essentially 3 ways to get your Basic Pattern Set.  The first method is to draft these from scratch using detailed measurements and a drafting method of your choice (Armstrong, Pepin, Leena’s, Stringer, Moore, Bunka, Burda…you get the idea, there’s plenty of choice). 

The second method is to use patterns that already fit you.  Maybe you have a straight skirt that you love, wear it all the time and would be perfect.  Or that button down oxford top you bought from Lands’ End ten years ago that you wish you had 10 more.  Well those can be used by copying them! 

Finally, the third method is using a Personal Fitting Pattern from one of the pattern companies.  That is the method I’m going to use for my 2012 version and it just so happens to be Butterick #6092 in a size 20.  The difference with using a Personal Fitting Pattern vs the other methods is that you will have to make alterations to the pattern in order for it to fit, unless of course you are me at age 18 and a perfect size 12. 🙂

So friends, for the next week or so I plan on working through my fitting issues and getting a perfectly fitting basic pattern.  It’s not going to be pretty I can assure you…doesn’t this sound like fun?


3 thoughts on “The Basic Pattern Set – The Alter to Fit Method”

  1. This will be interesting. You have helped me to understand the basic concepts, but I am still not happy with my end results and therefore I’m still trying to get that “perfect pattern”. Right now it is a pant draft to figure out how to get rid of that bagginess that happens because of the girth around the middle! It is very difficult to believe the draft results because they do not resemble a purchased pattern!!!
    I really would like to sew up some of this fabulous fabric in my stash so I will be watching with great interest. I know you can do it!
    I’m beginning to think it might be easier to just stay on that diet for the rest of my life, but even that would not mean perfect proportions.
    Love, MOM


    1. Yes, it will be interesting! I checked the date on a shell that is hanging in the closet and it said 1996. I’m not sure if that was for me or not, possibly a customer but I have another draft I did from about 2001. Still though, I’m much heavier (sigh) than I was then. This will be a good thing for me to do and hopefully in 6 months I’ll make some alterations to make this smaller!!!

      Coming to terms with what you look like is the hardest part…


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