Organizing All Those Self-Drafted Patterns

by Debbie Bowles

I love drafting my own patterns.  The idea of going from a concept, to drafting that concept, to sewing a garment tells my complete story of garment construction. I’ve been pattern drafting for several years, and I have a chunk of self-drafted patterns.  So how do I organize it all?

Basic tools of my organization:

  • Clothes rack
  • Plastic clip pants/skirt hangers
  • Ziploc bags of various sizes
  • 5×7 sketch book with colored pencils
  • Tagboards in a variety of colors
  • Rolls of drafting paper
  • Lead pencils, rulers, fashion rulers
I have a variety of slopers, each designated by a different color tagboard.

With each drafted pattern, I have an accompanying colored pencil drawing of my garment.  When I’ve completed sewing the garment, I put it in a quart sized Ziploc with the pattern, the picture, and fabric scrap.

This Ziploc goes into a gallon Ziploc of other patterns I’ve drafted using the coordinating sloper.

Then I use my clip pants hanger to clip on the gallon Ziploc, and I attached the sloper to the hanger hook.

All that goes onto a clothes rack.

As you can see, I’ve accumulated a variety of slopers and patterns.  This pattern drafting process is so much fun because through this method I can focus on interesting detail construction instead of the basic fitting of each garment.   I already know the fit is good before drafting the details.  As a result, everything I make is my own design.

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You can learn this pattern drafting method too by attending Designing Divas, the fourth Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. 

We meet at Christ United Methodist Church, Plano, in a large classroom where each person has a table to complete their own drafting. 

This summer is a perfect time to join Designing Divas.  Our project is drafting a knit sloper.    Hope to see you at Divas – where pattern drafting is so much fun (and easier than you would think.)

Debbie Bowles

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