Mexican Embassy, Berlin
When I meet other sewing bloggers, I almost always get asked about how I create my PDF sewing patterns. When I first started experimenting with creating my own PDF patterns, I had a hard time finding information about it. Thus, I want to share with you today a little about how I create them. My sewing patterns have been created out of necessity so far. Every time I couldn’t find a pattern to realize my ideas, I decided to create my own. The pattern for today’s Grande Arche Jacket was originally created for my jacket with border print, which I made for a sewing blogger meet-up in Stuttgart. To accentuate the print I needed a pattern with a straight jacket hem as well as sleeve hem. In addition, I did not want to cut the print apart with seams but nevertheless I wanted the jacket to be form fitting. Luckily, I was taught to draft my own patterns as well as modify them during my traditional dressmaking apprenticeship. To construct your own PDF patterns is nevertheless quite time conduming and encompasses the following steps:
- Creating a basic sloper – The basis for any pattern is a perfectly fitting basic sloper. A sloper is basically a very form fitting pattern with darts. A lot of time should be invested in the creation and adjustment of the sloper as any pattern modification created from a perfectly fitting sloper will require almost no modifications. I create the sloper by hand on paper as I get a better feel of proportions this way.
- Modifying the sloper – I also do the modification of the sloper on the paper. During this step the shape of the pattern is changed, darts are shifted, necklines are changed etc. I then test sew the changed sloper and apply any changes to the pattern. I repeat this step until the pattern matches my initial idea.
- Digitalizing the pattern – With the help of a large format scanner I digitize my paper patterns in a copyshop.
- Editing the pattern in Illustrator – I redraw the lines of the pattern in Illustrator to get clean lines. Additionally, I’m correcting some inaccuarcies that always appear when creating a pattern by hand such as imperfect right angles or not completely straight lines. Afterwards I control that all seams have the correct lenght and fit together.
- Grading the pattern in Illustrator – I also use Illustrator to draw in the grading lines for the different sizes. The lines are marked by different lines so it is easy differentiate between the different sizes.
- Cutting the pattern pieces to fit the PDF format – To cut the pattern to fit the pages when printed out, I’m also using Illustrator. This way I can make sure that the pieces will match perfectly when glued together. I have adjusted this sso that there is enough space around the pieces to print the pattern on DIN A4 as well as US Letter format.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog post 🙂 If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments.
Jacket: me-made Grande Arche Jacke from Sewionista Patterns
Blouse: Paul Costelloe via TK Maxx
Fake leather leggings: Zara
Sunglasses: Oscar de la Renta via TK Maxx
Shoes: KMB via Zalando