Monday, 20 July 2009

Hacking the block into a pattern

Once you've made your block, you need to put on the markings i.e. mark the Centre Front/Back and put in any foldlines or grainlines). Then trace the block onto some dressmaker's tracing paper so that you can hack into it.

Using a hard pencil so that I only do faint lines, I mark the yoke. I want to make it about 10cm deep, so I mark 10cm onto the side and centre lines and join them freehand. I then draw a line vaguely perpendicular to the hem and yoke line, to divide the skirt into panels.

Then I mark the grain lines on each pattern piece. The grain runs down the Centre Front/Back of the skirt so I mark the grain lines exactly parallel to that line. While I'm fairly haphazard with most aspects of sewing and drafting. I always measure grain lines very carefully because if they're skew then your garment will never hang right. So measure once, measure twice and check them again before you take the scissors to the pattern. Ensure that each individual pattern piece has the grain line marked before you cut it out.

Then I make the godet piece. There are no instructions for this in the book so I'm kind of winging it here.

So... I measure the length of the skirt from the yoke line to the hemline. It's 21cm so I draw that line on the tracing paper. I then get out my set square - I want to draw the kind of triangle that has two lengths the same - in this case, 21cm. I have no idea how to do this so I decide to take my 21cm line as the middle line of the triangle. From that, I mark two lines on either side of it each 45 degrees from the centre. I extend each line to 21cm and freehand draw a gentle arc to join them. The centre line is of course also the grain line.

I cut out all the pieces and see how they jigsaw together. I trim the tops of the side and centre panel a little so that they are a better fit with the yoke - this is a bit 'suck it and see' but I'm hoping it will work.

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