The Secretary Blouse
Hi there, I've made myself useful over the last few months and taught myself how to draw patterns digitally. I wanted To make some patterns that would fit Both Me and a friend so I've had to tackle grading as well. Since I fell in love with american sewing patterns, love at first use you could say, I also had to incorporate seam allowances, notches and other symbols. This was harder than I thought it would be. There were a lot of failed attempts but every time I messed up I learnt something new so I got up and went on tinkering with CAD-programs and looking for a way to make these patterns printable.
At last I think I have succeeded. A digital pattern of my own design print and share ready. I'll give a review of the Style on this page and you'll find additional pages with the pattern itself, instructions on the measurements system and on how to put everything together in the end. I've made this style for myself as a test piece (and yes discovering a couple of flaws that I had overlooked) and I'll use this for a step by step construction guide of the pattern. A small disclaimer: I'm no professional pattern designer so some notches and symbols might be of by a couple of mm. While constructing most pieces went together fine however. I'd suggest walking the pattern in your size as a precaution to make sure everything is perfect in one go. If you find any mistakes I'd be happy to correct them for later users. In the meantime, have fun sewing!
Measurement and pattern
Construction part 1
Construction part 2
Pattern adjustment tutorial
|inspiration dress by pin-up couture|
|design sketch of the blouse|
The whole thing is finished with a front and back facing, the front facing is also an armhole facing, this makes sure that the collar stays where it should be. It also allowed me to use the facing as a modesty measure to make see through fabricks opaque.
|finished garment front|
As I mentioned this design has been made with stretch fabrics in mind. Do not attempt do do otherwise unless you want to change the fabric. I learnt the hard way seeing that my fabric, although a stretch fabric wouldn't stretch far enough to take the garment on and of comfortably. It looks good though and feels OK while wearing it, so I just added a zipper in the side seam. To make sure the fabric for this Blouse is stretchy enough ten cm of folded fabric should be able to stretch to 14 cm.
For those who are interested I'll give a quick overview of the process I went through making this pattern. I started out by pinning the design lines that I wanted to achieve on a mannequin with woollen threads as you can see above. When I was happy with the overall result I pined some fabric paper on my mannequin and traced the lines I wanted. I achieved a first 2D pattern that way. Next I cleaned up the design lines while adding the necessary design ease. I then averaged (essentially I made sure seams that had to go together in the end matched up while flat) the design to make sure the seams would fit more nicely while sewing everything up and the result would look cleaner.
I then went into CAD and drew the pattern digitally. Since I don't have any real means of digitising I had to use good old geometry to transfer the design. I then began by adding notches, and placement marks walking and checking these again digitally. The next step was adding grading, and transferring the pattern to something printable. I've used illustrator for this purpose (since I don't own any programs that would allow me to print on an ordinary printer) and it works pretty well. The only downside is that the pattern sizes lose their formatting and some of the pattern lines and especially notches get distorted. This adds a lot of work, formatting the sizing, adding markings by hand witch then have to be walked and checked by hand again and sometimes redrawing parts of the pattern (especially the armholes and the front facing). I sincerely hope that the pattern turned out ok. I've already made up my base size (the one that fit's the mannequin) and that went pretty well. I'm going to make up a bigger size for a friend to test the grading. So far everything looks good though.
I'll finish with some extra pictures of the garment: