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Fearlessly Draft Your Own Patterns {What the Pattern Companies Don’t Want You to Know}

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Video Notes:

Woman holding a miniature pattern and measuring tape

Have you ever tried to sew a garment using a vintage pattern reissued from one of the major pattern companies but it didn’t turn out quite like you wanted it to? Do you wish you could draft your own sewing patterns but it feels rather intimidating?

This video examines what the Big 4 pattern makers don’t want you to know about commercial or ready-made patterns. It also demonstrates how to enlarge one of Mrs. Depew’s 1950s slip digital patterns in less than an hour using a vintage draft-at-home pattern-making process. The French pattern-making process is a great way to fearlessly draft your own patterns that fit your body shape perfectly and make you feel fabulous!

Harness your creativity and confidence to make the clothes you’ve only seen in your dreams. Join me on an adventure to take control of your vintage-inspired wardrobe. Don’t be intimidated by sewing patterns, and get ready to create the perfect pieces.

In this video:

In this first video in a series of pattern-making videos from the TheModernRetroWoman YouTube channel, we will examine the mysteries of pattern-making and discover the secrets that the big commercial pattern companies don’t want you to know. Get ready to fearlessly draft your own sewing patterns without the need to create a basic block, use expensive computer-aided design tools, or go to fashion school. Unlock the true potential of your vintage-inspired wardrobe for your body type.

Unveiling the Secrets of Pattern Sizing:

Have you ever purchased a commercial sewing pattern and sewn up the garment only to be disappointed with the end result because it doesn’t fit? Well, you’re not alone. You see, when it comes to pattern sizing, it’s a whole different ball game. Each fashion brand has its own standard sizes, and even within the sewing world, sizing is not universal. It can vary drastically between different companies. To make matters more complicated, sewing patterns typically offer a significant amount of ease, which is the added space in a garment for ease of movement. While this ease may be ideal for some, it can make achieving a perfect fit quite challenging. That’s why relying solely on commercial patterns might not always give you the tailored fit you desire.

The Vintage Pattern Conundrum:

Ah, the allure of vintage patterns. We gravitate to their timeless charm and unique designs, don’t we? But here’s a little secret that reproduction pattern companies don’t often disclose: those vintage pattern reissues you see may not be authentic reissues at all. In fact, major pattern companies didn’t keep archives of their original patterns. The reissue patterns you find today are created from scratch, using modern design techniques to mimic the original. As a result, the darts, zippers, and even design elements might be different from the original, leaving you with a not-quite-vintage look compared to the original designs. But, never fear because I’ve got a solution for you!

Enter the World of Pattern Drafting:

The moment I learned how to draft my own patterns, my understanding of sewing took a 180-degree turn. So many of us, especially those from my generation, grew up believing that pattern-making required advanced math skills, specialized tools, and advanced sewing skills. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! In our video, I’ll introduce you to a vintage French draft-at-home pattern system that’s perfect for creating custom patterns without the headache. No need to worry about complex calculations or steep learning curves. With this system, you can create patterns based on your specific body measurements. It’s like having your own personal tailor at your fingertips!

Unlock Your Inner Fashion Designer:

Imagine being able to create patterns that fit your unique curves like a dream. With self-drafted patterns, the possibilities are endless! You can finally recreate those mid-20th-century vintage styles in your size and achieve that poise, confidence, and elegance that defined the era. Ditch the jeans/yoga pants and plain knit tops and unleash your inner fashion designer. But, of course, I can’t cover all the intricacies of the drafting process in a blog post. That’s why I encourage you to watch the full video on our YouTube channel or use the player at the top of this post. In it, I walk you through the basic steps of creating a 1950s-style slip pattern tailored to your own measurements using the French draft-at-home system. The fashion industry will hate you because you’re making all of your own clothes!


There you have it, kindred home sewists. With a simple pattern as your starting point, and by being part of the Modern Retro Woman community, you can learn to fearlessly draft your own sewing patterns and unlock the true potential of your vintage-inspired wardrobe. So, grab your measuring tape, pattern paper, and let’s embark on this creative journey together. Remember, you have the power to create garments that fit and flatter your unique body like no store-bought item ever could. Say goodbye to ill-fitting clothes and hello to a world of endless possibilities. Happy sewing and have a fabulous Technicolor day!

Episode Images

More about the MRW YouTube channel

The Modern Retro Woman YouTube channel is a community for women who have a deep affection for vintage-inspired sewing. I strongly believe that every woman should feel fabulous in her clothes, regardless of age. With videos focusing on pattern drafting and sewing techniques, the channel is your go-to resource to help you build a wardrobe rich in timeless elegance for every season of your life. Embrace the joy of sewing, embody the charm of vintage fashion, and always feel fabulous.

You also might enjoy:

3 Beautiful Reasons You Should Wear a Slip (Blog Post): https://www.modernretrowoman.com/3-beautiful-reasons-why-you-should-wear-a-slip/

Why You Need a Dress Form (and Bootstrap Dress Form Pattern Review): https://youtu.be/colaEzQhwhE

1950s Slip Disaster – What Happened When I Tried a 2-Day Draft-at-Home Project? : https://youtu.be/inQKpqTpOX8

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