Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Making a sewing pattern

Ever since I was 15 I had a passion for Graphic and Web Design, it wasn't until last year when DESIGNING became more than just a virtual world to me. With the encouragement of my husband and best friend I stuck my fingers into the world of pattern designing. My best friend in which I can comfortably say is a "Pattern Addict", is the one that finally talked me into it and I will forever be grateful to her for pushing me to do something with it.

My pattern designing started with crocheting and as I learned how to use my sewing machine I started cutting out my own paper templates for small sewing projects. This past fall I took the plunge into larger sewing patterns and designed my own basic beanie. I was looking at my sons old winter hat and thought to myself that looked like a fairly simple design and I went to the drawing boards. After finishing my first beanie I was able to measure and create the different sizes right off the original template. And just like everything in the design world you learn by trial and error.

From there I went on to the hot pad, oven mitt and the apron. This was fairly easy after I sketched out the initial design of everything. After I sketch everything out in my design sketchbook I start the actual designing process which i am going to share with you today.

Recently I have really wanted to try and sew stuffed animals and create my own stuffed animals. I know there are many patterns out there that were designed fabulously!!! However because of my background in designing I LOVE the challenge of creating something from nothing. To me there is no bigger reward than seeing something come to life from the very start to the very end. Now I can't say that I will always do this. I know when I am ready to finally start making clothing I will definitely be hitting up my favorite designers and purchasing some of their AMAZING Patterns. Things like that were there is no leeway I just don't trust myself enough to know enough about how clothing is supposed to lye on the body and where it needs to be brought in. Just the thought intimidates me.

Anyway I wanted to share my process for those that are in my shoes but just need an idea on where to start.

The first thing I do after I sketch it in my book (or a piece of paper ) is take my erasable marker board and using a dry erase marker, I will draw out my shapes in the size I would like them. If i am doing a large project and need the whole space for one piece I will just repeat this whole process as many times as needed. The reason I start on the dry erase board is so that I can simply erase and redraw quickly without a mess of faded pencil lines and such.

After I I am finished drawing my pieces out on my dry erase board I trace over the marker lines with my Crayola Brand Dry Erase Crayons. Taking the time out to do this will ensure that your lines won't get smudged or wiped away.

After I am done tracing over my pieces with my dry erase crayon I tape a piece of wax paper over my board and retrace my design onto the wax paper. This will give me the paper piecing for my elephant template. After its all traced on the wax paper you can go ahead and cut it all out.

After you have your cut pieces of wax paper you can either pin that to your fabric and cut your fabric that way or you can take an extra step like I do to make a slightly sturdier and reusable template. What I do is take my wax paper and tape it to my thicker cardstock and retrace it and cut out my new sturdier template pieces.

Now from there I lay the cardstock on my paper carefully pinning in down in the center to keep in place and I take my pencil and lightly trace the outline of my template on to the back of my fabric.

Once again this process of designing is trial and error but its a fairly quick and easy way to get through the initial design process so that you can start sewing up your new creation. I hope this process will help when it comes to designing your own patterns.

I would love to hear about your pattern making processes.

Happy Crafting


  1. Very nice work. Thanks for sharing this. Linda

    I'd love to have you share this at my What to Do Weekends Party going on right now.

  2. wow. So happy that you came over and linked up to my party. Keep up the good work! Linda


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