Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. —Rachel Zoe
Clothing is something that would forever be a part of the human race. The moment a human is caught walking naked in a public place, then it is believed something must be wrong mentally or there probably has to be an explanation. However, since clothing is a part of who we are, everyone has developed a sense of style of how and what they want to wear.
The idiom Dressed to the nines has never been truer.
Evey now and then, we all like to look our best for a certain occasion or just to look nice to feel good.
We are pretty sure that at some point, you have walked into a shop, saw an outfit that caught your eyes yet the shop attendant says it not available in your size. Yea, we all might have fallen victim to that. Whatever the case, some people may never really get their outfits in a shop probably because of the size or height. Of course, you could always go to the dressmaker’s or tailor every time you need a wardrobe addition but have you seen the price of bespoke clothing?
This may be one of the reasons people are now learning how to make their own patterns and sew their own outfit in Nigeria. The good thing is that there are a lot of fashion schools in almost if not all Nigerian states teaching pattern making and sewing. It could be that you are learning it as a career path, to sew for yourself, to start a clothing line, whatever reason you decide o embark on this journey, we at Superprof are here to guide you in the right direction.
You may have a unique sense of style that you would like to express through your clothes and what other way should you do that? Make your pattern, sew them and confidently tell everyone "I designed and made them" Such a great feeling, we can assure you.
Want to learn how to make patterns and sew? Contact our tutors at Superprof. They are always readily available to tutor you.
Meaning Of Pattern Making
If you have ever done any research about the fashion and clothing industry, we bet you must have come across the word pattern making. Clothing patterns are now what most fashion designers and ready to wear clothing industries use for their garment production. Before Pattern making became popular, freehand was how most tailors used to cut fabrics before sewing with their hand or on a machine. Freehand is the construction of garments without the use of a pattern.
Pattern making simply means modifying a piece of fabric to create a garment that suits the proportions of a person's body. This is a knowledge that fashion designers in Nigeria, ready to wear fashion designers, mass production designers are very conversant with. There are two main patter making techniques called pattern drafting and draping.
Basically, it all starts with a sloper – a block, in industrial terms.
A sloper is an unadorned template that pattern drafters use as a guideline to draw patterns; you might think of them as stencils.
Pattern making has several advantages such as time-efficiency, reusability, fewer - mistakes, customization and of course less wastage: you can manage your fabric when transferring your pattern to it before sewing.
Clothing patterns for mass production are sold according to standard body sizes (size 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.). However, fashion designers who are not into mass production are also trained now to make custom sizes to suit an individual size, taste, specification and body type. These are what we call custom made outfits tailored for a particular person.
Places To Learn Pattern Making
There are various ways, platforms in Nigeria and worldwide available to take a pattern-making course that will enable you to translate your designs into the garment. You can decide to learn pattern making in the four walls of a school or decide to enrol with a fashion house or academy. It certainly wouldn't hurt to go to the nearest polytechnic, fashion design academy or university to check if they are offering pattern making courses.
Pattern making textbooks is another way to learn pattern making. There are several books out there you can read to learn pattern making on your own at home or even your school. If you have been practising home sewing for a while and now wish to bring your own dressmaking ideas to life, you may be interested in one of the books on pattern making. Some pattern making books are Pattern making for fashion design by Helen J Armstrong, Pattern Making for Fashion Design by Gerry Cooklin, Dress Pattern Designing: The Basic Principles of Cut and Fit by Natalie Bray, How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns by Lee Hollahan and the list goes on and on.
Apart from youtube video tutorials on pattern making, there are a whole lot of pattern making courses online you can choose from. Some are free while some you have to pay for. You could even decide to learn from your favourite international school offering online classes on pattern making and still collect your certificate on your virtual participation in the class.
Making Your Own Dress Pattern
You can decide to design your own dress pattern at any time. It could be a sewing pattern from a wrap dress to an off-shoulder dress… all the way to a perfect dinner dress for that special occasion. We bet you will feel great after designing your first dress pattern and trust me, sometimes designing your own garments can be cheaper compared to buying a tailored made or custom made dress.
The first step to making your own dress pattern is getting the right pattern making tools, then getting the right measurements for your dress pattern. Remember that without the right measurement, you cannot achieve the best fit for yourself.
While you are at it, If you see a style while browsing online, there is no harm in trying to create one for yourself with your own touch of fashion style for your next sewing project. By no means are we suggesting copying the designs of any famous labels and in no way are we encouraging you to counterfeit designer clothing! We are only saying you could get inspiration for your next dinner dress from what you saw.
You now have some great ideas for the dress you want to make and you have your dress and sleeve sloper - a template of your current measurements. And of course, the tools you need to make your first pattern. It means you are ready to put it all together to get that dress you have been dreaming of. Once you are done with your dress pattern, you can now place it on your fabric, cut it out then sew it.
Adjusting My Patterns
There are many patterns out there you could get, buy or download from the internet. You might be lucky that the size and measurements suit you but what if the sizes don't fit your current measurement? Well, not to worry yourself, you could do some little adjustments to make it fit.
Once you settle on the pattern of your choice, take a great look at the pattern to critically analyse how it was being done so you can make the appropriate adjustments to your size on the pattern. Lay the pattern of your choice on your sewing table and begin to study it carefully. The length of the dress, the sleeve, the type of neckline, the type of dart manipulation and the bodice of the pattern. Your first task is to get familiar with the symbols, lines, dots and drawings you will find on every pattern.
The next step is to take your right measurement and then begin to do the maths. Compare your ideal measurements to those on the pattern. Just keep comparing each pattern piece to the measurements you’ve made, adding or deducting fractions of inches as needed to get your desired fitting per your current measurement.
You can also consider using a block pattern to sew and manipulate your styles. In fact, you could design and create an entire wardrobe for yourself with just three blocks or slopers: a bodice, a trouser and a skirt sloper. With the right block pattern, you can start creating your next project with your current body measurements.
Where To Buy Sewing Pattern in Nigeria
Once you know the basics of how to draft a sewing pattern, you can always use that knowledge to create your next sewing project. However, not everyone has the time to learn or draft. Nevertheless, you can always decide to buy a pattern for your next outfit. Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying a Simplicity or Butterick pattern, especially if you are just starting down the road to making your own patterns and/or designing your own clothes.
Fashion houses and schools are good places to start your hunt for the pattern for your next sewing project. If money is involved you can rest assured they will be able to sell or draft any pattern of your choice. However, If you cannot get a fashion school or house to purchase some sewing patterns, then you can contact a tutor at Superprof who teaches pattern maker to make one for you at a cost.
You can also purchase patterns from your local sewing shops. If your local shop isn't really into selling already made sewing patterns then just discuss with them what you really desire to sew and they would make or for you at a cost. Who doesn't make to make some extra cash for what they already love doing even if it is not their line of focus?
Technology and the internet have made life easier. From the comfort of our homes, we can do a lot of buying and selling online. Having said that, online is another place you can buy sewing patterns. You can get your next trouser, skirt, bodice, jumpsuit sewing patterns from an array of websites such as Butterick patterns, Victory patterns, Simplicity, Vogue patterns and so much more.
The only way to avoid the stress or process of purchasing patterns is by learning how to make your own patterns! Contact our tutors at Superprof for pattern making lessons.
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