Pattern Drafting

Since learning how to draft my patterns using the Iole Method; a Brazilian couture pattern drafting curriculum where you sew based on your client body measurements and body uniqueness; I have loved using those skills to progress my personal projects. 
Freedom. Having the ability to make a pattern gives an enormous amount of creative freedom. Not having to depend on commercial patterns or even using them as a base to achieve the desired look. It is incredibly fun to be able to create/ recreate/ get inspired and turn your ideas into a sewable garment.
Concept. Sewing can be a daunting prospect at the beginning. How the puzzle of shapes fit together. Because how a 2 dimensional flat shape will later fit into a 3D shape isn’t an easy concept to grasp but a very important one for pattern alterations, learning how those rectangular and circles get formed and transformed can help immensely.
Fitting. Commercial patterns aren’t individually tailored and the majority of us will have to alter it. It’s expected. Most of my knowledge of drafting comes handy when I am fitting patterns. I tend to alter majority of the pattern flat and only fine tune on the body. 
Exercise your brain. Yes, that means using your mathematical skills. If you are a very creative person using the other side of your brain is very healthy. Stretching and exercising those brain connections and transferring those benefits to your daily life.
Not only for potential designers. The love of pattern drafting doesn’t need to be explored just for those that want to build a career out of them. Is a craft in itself.  You can discover that you find drafting patterns a very pleasurable activity and that turned another segment of your hobby.
There are a few pattern drafting courses in the UK. The ones I knew of varied from a professional level (not what I wanted) and mass market- draft a block from standard size ( not what I wanted either). So I always focused all my pattern drafting classes in Brazil. Recently I went for a 2 hours 1-1 pattern drafting tuition* at Inseam Studios.  I was excited to see how that process would be different from what I already know and how can I further my pattern drafting knowledge. My curiosity for pattern drafting just keep growing.
I was met by a very warm and knowledgeable professional fashion designer and pattern cutter Aina at her home studio, very close to shopping meca Goldhawlk rd.
During the two hours session all my measurements were updated and we drafted a Front/ Back basic bodice.  Every stage of the process it was very well explained and broke down into segments.  During each segment she would show me how and I had to repeat the process by myself, building up what I was learning while she could catch any doubt or mistakes.
The method is very similar to what I already learned besides that Aina’s drafts with the seam allowances included and therefore some drafting rules are also different. I loved how she broke it down on my work sheet so I don’t get too confused. I was already confused using inches.
I had a wonderful time and the two hours went so quickly. What I most excited is that the whole process is a personal 1-1 tuition. That means that I can build my own path of what I want to learn next. I can come with a pattern idea and draft with her help, or call 2 other friends and have a group class or draft and sew with her. Personalisation and flexibility. I am already building up my own personal curriculum. You can read all the details of what she can offer at her page if you want to learn more. 
Have you tried pattern drafting?
*I was given a free 2 hours taster class but I would had gladly paid for them as I do feel is good value for knowledge and I am investing my own pay check on the next classes. If you are curious, I’m going to focus on draping. All opinions are my own and I have not being asked to write a review or publicity. 
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  • Thanks for this – have been thinking about doing a course for a while now, your comments have really helped.

  • I do not seem to find any link to the Iole Method on the web – please help? thanks!

    • Hi Cindy, because the iole method is old style couture drafting and in Portuguese there isn’t anything online, beside yellow pages of schools you can learn. There are many different drafting methodologies around so it’s worth having a research to what suits you best. The method I learned on the two hour session it’s what pattern cutters learn here in the UK, differebt from what I learned in Brazil.