I have recently done an online pattern drafting course, Digital Pattern Drafting 101: how to create digital PDF patterns, with BurdaStyle Academy. This website is great and they run lots of online courses from short webinars to 8 week courses in just about anything you can think of to do with sewing and fashion design, and they are all very reasonably priced. The course instructor was Lauren Dahl of Pattern Workshop and BASTE + GATHER. She was a great tutor and all of the video tutorials were very well done, everything was clearly explained and easily understood.
So now with all my new found knowledge I am on a mission to design and produce my own patterns where I can. I had started drafting my own patterns a few years ago, self-taught using many various books, but found the following to be the best for me – Make Your Own Patterns and the Aldrich Pattern drafting books for women and men. I only did a few patterns as it was so time consuming using ruler and pencil, so mainly used mainstream patterns and then modified and manipulated to suit myself or clients.
Creating your patterns digitally using Adobe Illustrator gives you the advantage of creating your basic blocks and saving them as templates and they are all there ready to use over and over when you want to modify and create something new. Adding seam allowances and grading is also a lot easier and quicker than doing it by hand. Your patterns are also more accurate and square as you can get your measurements precise down to the last millimetre. Save as a PDF and print and VOILA!!!
My initial concerns about digital pattern drafting were:
(a) – the cost of Adobe products; and
(b) – That I had not used any design software before.
You don’t have to pay the huge initial outlay to get this software anymore, as Adobe do everything in the cloud and you can pay on a monthly subscription and always have the most up to date version, brilliant!! And Lauren (if you do her course) is great at taking you through Illustrator and showing you how to use it.
I have started my first pattern and will post in the next week or so on how it has gone, along with some pic’s of the finished garment.