Drafting patterns

I haven't been very productive during the last week, but have been trying to get more organised. I was feeling totally overwhelmed by everything I want to do (and the things I have to do). One of my ideas was to start keeping a journal listing things I've done, so I can see what I have actually achieved instead of just thinking "I didn't get anything done today". I am using a great little piece of software called Debrief, which you can download here (I only download software from cnet - guaranteed spyware and virus-free). This is wonderful for making notes while I'm at my computer, which is most of the time.

One of the things I've been wanting to do, but have also been dreading, is to draft some patterns. I felt that I didn't have time to learn this new skill. So I made a list of what I want to draft - and it wasn't so long: a handbag based on one I already have, panties for myself, and boxer shorts for my daughter. When I saw that there were only three things on my list I felt much more positive about it!

So today while I was taking a break from my work, I decided to start the boxer short pattern. And it really wasn't difficult! After I drew the front, I realised that I had started out with the wrong crotch length. My first reaction was to just shorten the front waistline by the required number of centimetres, but then I thought I should rather redo it. I just worked on the same piece of paper in a different colour pencil. I learnt something valuable: it wasn't just the waistline that changed - both the centre front and side seamlines changed. And it was so much easier the second time! I did the back pattern next, and that was even easier. I have always found pattern drafting instructions very intimidating - all those letters and numbers that seem to have no meaning. But I found that it was like following a recipe - just do one thing at a time, and tick it off once you've done it, and the pattern takes shape in front of your eyes.

I traced the completed pattern onto pattern tissue (recycled, as you can see) and drew in the seam allowances using a very nifty little low-tech device that I learned about on Cheap and Picky's blog. No measuring required!

I have done a very quick tissue fit of the back section on my daughter and it looks like a good fit. I am interested to see how the pattern will work, as she is 9 (turning 10 on Saturday!), and I assume the drafting instructions are for adult panties.

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