Making a pattern may bring you closer to achieving your design, but more likely than not, your pattern will require alteration either to improve the fit or tweak the design. If I make a pattern for a client and it is fit approved on the first sample, well let’s put it this way: I should go out and play the lottery that day. I like to treat the first draft as the experimental muslin, or the first step in a process. Sometimes I will sew up a muslin knowing full well that this is not going to be a good fit. But this brings me closer to where I need to be and I have a clearer direction on what to do next.
Case study:(warning do not try this at home unless you know your way around a pants pattern.) I often read about turning a pair of pants into shorts or vice versa. I started this process as an exercise to determine exactly what was required to do so. I had a pair of shorts that I liked the fit of and I wanted to copy the saddle and waist shape onto a pair of pants. I took the shorts pattern and made it into a pair of pants, applying familiar shapes and morphing the shorts pattern. I knew the first draft would need further improvement. These pants needed a lot of work (these are the worst of the worse) :
1) The back rise ended up too short making my butt look really flat
2) The back saddle was too narrow
3) Too much fullness in the thighs
4) Legs twisting
I fixed the first draft using what I like to call my Kamikaze method- chop, slash, patch, close… basically throwing everything I have at it. Here is what the
fixed pattern looked like on the back (front was not so bad)
This is still a work in progress, but I anticipate probably at least 2 more muslins.
My point is this: This is just the way it is. It’s a way of life in the industry where we don’t even think twice about making a revised sample to get it right. I’m working on a line of home sewing patterns and each style is sewn at least 3 times to get the fit right. It’s better to spend the time slowly perfecting the fit and re-sewing samples. C’mon, we all have extra fabric that has been laying around. Why not use up some of the extra stuff? Added bonus: it does make you a faster and better sewer by repeating the process.