How I draft a simple pattern

Anyone care to share their favorite sewing reference book? I’m looking at One-Yard Wonders and Sew Everything Workshop. I was thinking there was another one than I kept seeing referred to and can’t remember what it was. Daughter is looking to teach herself to sew without me over her shoulder. All ideas and suggestions welcome!

I picked up a yard of fabric of Stitched in Color’s, Oval Chain in Yellow and Gold, a few weeks back. I just love this line by Malka Dubrowski. It seems as if it’s getting harder to find, specific pieces anyway, but Moona Fabrics still has quite the selection, if you’re looking.

My intention, with this fabric, was to cut a *real* PJ pattern for my youngest daughter, while she was here visiting. It took me a while, but I finally got around to it, yesterday. She had two pair of favorites, so I compared the two and found out they were basically the same except for the height of the back waist.

This is how I create a pattern. I lay my example out, being careful to keep the grain straight, up and down. I then trace the front and the back exactly. The front is easy, because you can arrange your pants to fold the back out of the way. To cut the back, because it will be larger than the front, causes you to have to trace one edge, then roll the PJs, as needed, (an additional row of pins down the center helps keep everything aligned and straight), to get to the opposite seam. After it is all traced, I then add a 5/8″ seam all around. I like 5/8″ because it is the perfect seam width for French seams. And I do love a good French seam, especially, when you don’t have a serger handy to clean up your seams. I also add 2″ at the top, of both the front and back piece, for the casing, to accommodate the 1 1/2″ elastic, I like to use.

I then cut them as long as my 1 yard piece of fabric would allow, which was about a 6″ inseam. For the record, these were adult, Old Navy size small and a one yard cut was perfect. Even enough to line up the design on the side seams.

Making a sewing pattern

I then basted them all together, even pulled the elastic through, to get a more accurate, first fitting.

At this point, I usually have to drop the front waist, for me. For her, I usually have to raise the back waist. This is also when we would decide how fitted or baggy we want them. I then turned up a hem, because she loved them, as is. Not adjustments necessary! Fabulous!

Later I will take them all apart and cut a real pattern that she can use herself, not just my usual chicken scratch, sort of patterns, that no one else can read! Then maybe I’ll have her put them back together.

Last week’s Honeycomb quilt is coming along nicely. I think I’m one row short of being half way there. I still have to cut the partials for the sides but all the full hexagons are cut and the fabrics are picked up. It feels a lot less cluttered to get the quilt off the floor and on to the wall!

Jumbo Hexagon quilt

Same daughter and I snuck out, last night, and took some pictures preparing for an upcoming Landscape quilting class we are taking.


We are so excited we can hardly stand it. Well, she is excited, I am filled with nervous anxiety. Seems like this is the summer of stretching myself by trying new techniques. I’ll share more soon.

This entry was posted in fabric, Fabric Tuesday, Nature, Photography, Quilting, Tutorial, WIP and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to How I draft a simple pattern

  1. materialgirlquilts says:

    Love your honeycomb quilt, it is looking great. The landscape quilting class sounds fun, but I would probably be anxious too. Have fun!


  2. lynnema says:

    I look forward to hearing more about the landscaping quilt class. I love the types of things that are a personal stretch, especially ones that are just for me and don’t have an impact on my job or homefront. Enjoy taking a few risks!


  3. Taryn says:

    I loved the Zakka Style book, it had lots of fun projects! Stitched in Color is such a great line! It seems like the time period these great fabrics are easy to find gets shorter and shorter :D. Love those shorts! Thanks for linking up to WIP Wednesday!


    • sewfrench says:

      I *just* bought the Zakka style book, I have hardly even looked at it. I was just sew intrigued by everyone’s Sew-a-long projects I thought I needed it! Maybe I will share it with her! And I am so slow to make decisions on what I would use a fabric for, to decide on how much to get, that I miss out on a lot of good ones…. Or I but fat quarters and wish I had bought yardage… The story of my life, that’s why I make scrap quilts!


  4. Wow, who’s good looking sleep shorts are those??


Talk to me people. I get tired of talking to myself!

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