Part 8: Finally a TNT Pattern!!

Welcome back to the final post in my 8 part pattern fitting series, “My Approach to Successful Pattern Fitting”.  I hope if you’ve worked your way though this series, you found it to not only be helpful, but that you NOW actually have a “Tried and True” Pattern that FITS YOU!!  I hope you feel that all your hard work has paid off and you’re feeling very confident about what you’ve learned.  I will be sharing in a separate post what I’ve learned from writing, producing and posting this series.  It certainly was an eye opener for me and quite surprised in what I learned from several ladies that we kind enough to share their opinions with me on the fascination subject of “fitting”.

Now that this series is concluding you might just be thinking, “Well yeah, but this is only one pattern, now what??”  Well that’s all you really need to draft an unlimited amount of other silhouettes from this pattern.  This basic pattern is what many refer to as a “sloper” in the Industry.  Or maybe you’ve heard the term “basic block” used when referring to a pattern?  A “basic block”  is a basic pattern that fits you, that you will use to modify into other patterns that will FIT YOU.  Well, you just created your very own “basic block”.  I hope you can see now how all the effort and time is paying off for  you.  It’s not necessary that you have any other shirt patterns.  This one can be modified for jackets, coats, vests, or any other shirt pattern your interested in drafting.  It can also be modified and used to work with knits as well.  

Did the pattern that you took the time to fit  over this series offer any other options or views within the pattern?  If so, make sure you translate all of your corrections to those as well so you have more choices.  If I see an interest, I may do a short series on Pattern Drafting showing how to use this pattern to make other design options.  I’ve already committed to doing a Video Series on my New YouTube Channel, but if I see the interest, I will give it a GO for all of my followers! 

Now that you have a pattern that you’re happy with the fit, I’d like to suggest that you make a “production pattern” out of it.  A production pattern is a complete pattern including left and right sides and any pattern pieces cut on the fold are made into a full pattern pieces.  It’s usually cut out of what we call in the Industry “Oak Tag” or “Tag Board” and is an off white on one side and pale green on the other.  Many companies don’t even use this method anymore with the introduction computerized grading.  The actual “production pattern” was once used for grading by hand but now is digitized into the computer and everything is printed from there.
There are a few reasons why having a production pattern is important, especially if you’d like to try drafting new patterns from this pattern.
1.  It’s always easier to figure yardage with a complete set of pattern pieces.  If you follow the fabric and pattern layouts in most patterns, you’d be surprised how wasteful they can be.  The reason for this is that they are accommodating a size range when they suggest these layouts not just for the size you’re working with.  It’s just not cost effective to the pattern companies to figure and print a layout for each size.  This is why having a production pattern works in your favor to plan your own layout.  Chances are you will use less yardage than the pattern recommends.  You can layout your full pattern and fit in your pieces more closely with less waste.
2.  If you’re working with a stripe or plaid fabric it’s easier to lay your pattern out in a single layer so having a complete set of your pattern is extremely helpful.  This way you can match your stripes and plaids with key points on your pattern so you will have them matching perfectly with no headaches later.
3.  If you’re drafting an asymmetrical pattern, using a production pattern is once again your friend.  An asymmetrical pattern is simply a pattern that is different on the left side than the right side.  There are two different kinds of asymmetry in garments.  The first are patterns that use the whole front pattern piece, which cross over the entire front of the body. The left side of the pattern is different from the right side of the pattern.  Both the left and right side of the garment is same pattern piece, however they are full front pattern pieces.  A good example of this is a wrapped top.  The pattern crosses over from the one side to the other side, however both the left front and the right front pattern pieces are the same.  The pattern front pattern piece itself if asymmetrical, however the garment isn’t.
The other type of asymmetry is actually drafting two different patterns for each side of the garment.  These designs are hot in the market right now.  For example, these would include many of the new blouse patterns that have two distinctly different sleeves.  These patterns are good examples of asymmetrical patterns that have distinctly different left and right side patterns.  It’s also important to remember that these pieces must be cut out using the right side of the fabric and pattern.  If the fabric your using has a right and wrong side, you may end up with an upside down piece by accident if you’re not careful. 

The last thing I’d like to suggest is to make sure to preserve your pattern in a good quality pattern paper, brown paper or poster board.  Professionally I’ve always worked this way and find it easier to draft patterns this way. A good portion of flat pattern work is knowing where to trace around and pivot your pattern to modify it for another design so a heavier paper or board works the best.  I’ve also read “tips” that some people like to iron on fusible interfacing to their patterns for preservation.  I’ve never tried this method, however as long as it doesn’t shrink or goop up the pattern paper, it may be a good option. 
It’s time to close this series with the Give-Away that I promised.  I have sent an email to the winner directly so check your emails!  Please send me your contact information so I can mail out your gift.
I just wanted to Thank All of you that participated in this series with me.  I received a good amount of private messages, emails and public comments, regarding this series.  It’s always nice when readers feel comfortable enough to share their opinions and comments whether publically or privately.  This learning experience was invaluable to me. Thanks for following along and supporting my efforts. I was NOT paid in any way to do this and I haven’t asked anyone to pay for my professional information.  I’ve written this series freely and from my own perspective and would like it to always be credited back to me as the sole owner of this series.  Thank you for respecting this and sharing properly by leaving my information and logo’s intact and not using my pictures without my permission.  The information is here, however I DO NOT give my permission to make printed copies of my work for any reason.   I truly hope that the information provided along the way helped you on your “Journey Back to Garment Sewing”.
Please join me for my upcoming video series.   Hope to hear from you then. 


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This entry was posted in basic block, basic shirt pattern, creating a sloper, drafting, Everything Sewing, free pattern fitting series, modify, pattern making, Pattern Review, sewing, sloper, Strikes My Fancy, TNT pattern. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Part 8: Finally a TNT Pattern!!

  1. Virginia says:

    Thanks again for all your time sharing your wealth of information with those of us who struggle sewing garments that fit. I have already subscribed to the youtube channel and look forward to learning more. I'm already starting to look at fit differently. One of my 'got it' moments was tracing the slope of the shoulder. I now know how much to adjust the patterns just by lining up my center back mark on my template with the pattern center back. I'm ready to start sewing 'for real' and have great fitting clothes. Thanks again.

  2. I have followed along through all of your lessons and I can't tell you how informative this series is. Fitting a pattern is the biggest challenge for me and I always end up somewhat unhappy with everything I create because of the fit. Following you has given me wonderful insight that I will take with me through out my sewing adventures. I can not thank you enough for taking your time to educate others.

  3. Thanks Virginia. I'm glad that this process was so helpful to you. I tried to offer information that you may not have thought about before in the fitting process.

  4. Thanks for following along on my series! Glad you found my information helpful!!

  5. Annette says:

    What an awesome article…Thank You so much…I am just getting back into sewing at 60 yrs young as I am never happy with Off the Rack clothing….Once again thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge..It is very much appreciated by myself and from reading the comments…many others that have struggled with fitting a pattern…
    Cheers Annette

  6. Hi Annette! Welcome back to sewing!! Glad you found my information helpful. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you appreciated it.

  7. bigalsgal says:


  8. Thanks for commenting! I appreciate it and am Happy you're enjoying this series!!

  9. Great post, I'm sure this will help a lot of people who don't know where to start when working from patterns!

  10. Lizza says:

    This is so fantastic! I've learned a lot! Thank you so very much!

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