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Design your Clothes with a Pattern Start?

I’m finding that some weavers are struggling with clothing design for their new cloth. The Saori pattern books are great with the Saori Beginner Clothing Design book best for beginner sewers and the others for those who know their way around stitching more. However the cloth is sometimes best when it is draped directly on the body. Some people use a dress form and these are great for shaping up and holding some pieces to your size but nothing beats the flow of the body itself.

I’ve been working on an easier method to get you started in designing which is a combination of pattern instruction and draping. Working with a series of Pattern Starts you can jump off from a half way point to create your own way of styling. You can then stitch up the start with confidence that you are jumping off with some sort of structure.

Make a Twist Top. Pattern by Kaz Madigan.

This start will allow you to try something on… then arrange…then pin into a garment. The one illustrated here was ‘composed’ into the garment shown. The hole became one of the armholes and the garment was joined at one side below the other armhole.  You could make the edges uneven or different shapes, leave fringes or add other pieces of cloth somewhere. Could the hole be a neckline or go around the waist somehow? Just remember that you have to get out of the garment and you can use press studs as a way of opening and closing it where needed.  It’s much easier to work this way if you have a start. Basically it’s a case of building a starting unit rather than working with the cloth as it is.


This lovely video, mentioned in my newsletter, is an inspiration for how to wear simple clothing and really challenge the conventions of how to put clothes on. If you are keen to learn more about conventional draping for flat pattern development see here.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Marilyn Rutledge #

    Hi Kaz, this looks great, are you doing classes on this. If so I would love to do the class. I am in Bali until Thursday 17th. Could you please let me know all the details . Thanks heaps Kaz, kindest regards, Marilyn.

    April 11, 2014

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