June 3, 2015

Pattern Drafting Madness

Have you ever been struck with pattern drafting madness? It's when you are trying to draft/fix a sewing pattern, only to go a bit crazy and get wildly frustrated for an entire afternoon instead! 

Well today I was in the thick of it, trying to draft a chelsea collar (aka, this collar) that is all in one with the front shirt piece. I have very little experience with shirt-making, which is like an art unto itself. I have only ever made one proper collared shirt, and that was in school with step-by-step help. I knew I didn't want the collar to be a separate piece, that it was theoretically possible to have an extension at the neckline that would fold over into a collar, but getting there was hellish! I just couldn't wrap my head around how it worked in three dimensions. I finally found this blog post that helped a lot.

However, the collar wasn't my only pattern problem today, I had a nasty case of the evil sleeve! What was wrong with it? There was way too much extra fabric, but no where for it to go! I made three different sleeve patterns and ended up back using my first one that I had started with. It was a few hours of fighting that only lead back to where I'd begun! Oh the sewing woes you guys. I got there in the end though, I hope...

Which is to say I am hopefully one mock-up/test shirt away from having a shirt pattern I like! I was hoping to say I had a finished pattern at the end of today but destiny was not on my side. I have to cut out a mock up and see if I have finally achieved something usable!

As I was searching though etsy trying to find a similar vintage pattern for the shirt I had in mind, the above options captured my attention right away! The white blouse was quite similar to what I had in mind, the way the collar worked anyway. Miraculously, the etsy seller had a photo of the back of the pattern showing tiny depictions of the pattern pieces.

There! Piece F! So thats how the collar extension should sorta look! Seeing this pattern was what lead me down the rabbit hole of drafting the chelsea collar today. I am so cheap I refuse to buy sewing patterns anymore! I just struggle with pattern paper until I emerge victorious. Which is to say, if anyone falls in love with the above pattern, it is still for sale here.

Here's hoping after I fiddle with a new mock-up this weekend I can start a version of what I will refer to from now on as the Elsa Schneider shirt. I mean look at this blouse realness?

Backstabbing nazi, but damn stylish. 


  1. Very clever thinking regarding trying to find a similar pattern. I hope that the rest of the month is kinder to you on the sewing front.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica, it's my way of cheating when google isn't giving me anything to work with!

  2. I am so impressed that you can draft your own patterns, that is such a talent! Hope the shirt is going along the right track now.

    1. Thank you Kate, though to be fair I took several classes on pattern drafting and draping for my degree, so I have that on my side! I about to go cut out the final version of the shirt now!


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