Hi guys! This is the first post in a hopefully quite long weekly series, so please do let me know if you enjoy it. Each Sunday I will be posting about sewing, including sharing some favourite tips, updating you on a current project i'm working on or posting a full tutorial. If you have anything in particular you'd like to see in this series, please let me know and I'll do my best to include it! Today I'm going to be talking about sewing without a pattern so click through for more! ~
Generally, when i'm making or altering clothes, I do so without using patterns. I find them difficult to read and cumbersome to use, although they are undoubtedly useful on occasion (for example, I used part of a dress pattern to make my nautical crop top). So many simple items though, such as skirts, shorts and most dresses can be made pretty easily without needing to use pre-made patterns.
One of the first places I always look to for inspiration and easy tutorials is Pintrest. There are some seriously creative people out there, and I can't even count the amount of things I've made (or at least attempted to make!) that have been inspired from my 'Sewing Inspiration' board. The internet in general is really good for helping with what I like to call 'freehand dressmaking', and the great thing is once you've made something once it's usually so easy to go off and change it to suit your own needs in various ways. If you can make a simple pencil skirt with just some fabric, a pencil and a tape measure, you can probably make a mini skirt, a circle skirt and an A-Line skirt just as easily, and from there move on to more complex things. I always try to copy the tutorial exactly the first time, and then every time after I make adjustments until I know the best way to make the garment for me. Patterns can be a lot more prescriptive, and while that's a great thing for more complex clothing, for the simple stuff it just isn't necessary.
Some things I've made, such as my Cherub Knicker Shorts were made using a self-drafted pattern, in this case made by tracing around an existing pair of shorts onto some newspaper and adjusting the seam lengths to get the exact shape wanted. This worried me at first try, but it was so easy that I've since taken to using this method for a lot of my sewing. I have lots of clothes that I already love the fit of, so why not use them to help create some new ones that will fit me in just the same kind of way? It also helped me learn a lot about patterns and clothes themselves - it's a lot easier to see how all those weird curvy lines fit together to make a pair of shorts or a top when you've drawn, cut along, stitched and customized them yourself.
I think a big part of the reason I'm more comfortable without patterns is that I am 100% self-taught, and definitely still learning. Maybe in the future I'll find myself relying on patterns more and more, but for now at least I love the freedom and amount of alteration and creativity it allows. What do you think? Do you always use patterns, or are you more comfortable going freehand and/or making your own patterns? Let me know below!
- Natalie XOX