Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Tools I Use to Draft Patterns

I’m pretty new to drafting patterns, but I’ve found a good process with a few simple, inexpensive tools. I like reusing paper that comes in packages in the mail— that brown paper they smoosh to keep your items in place. It folds nicely, doesn’t tear easily, and is easy to write on. When I don’t have a stash of that on hand, I like the brown craft paper from Dollar Tree. You get a roll of it for $1 (duh), and it meets all the same criteria.

For marking I’ve tried different pens and markers and have found that I prefer a pencil with a thick lead. I’m using the Papermate 1.3mm mechanical pencil. The lead is thick enough to see the outlines and markings and doesn’t puncture the paper like a thinner lead. You also can erase your mistakes.

The first ruler I use is one I bought over a decade ago at Hancock Fabrics (RIP). You can find lots of clear ruler options in your store’s sewing supply section. I would like one that’s even longer for drawing long hemlines. I use a wooden yard stick when I need to, but there’s something so convenient about being able to see through the ruler to make sure you’re marking where you need to.

The second clear ruler is a square one from Fiskars that I picked up from Walmart. I use it for adding 1/2 inch seam allowances. There are lots of square ruler options, but I like that this one clearly has the seam allowance highlighted in orange.

Curved rulers (not pictured) made for marking arms holes and sleeves and other curves are definitely handy, as well. I use the Lutterloh brand, but you can find other brands at sewing supply stores. These aren’t essential for getting started but are definitely helpful.

These few tools have made it so much easier to make my own patterns, whether I’m tracing store-bought/ready-made clothes or using a drafting system like Lutterloh. If I can make my own patterns, so can you! Having the right tools sets you up for success and for a more enjoyable experience!

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