Metric Pattern Cutting. The love affair continues with sleeves and bodices.

A while back I was singing the praises of Winifred Aldrich’s Metric Pattern Cutting, it’s truly awesome. I said it before but I’ll say it again, I’ve learnt so much from this book. I think I may have even got over my maths aversion too. The satisfaction of being able to make something from absolute scratch (and get it right) is great.

Metric Pattern Cutting. Bodice and sleeve.I admit this isn’t the most visually arresting garment, it’s inside out, it’s calico and it’s scribbled on but, it’s all mine. Constructing the bodice gave me plenty of “Eureka!” moments, nice little revelations that have given me a better understanding of how to do things right and, more importantly, how to fix things when they go wrong.

Metric Pattern Cutting. Bodice

One of my revelations? Nipples. Bust points. Boobs. It’s all about accommodating the boobs.  A fairly obvious point, as it were *ahem*. I spent a lot of time locating the “largest point of the bust”.

Once I finished this I was feeling pretty smug. So smug in fact that I immediately set about drafting a one piece sleeve. I have an aversion to sleeves, I usually like my clothes sleeveless so I can wear them in summer and throw a cardi over them when it’s cooler. But maybe that was something I was just telling myself because, truth be told, sewing them does my head in. But, not anymore! Another fear banished! I’ve made quite a few sleeve variations now and now I want sleeves in everything. Sleeves for everyone!

I had to do a bit of adjusting and moving darts around until I got it the way I wanted but, for once, I wasn’t so quick to just give up. In fact, I have a more optimistic approach to the stack of works in progress that I had given up on. Since these pics, I’ve made a few variations on the basic bodice, shifting the dart to gathers, making a shirt, a few different collars, lowered necklines. I’ve just about completed a yoked top but I’m still messing about trying to decide on the sleeves so it’s not quite done.

I’m so impressed with this book (and happy with myself) that I bought Aldrich’s Fabric and Pattern Cutting. This goes through yet more variations on the basic blocks and has made me think about my fabric choices in a more careful way. I can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Also, I found these free downloads from Aldrich. It’s a whole bunch of blocks, trousers, skirts, jackets, bodies etc. Only sizes 10 and 12 I’m afraid but you can grade them.

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About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------> smittenness@gmail.com
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8 Responses to Metric Pattern Cutting. The love affair continues with sleeves and bodices.

  1. CherryPix says:

    It is such a Eureka moment! I recently finished a pattern drafting course…haven’t made up as many toiles as you have but I totally get what you mean about the ‘a-ha’ moments. I have Aldrich’s book too…intriguing! Thanks for the blocks link.

  2. This is awasom book. I have bought this one as all other from my school are gone (unfortunately). I love this book as well. I have make body block and skirt – to tets it. Now I have basic patterns I could use to check other standard patterns for flat fitting. Making these blocks is a lot of fun!
    Success with your blocks!

  3. Very inspiring. I can see that it’s time I got my version of this book out I starting worked 🙂

  4. Take two… Very inspiring. I can see that it’s time I got my version of this book out and I started work 🙂

    • smittenness says:

      I find that I just keep making muslins though. I can’t stop playing around with details, lapels, sleeves, etc. I’ll need to focus and get an idea together to actually make something I can wear.

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