So what is this magical tool that has the Girl so giddy and giggly I hear you ask?
It is a ruler that allowed the Girl to draft Her own block patterns (if you are reading the Girl’s story all the way from the USA you would know them as slopers) very quickly, very easily and without any use of mathematics. And best of all – with no previous experience or knowledge of what She was supposed to be doing!!! A bit like painting with numbers. Maria Oprsesnik, the lovely Pattern Drafting Lady, is a huge fan of the KISS principle – Keep It Sublimely Simple (the Girl has changed this common saying a little because She doesn’t like the more commonly used Keep It Simple Stupid!!!). And Maria has most definitely succeeded.
The Girl had never really thought too much about garment construction when looking at pre-made fashions or even really whilst perusing all the commercial patterns on display in the large pattern catalogues where She would look longingly at all the wonderful garments She could make. However, She has learned that all these wonderful designs, at their most basic, originate from four block shapes – a dress (which covers blouses and skirts as well), pants, sleeve and collar. All the pretty designs She loves are just that – design changes that result from our creative spirits and vision.
While researching pattern drafting the Girl had seen all the rulers She would have to buy – various sizes of french curves, right angle rulers, long straight rulers, set squares – and compasses and all sorts of other stuff. Phew! And all the books talked about halving, quartering, angles. More phew!! But the magic Pattern Drafter Ruler was just one ruler with all those other ones built in! And the maths – She just had to know how to halve – yay, the Girl could do that! Then all She had to do was follow the recipe that Maria had provided – start at A, join to B, move to C and so on. The Ruler took care of it all. It even told the Girl which way it should be oriented to draw each line because if She couldn’t read the words on the Ruler without turning Her head She was holding it incorrectly. See – no thinking necessary!!! She loved it!
When the Girl had made all four of her personal blocks – personal because they are constructed using only Her measurements – she made a calico (sometimes called toile or muslin). And the true magic became immediately apparent – the Girl fit into Her calico with almost perfect sizing, the first time!! Just two minor adjustments for Her sway back (a small dart) and Her lumpy, bumpy thighs (a small side seam adjustment). The Girl was ecstatic – never before had She been able to wear a shop bought straight skirt because Her waist was little and Her thighs were Her widest ‘assest’ (sadly, no point in trying to pretend otherwise!!!). Always the skirt was too tight or the waist too big. Now, because Her dress block was Her exact sizing, straight skirts were are longer a problem. She has determined to make up for lost years and to wear many, many garments with straight skirts. Lol!
The Girl has been teaching beginners how to use their sewing machines and how to make simple non-fitted garments. She is now so very, very thrilled to be able to show Her students how to draft and sew for their very own, totally unique bodies with their own lumps, bumps and hollows. So quickly, so easily, no fuss. As mentioned in the earlier chapter of this story the Girl and The Pattern Drafting Lady bonded and have become firm Friends. The Girl has completed Her Teacher Accreditation as She is determined that others should share Her joy in making clothes uniquely fitted to them without pain, frustration and struggle. And the beauty of the Pattern Drafter Ruler is it encompasses a large size range so She could make clothes for Her precious Daughter – as well as Friends She owed favours!!! And who knows, down the track She may decide to make custom clothes for clients – minimal fitting required!! Less time or more customers!
Now the Girl has been busily drafting and sewing and adding to Her wardrobe and will share Her creations with you shortly. For now She wants the Pattern Drafter Ruler to take centre stage because that is where it belongs!! And since a picture is worth a thousand words surely a video is worth so many, many more!!
Until next time, happy quilting, knitting, sewing, crocheting and crafting ….