I was not only wrong; I was dead wrong, in fact.
Young sewing students CAN draft their own patterns.
I really thought drafting patterns from body measurements would prove too difficult and too frustrating for teens. Too much math and “plotting” lines and angles. I thought it was a skill that required both more sewing experience AND more experience taking an idea from concept to final product.
But it turns out that fashion designing is a good way to practice that concept->product process.
Mistakes WERE made. By all of us. But working together, these three young gals were able to learn how to take accurate body measurements, draft a straight skirt sloper, adjust the fit, and finally design and draft a “real” skirt using the sloper as a pattern base. Oh yes, there is plenty more to learn. More practice would be a good thing, too. I need to tweak the course curriculum. But much was accomplished in just 4 days as well.
Did you notice one student, “I”, is not wearing her skirt? She made a darling circle skirt with a high waist. Out of PLEATHER. And yes, it is adorable. But her mom recently moved back to Germany and somehow the skirt ended up packed somewhere and was not available for picture day. You’ll just have to take my word; it rocked!
“D” made a cotton print skirt with soft pleats in the front and back, and added an organza overlay before adding the waistband. There is a slit up the back to provide enough walking room, and a nicely inserted zipper in the back. Looks great, right?
“H” wanted a slim skirt silhouette with pockets in the front. She drafted the pocket pattern based on another skirt she had at home, and used a contrast solid color to accentuate this feature of her skirt. She has already worn her skirt to a birthday party, and loves the great fit!
I am so proud of these gals, and we all enjoyed spending the week together working on these skirts. I will definitely be hosting more pattern drafting classes for teens in the future!
Have you ever taught young teens to draft their own patterns? Have you done any pattern drafting yourself?