Monday, 5 January 2015

A Perfect Self-Drafted Pattern

I've been back at the sewing machine again.  This time I had a third go at perfecting my self-drafted version of the sleeveless top sewn in the Great British Sewing Bee (Season 2, Episode 1 - read the episode summary here).  I think I have finally nailed the pattern.  The neckline has a really nice shape and the shoulders sit perfectly.  I am absolutely delighted with the final pattern, and am going to make at least one more version soon.

For this version I used some of my stash of Liberty Tana Lawn that I bought on my last visit to Desai in Cricklewood Lane, London.  This fabric is called Pelagia.

I love how light these fabrics are.  They are also such beautiful quality.

I am especially proud of how I matched the pattern through that centre back seam.  You can't even see the join.  Also, the two top edges align absolutely perfectly.

This is the original top sewn on the Great British Sewing Bee (read my summary of this episode here).  I especially liked the neckline, but I wanted a slightly looser fit around the body.

Just so you can see how far this pattern draft has come, this is a comparison of versions 1 and 2.

And this is a comparison of versions 2 and 3.

Some of the changes I made in this final version were:

  1. I slightly changed the angle of the join on the shoulder (which makes the front of the neckline sit flatter).  
  2. I moved the top of the armhole slightly wider.
  3. I widened the neckline.
  4. I cut the neckline lower at the centre front and centre back.

As I'm really new to pattern drafting, the whole process has been a great learning experience.  I think the most important thing I have learnt is that  I should always make a toile, and make all adjustments on the toile before making a final garment.

You can read about the first two blouses here and here.


  1. Dear Katie,

    I love both the pattern as well as your story of how you got there-- very inspiring, especially for those of us who are sewing newbies such as myself. Is your pattern available anywhere for download??


    1. Thanks Jessa. It was such an interesting learning experience. It also taught me not to use expensive fabric for a first draft! I don't have the pattern available for download or sale. However a pattern for the inspiration blouse (from Great British Sewing Bee, Season 2, Episode 1) was recently published in Fashion With Fabric by Claire-Louise Hardie.

    2. Thanks Katie! I'll give it a go :)