Saturday, August 18, 2012

suit pattern drafting

 Well, I am still waiting for the shipment of fabric to arrive and I'll tell you, it is causing me stress!  It is also messing with my carefully laid planning ;-)
So I have started on another project or two while I wait.

Since I have just spent time making boys patterns, I was getting used to the small nature of the patterns compared to what I normally make. Then I made a shirt pattern for a friend who has a size 50 chest! It made my head spin to go from a boy's size 8 to that.
Once that was finished I started this project pictured here. It also took some adjusting to as it is almost boy's size but made for a difficult figure.

A few years ago I was asked to make a jacket for a client, which I did, and he now is asking for another jacket and trousers as well as a two piece suit. He cannot purchase anything off the rack with good fitting results. His height is 4'11" and he has had some surgeries that have resulted in a very pronounced belly.
I remeasured him and found that he was smaller all around now, so I thought it would be a good time to try a redraft.
This time I used a much more conventional approach rather than my usual draft and cut and tape style.
The draft is mainly based on my own system, but I read through the drafts in a German cutting book I have, and applied the drafting techniques there for a big bellied figure.
In the second picture you can see it cut out and laid out on the table.
Once I had it to this point, I still needed to apply the balance measurements I had taken, and I needed another inch and a half in length in the front, based on the nape to CF waist measurement I had.

I opened the front in a wedge as you can see in the bottom picture, and taped in some paper and corrected my lines.
Off I went to the local fabric store for a toile fabric, and I have sewn a mock-up and I am ready to fit it. I like the look of this pattern better than the old one, but fittings are what really reveals what works. I hope to get this fit next week sometime, before my shipment arrives.
If it arrives next week.
It better arrive next week.


  1. Terri,
    a question: How did you measure the balance measurements? Did you go just to the waist or did you measure to the bottom

  2. I measured from the nape to the centre front of the waist. I always measure with something like an elastic or grosgrain ribbon that is placed around the waist first. I usually take photographs as well, front back and side so I can look again at the figure and not have to rely on memory or notes.

  3. another question:
    since your friend is a big sized person, are you providing more allowance on the chest, also have you taken into consideration a measurement of the stomach while sitting?

  4. The suit jacket is not for a big man. He is actually quite small, but has a belly from the many surgeries he has had to have. I don't think I needed more chest than what I normally would allow.....there was ample room in the jacket for sitting without having it be too tight at the waist. It is a good thing to think about.
    The shirt is for a big man, and I wanted to keep it as slim looking as possible.

  5. OH, sorry I dint read the text correctly. thanks anyways for your answer. I normally take the 'STOMACH WHILE SITTING' measurement as well if there is a prominent stomach, it really helps. thanks a lot.

  6. What is the name/type of heavy paper used to draft patterns and where would I be able to order it?