Having sewn for a couple years now, I'm pretty comfortable with making just about anything, so long as I've got a pattern. It's especially easy (usually) with an indie sewing pattern. They often have diagrams or pictures for every little step of the assembly process, as well as a social media forum where you can ask questions. But since fun is my MO, I thought I'd give drafting a try. I'm probably not going to be drafting many patterns, but I wanted to gain some insight into the process and learn something.

If you don't know already, I'm a fan of the SewHere gals. Mallory and Zede have 2 podcasts, The Self Sewn Wardrobe and Sewing Out Loud. They are as knowledgeable and experienced as they are fun and snarky. At the time I'm writing this, their course for drafting your own simple tee for wovens, or EasyT, has been out for a few months and they have a leggings course in production.

You can sign up for the video-based course on the SewHere website, OR! (through some magical friendship that I don't know the backstory of) you can get the course through LA Finch Fabrics with several yards (5, I think) of fabric. It so happens I love Josie and the LA Finch crew too, so of course, I went with the route that resulted in more fabric in my possession.  

Now, there's likely plenty of other ways to learn about drafting a shirt. Books. I imagine those things with paper pages are still being printed and sold, or even loaned out from places called libraries for free. You read them. So I hear. Craftsy. They have no less than 8 gazillion courses you can purchase. Surely they have some on drafting. But, like I said, I love Mallory and Zede. It really feels like they personally care for all the stitchers they interact with. I'm buying whatever they are selling. Ice in Alaska. Take my money.

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The course includes a printable worksheet for recording body measurements and calculating drafting points. Mallory runs through the best way to get accurate body measurements using a few simple tools.

And then comes the drafting. She makes it look so easy and straightforward. The EasyT is living up to its name. 

My trouble came when I ran out of length on my tracing paper, which really was parchment paper. Because it's what I had on hand. It wasn't ideal, but I made it work. Also, I had grabbed my small cutting mat from my sewing space and brought it down to the dining table so I could draft while the kids were up to their usual shenanigans. The small mat is only 24" long, so with a high shoulder point to hip length of 27", I ran off the end of my grid. Plan ahead!

Tracing with Ikea craft paper. Cuz kids.

Tracing with Ikea craft paper. Cuz kids.

The other aspect that wasn't clear to me was the ease. There's 2" of ease added to the calculations made on the worksheet for the bust and hip and it assumes that one's waist is smaller than both of those measurements. It's possible, if you're apple shaped that you wouldn't fit this model well.

So here's my first muslin. 

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I hope you enjoy these poorly lit fit (unhemmed) pics with goofy selfie faces. I found the fabric was dragging across my bust and there was a bit much fabric under the arm from the dolman sleeve. I double checked all my measurements. And I was off by 2 inches for the distance to my bust. That's right. My bust was 2 inches lower than yesterday. I'm doomed for these suckers to be hanging between my knees in no time at all. But in all seriousness/fairness, I wear really cozy nursing-friendly bras right now. I said cozy. Not supportive. 

Re-draft in blue.

Re-draft in blue.

So I moved a few points and re-drafted the side seam and sleeve line/underarm curve. And upon Mallory's suggestion, I adjusted the sleeve/underarm curve a bit more. There's some written material to accompany the course. I, being special, didn't find it until after I was done. If you're gonna get the course too, make sure you find the course outline. There's some extra info and diagrams in there.

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Voila! All finished and hemmed and now I have a sweet little pattern I drafted that I can play with and truly call me-made.

And here's the best blurry shot I was able to get with my tripod and the timer. Because lord only knows where my remote has run off to.

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