Thursday, December 29, 2011

Free Fashion Figure Template Downloads/Printing How To

Well okay,  about a week ago,  I posted my free fashion figure templates for everyone to download or print,  which ever you like and my instructions for how to get the files into your hands were... a little off.   Google's way of allowing people to view them has changed so this is why I made the mistake in the first place.   So here's the right way to do it and the link to the post so you don't have to look for it if you want to go back and get some fashion figure templates to start working on your own fashion designs after you read this post:

1.  when you see a template you like in the 'free fashion figure templates' blog post left click on the picture

2.  when the 'gallery view' comes up and there's a row of thumbnails at the bottom of the screen with the larger image you chose at the top right click on the big image and click the option that says "open in new tab"

3.  when you're in the new tab you'll see the template on a white background,  run your mouse over it (it'll probably appear as a zoom lens

4.  click to zoom to actual size and print the image out, depending on what size you want the figure to be you may want to save the image and change the size (and eliminate the problem of having the url printed with it at the bottom of the page) or you might just want to take the shortcut and pick the "fit to media" option in your printing dialogue box.

Okay so there you go,  sorry if you had any problems getting these images printed out the first time around.   I might take a while to get my actual patterns made for my portfolio designs,  although they are definitely going to happen (I've already got several design illustrations thought up and ready to scan in and edit),  because I'm also teaching myself how to create digital patterns using CorelDraw9 and Adobe CS2.   It's a must that I learn this because I realize it's the best thing for both my potential clients and myself to do so and it's in demand.   I'll keep you all posted as things progress though.

If you'd like to check out my fashion or eco friendly fashion resources lenses here are their links, feel free to drop me a note if you like what you see/read, I'll be happy to hear from you:

Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Digital Patternmaking, Can I Do It Myself? Yes I Can!

After some good long thinking,  not only am I going to work on my portfolio with some original designs,  but I'm also going to see if I can teach myself digital patternmaking and develop a way to send printable pattern files to my clients.  

Well,  I did take a course in desktop publishing years ago and I learnt how to use CorelDraw 9,  I love that program and I've been wondering if I can use it for patternmaking because whenever I look at screen shots of patternmaking programs they look a lot like vector programs.

I'm thinking regular patternmaking programs probably have a database of ready make blocks to edit,  maybe in different sizes too,  and have neat features like notch adjustments,  seam allowance builders,  mabye even a way cool dart manipulation feature.   But technically speaking a person should be able to pull all of that off in regular bare bones vector program if they know how to use one and they also know how to draft regular patterns.   Heheheh,  I know how to do both :)   So several hours later (I've never done this before) I've completely reconstructed my basic bodice block in CorelDraw 9.  Here it is:

Something to smile about for sure.   I just can't stand by and wait to learn something when I think I can teach myself somehow.   After all that's what got me this far.   So now,  I'm not in the clear,  I have to see if there's a way to create a "tile" file for the pattern to perfectly printed out from a file I can create in Adobe Photoshop CS2.   That might be tricky,  I believe the newest versions of CorelDraw allow you to do this easily,  "but I ain't got the money for that".   No problem there's always a way :).    Now,  if you're wondering how I got those beautiful neckline and armscye curves,  it was a little digital ingenuity.  

I found a non-angle shot of a vary form curve ruler (googled it of course) than I imported it into CorelDraw 9 and enlarged it so that the image's inch measurements matched a little 'inch' bar at both the straighter end and at the curved end.

Then I made some inch marks and half inch markers so that I could still measure my curves in the software,  neat huh?   All I have to do is flip this baby around and basically use it the same way as I would an actual ruler.

Well,  now if I get a client,  think I may have one when these holidays are over, crossing my fingers,  but even if I don't,  I'm going to work on these digitals and my portfolio pieces so I can show em my patternmaking expertise.

Before I send off any digital patterns though,  I'm going to be printing out a hardcopy see how they measure up.

If you'd like to check out my fashion or eco friendly fashion resources lenses here are their links, feel free to drop me a note if you like what you see/read, I'll be happy to hear from you:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Free Fashion Figure Templates Are Here !

Here are the templates I've just scanned and cleaned up again.   I have them all ready to pick from for my fashion illustrations I want to put together for my patternmaking portfolio I'm going to build.

Yeah,  that cute little "free to sell" fashion figure template book I posted about before was destroyed when someone (not me) spilled lemonade on the computer,  sadly.   I totally lost the beautiful cover I made for the book and no longer have the background contents I originally used for the cover.   So I'll just post each of the templates online here so you all can enjoy using them too.   There's around 30 figures.   I want to post them on my Squidoo lens as well when the staff help me out with that updating problem I'm having with my fashion lens.

I have to see if I can post them here in a way that you can print a full-size,  page height template from the images,  let's see... Yeah,  looking good,  all you need to do is click on the template you want to see and print,  then you'll get to the full size image.  Enjoy.

If you'd like to check out my fashion or eco friendly fashion resources lenses here are their links, feel free to drop me a note if you like what you see/read, I'll be happy to hear from you:

Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Planning A Patternmaking Portfolio

It's Sunday so it might be the wrong day to fear / antisipate business going slow (I know I'm being impatient) but there's a great way to plan ahead on what to do with any spare free time I may have.   Update my fashion squidoo pages (when they fix up the bugs on my lens),  review my fashion industry books,  but perhaps,  more importantly I should work on putting together some content for my own online patternmaking portfolio.  

I don't have any eco - friendly fabric,  but I do have a stock of fabric from years ago and some other materials I purchased from thrift stores.   So I should try to decide on what kind of designs to create that would demonstrate some serious patternmaking abilities.   Then I'll have to figure out how to take some decent photos (with my cell phone?  hahaha,  I'll probably  have a great new camera by then hopefully) to put on my portfolio pages.

The thing is here is that my sewing skills aren't that great, or atleast not as refined as I'd like them to be,  so I'll have to get past that to provide some visual 'credentials' for my patternmaking skills.   That shouldn't be too much trouble though,  usually when I sew I'm in a rush,  things rarely turn out perfect like that.   I'll just take my time so I can get it right.

I want to make some complex garments and some simple garments.  I think one garment should be a sort of empire waist baby doll slip with a keyhole detail at the centre front and slightly flared hemline.   The next design should be a princess seam dress with puff cap sleeves and cut out detailing in the sleeve and side panel areas.   I'm thinking this would need some kind of backing material or interfacing to stabilize and support the cut out areas neatly though.  I should also do a pair of pants with frontier pockets and an asymetrical jacket.  For the simpler designs I think I'll do a totally girly scalloped hem tulip skirt with fullness at the waisline and hips tapered to slim fit skirt width at the below the knee hemline.  I'd also like to do an interesting color block fitted vest.  

Yeah,  I'll work on these whenever I don't have clients or much work and post these projects on the sewing mamas forum too.   I'll plan ahead to take my time and make sure they turn out perfectly too.   Right now then,  I have to re-do my little figure templates and do my fashion illustrations for these designs first.   When I can,  I'll post the figure templates on my Squidoo lens too.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Waiting For My Prospective Pattern Clients

Well,  I posted my ads on Friday,  this is a good and bad thing.   It's good because people have already contacted me who,  I'm guessing will get back to me sometime this coming week (Yeah!!!) the bad side though is the waiting,  but I always make the best of that.

I wanted to update my squidoo lens but there are some bugs not allowing me to do that at the moment so I'm waiting for the squidoo team to return my request for help about that,  so I'm got to focus on something else for now.

Two patternmaking books I've read over the years now are Helen Joseph Armstrong's and Connie Amaden Crawford's.   Connie's book wins out with me because speaking as one who didn't know enough about patternmaking when I first bought Armstrong's patternmaking book  I was terribly intimidated.   The instructions seemed unapproachable to me and I never plucked up the courage to get past drafthing the initial first block (I think this was the bodice block,  too many years ago to remember).

The thing that made me take the plunge and buy Connie's book though was that I'd heard her book was replacing Armstrong's book in the fashion schools,  that's big time.   Now,  however,  after successfully learning Connie's Amaden Crawford's Patternmaking Made Easy,  I kind of regret selling my Helen Joseph Armstrong book because now that I actually know my way around patternmaking I realize Armstrong's book would be great to have on hand as reference for different kinds of pattern blocks.  Or maybe it's just my subconscious desire to now closely compare the two books to see how many ways they differ.

One of these days I'll look into it.   For now though while I'm waiting,  I'm going to review things here and there in Connie's book and probably some of my other books as well.   I've got a regular little library now,  here's a group of photos of some of my favorite books I've studied/read/bought so far that I would highly recommend anyone interested in design to check out:

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Patternmaking Ad Is Up And Running!

Yes,  after a few days work at it,  to get it just right :) I've posted my ad in 4 places on the Fashion Industry Network (got to love that site),  facebook notes,  Craigslist and I'll have it here on my blog as well.   I've got to pay to put an ad up on the Sewing Mama's forum,  but it's not to much so a few clients in and I'll put an ad up with them as well.   Now I was wondering if I could put an ad up on Squidoo at all,  I might have to email them about the ins and outs,  dos and don'ts,  but I hope it would be okay as well.   I'm going to have my ad here on the blog as well.   So wish me luck,  hope I get a client or two really soon so my hard work this past year and a half (think it's been about that long) will start to slowly but surely pay off.  

Right now though,  I'm really screaming with excitement inside,  eeee,  I can't wait to get started and busy working on some really great designs and post pictures of them (with my designer client's approval of course).  That's going to be awesome!  Anyway here's my ad,  feel free to send me any suggestions or comments if you have any,  I'll be glad to hear them :)

Patternmaker Offering Discount Services

Buy 3 Patterns Get The Fourth One For FREE! (Offer Ends March 30, 2012)

Have you designed a garment or collection and don't know where to begin?

Or are you looking to supplement your staff during high demand?

My name is Ayisha and I'm an entry level patternmaker looking to impress designer and industry clients with great patterns and timely service.

Whether your designs are simple or complex, traditional, contemporary or fashion forward my goal is to create patterns that will produce exact replicas of your fashion sketches and concepts.

Simply provide your sketches or illustrations, information on the seams/trims/closures required, the fabric to be used and the completed size and measurements form (I'll email this out to you along with my reply) and the process of drafting your first patterns will begin.

What to expect:

All single garment patterns regardless of complexity will cost a flat rate of $35 USD each (price is negotiable).

- As soon as your pattern or, patterns have been drafted, I'll send them to you in the mail for approval and correction (payment for services rendered does not include shipping costs as this is free to all clients between now and March 30th, 2012).

- If any necessary corrections are needed you may either return the pattern(s) to me with the corrections marked and noted on the pattern (or) take a digital photo of the marked corrections and send it to me by email at: and your patterns will be adjusted accordingly and returned to you again by mail.

- If you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask me and if I have any questions in regards to your design's requirements, intended styling details and fit, etc, I will be sure to inquire about them before proceeding with your patterns (email correspondence may include illustrations highlighting the subject(s) in question)

- New clients must pay upon receiving patterns or multiple patterns in regards to agreed upon milestones.

- Established clients may pay within 10 days of receiving goods.

In return for the discounted fee, clients must also agree to provide good quality, well lit, or (preferably) professional quality photos of the finished garments produced from the patterns.

Email me today and see what I can do for you, email address:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Did It! Now For The Patternmaking Ad...

I completed the last patternmaking exercise,  well the last master block that is.   I woke up this morning and felt the strange sensation of having just become an entry level professional :).    I've got to do some research before I put up a patternmaking service ad though.   I noticed that many pattern makers offer other services as well,  pattern grading,  cutting,  sample sewing,  computerized/digitized patterns, even fashion illustration,  classes,  etc. 

Ahh,  how I would love to be able to do that as well.   No problem though,  I've already planned to Connie Amaden Crawford's book on pattern grading because I know I'm going to need it big time.   There are some sewing dvds I've been having my eye on as well,  just got to make the money to get them.

As for this computerized thing,  any patternmaker has to realize that people need time on their side,  digital patterns can be emailed to clients in a blink of an eye as well as edited and altered with ease so this isn't something I can ignore,  or want to for that matter.    I found out about the WildGinger company years ago and like their affordable range of patternmaking software packages.   I will definitely invest in those programs as soon as I get the chance.   Not to mention the fact that I really can't wait to see how they work,  hehehe.

First thing's first though,  the ad,  I'm a new "green" professional,  so should I say novice again?  I wonder,  maybe not.   I don't have those other cool services to offer so I think I'll offer a great (temporary) deal instead,  like a grand opening discount patternmaking service.   Buy three patterns get the fourth one free,  each for only $35 a piece.  (That's about a third of the price of regular service).  If I was a designer looking for a patternmaker I would love to try it out.  Also,  I'm going to email my previous clients for a possible qoute I could use as "client reviews" for my ad,  that will be great too.

Anyway,  here's my patternmaking work station/ storage area by the door:

Mind you,  I don't (and can't) draft the patterns on this thing,  that's done on the kitchen table,  so my first priorities are perhaps a foldup work table,  small computer desk and a clothes rack which I'll place in my bedroom (my husband probably won't mind).   These are things I'll get after I get a multiple button hole marker and a flexicurve ruler.   Actually I better make sure I have a hole punch too,  not a pattern notcher,  I have that.   But a single hole punch for the poster board master blocks and client's patterns,  so I can make the hole and hang them up with those pattern hooks I want to make.  That's not too impossible,  I found a picture of a simple pattern hook I think I can twist real easy out of a paper clip,  check it out:

It's the one in the top right corner.

This month though,  I'm going to have to buy a role of paper and those poster boards.   Wish they sold the paper rolls at the post office too,  that would make it real easy for me to get,  otherwise I'll have to go all the way to Staples in Downtown Langley.

One of these days I've got to update my Squidoo fashion lens.   I want to re-write my Lutterloh pattern content.  Great little system,  but speaking as someone who just learned how to make patterns and as a designer I wouldn't use them to create new patterns from if I didn't need to.    They're awesome if you just want to save some time on sewing some new garments for your wardrobe though.   Something I'm planning to do for sure.

Anyway if you'd like to check out my fashion or eco friendly fashion resources lenses here are their links,  feel free to drop me a note if you like what you see/read,  I'll be happy to hear from you:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Patternmaking Trouble With Jumpsuit Block And The Solution

Okay this morning I'm re-doing the traditional jumpsuit pattern blocks.   They didn't turn out right at all yesterday.   See that's the thing about practice,  if you mess up you've got to know you're going to try the same thing again tomorrow,  but that's tough right?   Here's how I handle it,  I'll look over the problem till I find out or atleast have a ligit theory as to why the 'thing' didn't turn out right.

So this morning my jumpsuit pattern blocks aren't going to match up at the side seams and I'm at the end of my roll and have yet another jumpsuit master pattern to do.    Before cutting anything out,  I checked the angles,  they are wrong.   So instead of cutting anything out (because when you've got a budget it's okay to erase pencil lines) I laid the back pant and torso blocks on the front jumpsuit section :)  aligning the side seams to see what would happen.   Hahaha,  solution found,   what I'm going to do then,  is cut out the front jumpsuit pattern block,  transfer all the hip and waistline markings and create the back jumpsuit block.

It's got me to thinking though,  I want to transfer all these paper master blocks to poster board.   I don't want to have a bunch of in-accurate blocks.   I think I did everything right,  but this just seam as easy as it sounded like in the book.   I assume that everything should have lined up without any adjustment.   (Or is that just the perfectionist in me voicing it's concerns?)  In any case I'm just going to go over these blocks,  one by one,  to see if I did everything exactly as it was supposed to be done.   Pattternmaking is the art of perfection applied to foundation of clothing construction,  it's got to be just so.   When I'm sure everything is as it should be,  I'll go ahead and create my good poster board copies.   I want to step forward into service providing with absolute confidence,  armed with perfect master blocks.

I can't wait to make those master blocks though,  these curly little paper patterns are driving me crazy.   I've tried to keep them flat with my chunky books,  but they're trying to keep that curl.   That reminds too,  I'm going to look up and see what pattern hooks look like and make myself some of those out of my heavy grade paper clips by using a nice little pair of pliers,  that's an affordable way to go till I can buy the right stuff (that is,  unless the paper clips work just fine).   Then I'm going to hang my poster board patterns on a nice wooden hanger in the closet to keep them safe and in perfect order.

If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:
Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

If you're a designer or home sewer and you'd like to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at:
The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Only 6 More Pattern Blocks To Go

Well,  here's what my patternmaking progress has been the past several days,  I read the stretch knit pattern block chapter,  I've got the dressform alright,  but I really needed to have some stretch knit fabric to drape onto the form directly in order to make a proper set of blocks,  I don't have any stretch fabric to speak of.   However,  as always I couldn't just let it go at that so I adapted some of the directions for completing the pattern blocks after draping them,  here's what I did:

1.  traced the basic bodice and removed all ease

2.  removed the shoulder dart,  redrew the shoulder seam and lifted the shoulder/armscye corner to the height it would be if the dart is sewn then re-drew the armscye curves

3.  calculated the width of the waistline without the dart

4.  removed a 1/4" from the armscye/side seam corner and tapered to nothing at the side seam

5.  drew a line from the hipline measurement up to the waistline/side seam crossmark

6.   then smoothed the ugly waistline corner with a curve

And here's the result:

According the Connie's book though,  the pattern blocks for a knit garment pretty much have to be remade before for each different pattern due to fit variations and differences in the degree of stretch between one knit fabric and the next.   So technically speaking,  my little (perhaps,  sorry excuse) pattern blocks up there I would only try for a fabric with minimum stretch capacity,  because these blocks are made to measure,  there was no stretching involved in their construction as there would be with a correctly produced pair of pattern blocks that a gently stretched and smoothed over the dressform.

Needless to say,  soon as I get my hands on a bit of knit fabric those blocks are going to get made.

Aside from that little set back,  I went on (the same day) to construct all three skirt slopers for the double dart skirt,  single dart skirt and the flared skirt and they turned out perfectly.

My next patternmaking exercise was to draft a pair of pants blocks.    Unlike the skirt patterns I messed up the first attempt at drafting my pants blocks due to some bad measurement decisions and actually forgetting to use the three different length measurements for centre front back,  front and side seams.   It was a discouraging disaster.  But that evening I looked back and decided to re-work the math in my head and plan what I would do the next day.  

Like I thought,  re-drafting the pants was a breeze thanks to the planning the night before.   However,  when I was done evaluating my pants blocks,  checking if the inseams,  side seams and grain lines are parallel in both shape and distance from each other,  observation revealed that although these new pants blocks were very well done, they still needed some work because the back pants block flare slightly at the hip and waist areas.  The instructions for fixing this kind of issue aren't complete in the book so I decided to email Connie about it from her website and she wrote me back with a set of instructions I'll be implementing over the next few days.   I'll post the results in my next blog entry :)

Hopefully I won't make anymore errors though because I down to my last little bit of paper on my roll and I don't want to get my brother to pick me up another roll till I've got my first client.   I've only got about 5 or 6 master patterns to go so I'll cross my fingers.

If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:
Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

If you're a designer or home sewer and you'd like to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at:
The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Using Delays As A Time For Planning Ahead

Okay,  it's time to work on the knit wear pattern blocks.   Actually,  I'd skipped those chapters during my studies on account of just not being able to do them before.   (The whole selection is strictly drafted using a dressform.)  I'd actually forgotte about these,  that's okay though,   I'll read through them over the next few days and get this area of patternmaking tackled too.   Can't wait to discover what's different about drafting for knit designs.

When I have the time I like to read,  but when I don't have time,  reading can be a painful chore even if it's to learn about something I'm really interested in like these instructions for drafting knit wear patterns.  I've always loved learning how to do things.   The way I take on the task though,  is simply to read the material aloud,  preferably into a recorder,  but if I don't have one,  without works okay too.   The recorder just helps me remember better even if I don't actually listen to the recording after.  

Now the other day I was talking about organic and eco-friendly fabric resources I would use when I start drafting my own patterns.   I forgot something though,  a buddy of mine and myself had been working on a quilt and fabric project site a while ago (the site has to undergo some repairs before we start working on it again mind you) but he'd introduced me to a great online fabric store a while back,  called and I thought I'd go see what their new organic and eco friendly fabric section had to offer.   (I thought I might have seen some better prices but I'm wasn't sure)  Turns out if I order my fabric from them I can get atleast a dollar or more off per yard of material than I can any where else online.   So their eco friendly inventory is every bit a part of their hallmark trait of great fabric deals,  real nice.

Now I just have to be sure to add to my squidoo pages sometime so my readers there can use that great resource as well.   For anyone who might be curious about our above mentioned quilt and fabric project website though here's the link  (mind you it's meant for home sewers and crafters) and we've got our affiliate links to there as well:

As for my patternmaking endeavors,  turns out I won't be able to buy my poster boards to transfer my master blocks until the end of this month,  no problem though,  I am going to make the best use of my time and start typing up my ads I'm going to put up at the Fashion Industry Network,  my blog here and the Sewing Mamas forum.   I just wish I could put up an ad on The Fashion Spot too,  for newbies or something,  that would be cool.   I'm planning to offer a discount patternmaking service as a novice patternmaker.   I'm so excited about it,  I'm shooting for the end of December/beginning of January to launch my ads.   I just have to get my master blocks/basic slopers completed and ready to work with for when I get my client's projects.   I'll try like heck not to let anything get in the way.   I better get done too because my brother is talking about moving out in a while so I've got financial needs to prepare for as well.  

 If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:
Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

If you're a designer or home sewer and you'd like to find some cool eco-friendly fabrics and more check out my resource page at:
The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page