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Pattern Making Level II

birdlady1 | Posted in Patterns on

Hi All!

Sorry I haven’t e-mailed in a while.  I have been busy at work.

Well I passed my Pattern Making Level 1 course finally.  I think my project skirt for the exam turned out pretty good if I may say so.  The front part of the skirt (if you will recall the V in front was not looking proper and I was having problems why it would not sit flatter), came out pretty good as well as the box pleats at the back of the skirt.  It was not perfect looking by any means, but I think the teacher realized I had tried really hard and I guess thought I deserved to pass.

I have enrolled the Pattern Making Level II.  We will be learning drafting a dress using bodice and skirt blocks and dress blocks.  Also, construct princess line and empire line dress designs.  As well, draft various necklines and collars, including a shawl design; draft sleeves with normal or enlongated armholes, construct a dartless block for knits and develop it into stylised patterns.  Lastly, construct a dartless block suitable for stable fabrics and develop blouse and skirt patterns.

I guess this is going to be a lot harder than Level l.  Is there any helpful hints anyone can offer to me that might help me out?  I was filming the teacher at times, when my camera was working, and it was very helpful to review same but this year it appears we cannot do that anymore.  There are now rules pertaining to doing so.  I bought Helen Armstrong’s 4th Edition for Pattern Making for Fashion Design, which I hope will help (even though a lot of the students and teacher said that there are steps missing etc.). 

I was also thinking of purchasing a dress form but I do not like the ones that you turn a dial and it expands.  I had one many years ago and hated it.  I live in Toronto and we do not have access to purchasing the dress forms the schools use.  I have heard of the ones you make yourself but I don’t know if they would be worth trying.



  1. SAAM | | #1

    Congratulations on passing your course, and good luck with the next one. The skills you learned in the beginning course should serve you well as you continue to learn.

  2. MaryinColorado | | #2

    Yahoo!  Congratulations!!!  Enjoy your success!

  3. JeanM | | #3

    Congratulations to you.  The advice I can give you is to study hard and learn as much as you can.  You will learn skills that will be valuable.  Not everything will come easily but keep trying.

  4. Ceeayche | | #4

    Congratulations on your passing your first course!  And I congratulate you on your decision and follow through for the second course.  As far as my advice:  HAVE FUN!  enjoy the classes, the projects and the process.

  5. tweediebe | | #5

    Congrats birdlady!  Patternmaking is a challange.  I have a degree in design from FIDM - Los Angeles.  I had to work my butt off !!!  Over 30 hrs of homework every week. It is important to learn FLAT PATTERN before you try your hand at DRAPING which is much more fun than FLAT  ....  Did I make that clear??  I would also highly recommend getting a dress form if at all possible.  Try to get one close to your size but no bigger than a 10.  I agree that you should not get one at a fabric store but get a professional one - one used for the mass market in manufacturing - you can always "pad" it in certain areas if necessary - which is what I did ! I still will sew for certain people and have an "add-on" for each of them also.  But I always start with my size 10 professional dress form...it goes up & down and has a form that is easy to pin to and mark on if necessary. Good luck to you... 

  6. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #6

    Yayyy!  You passed!  You can pat yourself on the back and yell YES!  I am proud of you for sticking to it my dear friend! 

    Phase one has passed, and on to the next.  Before classes start, review your notes so you are familiar with them again.  When you are familiar with the basics and they are fresh in your mind, you will be more confident going back again.  What you will be learning now builds on what you have learned before.  As you have discovered, what you make may not be letter perfect, but what you make improves each time and you learn, that is the point!  chin up and good luck!  Cathy

    1. birdlady1 | | #7

      Thanks for the congrats.

      I was thinking of getting a dress form.  As I indicated in my earlier e-mail, not the one that you turn and it expands the size.  I would like to get the ones that the schools have.  I am not sure who really sells good ones.  All seem to come from the states so I cannot see them in person in order to pick which one I would like and which fits me.  I normally take a size 14 in clothes.  Do anyone have an idea which one would be good for me?  I am not going to do this as a living but I would like one I can use pins on.  If I pass this new course, I would like to take the flat pattern making course and if I am correct, you use dress forms and I would like to get the experience beforehand.  I am a part-time student.

      Thanks for help.


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