A good option for designing your own children’s patterns
If you have ever wanted to design your own children’s clothing sewing patterns or have gotten tired of buying new patterns for every new fashion, the book Pattern Making for Kids’ Clothing may be for you. It has slopers, the building blocks of patterns, for children’s sizes 4 to 12. It also gives lots of ideas for how to build your patterns for different results.
Finding your pattern slopers
The slopers themselves are not in the book, but they are all available in a slew of pdf’s on a website listed in the book. However, I found the instructions about accessing them somewhat confusing. Here are some things that might help you avoid such confusion:
- The web address given in the book changes in the browser bar right as the web page loads.
- The first web address given is possibly not the complete one you need for accessing all of the pdf’s. The publisher may have fixed this. I did email them when I had trouble, and when I checked back recently, the pdf’s were available on the first web page directed to in the book.
- There is mention of scanning a QR code. This is the first option listed, but many people don’t know what to do with QR codes or have a way of using them. If you are one of those people, just skip down to the information regarding the web address.
- When you get to the webpage, you will only see a few pattern sloper images. Those are just the front images for each pdf file.
Keeping track of your sloper pieces
Once you have your pdf files, you need to print all the pages with the sloper patterns, but don’t do that without being aware of some important things. As of when I wrote this blog:
- There are NO page numbers on the pdf pages within each file, and you need those numbers to easily piece your slopers together.
- There are NO size markings on any of the sloper pieces. They all are simply labels with S, B, or F to indicate if the sloper being built is a front, back, or sleeve. Each piece is given a number according to how many pieces it takes to put together that particular sloper pattern. The numbers in the margin show which other piece should be attached there.
- I recommend writing the page number from the pdf file on each page right after it prints.
- You should also write the type of sloper and size. For instance, peasant top sloper back, size 4.
I give examples of this in the video below.
Other helpful hints for building your slopers
- I printed my slopers on card stock so they will last longer.
- Don’t forget to make sure the scale is correct before printing them all. The one inch square at the beginning of each pdf file is your guide.
- The gray margins are meant to overlap pretty much exactly.
- Start by taping near the middle of where the slopers are connecting, then tape on either edge fairly close to the edges.
- Store your built slopers flat.
Actually sewing something
Don’t forget that design ease, hem allowances, and seam allowances need to be added for any actual pattern pieces you create. This is specified in the book. The first 4 chapters give a lot of information about how to use the slopers.
I have made both pants and peasant tops using these slopers. I have been pleased with the results. Although these are simple patterns, this would be more challenging if I didn’t have a lot of experience sewing.
I have decided that from now on I will both photograph my steps and write down my order of process to make things easier on myself for subsequent projects. I plan on also making some video tutorials as I do this.