Friday, October 16, 2020

Notes on Mentorship- sketching and playing with small scale patterns

The first portion of my mentorship is concentrating on Tunics. I did a bunch of sketches on my iPad using Procreate app using my Body model Croquis.

I initially imported the sketch of my base pattern and used the warp function to get it to fit on my croquis. This gives me the closest representation of how the garment sketch will look on my body.

Using inspirations photos that I have collected I took some time to do a bunch of sketches. When I sketch I use layers, this allows me to play with different ideas and turn things on and off. You can take each of these and save them as images which you can see here.

When I do the sketches I make sure to keep the ones that I don’t like since these give me almost as much information as the ones that I like. I personally feel that when doing your own design process, it is just as important to identify things that you don’t like and why as well as the things that you do like. Sometimes you come up with an idea that you want to like and it is fun to take that and figure it out, break it down into its basic pieces and identify how to make it work for you.

Much of this process is all about playing and taking the time to evaluate your ideas.

Once I identified the sketches that I really liked I took the time to work in small scale patterns and do practice pattern work.

It was important to me to work in small scale on my pattern. To do this I put my pattern pieces on the floor and photographed them straight down. I printed these out on regular printer paper. Then put them on my light box and traced the seam lines so that I would have a small scale line drawing of my pattern. I then just photocopied a bunch of these!

Full size pattern piece on the floor 

Traced seam lines and any other info you want onto plain paper

Make as many copies of this line drawing as needed!

Playing in paper this way makes it so much fun and easy to practice pattern work! It really allowed me to figure out how to go from my base master pattern to all sorts of variations and let me work these out in paper doll fashion. Which is so much easier and less wasteful than doing it in large scale! Once you get started playing it is a bit addictive and I spent an entire afternoon just practicing taking my designs from sketch to small scale pattern through flat pattern work.

The process is quite easy. When doing an asymmetric design I just tape 2 halves together to make a full front.

1) start with your sketch and blank copy of small scale pattern

2) Draw the style lines and neckline onto the small scale pattern. I make sure to mark grainline and number my pattern pieces.


3) Close up and transfer the darts to the new seam/design lines and cut apart the pieces.


4) easy to practice in this small scale and something to refer to when you go into full size pattern adjustments.

As usual, the more I did the more ideas that kept popping into my head! There really is an infinite number of variables that can be played with.

Asymmetric gathered tunic

Curvy neckline princess with a neck band

Asymmetric swooping tunic

Swooping crossing lines? Stained glass tunic? Not exactly sure what to call this!!

DO you like designing your own patterns? 

Happy Sewing!!

Missing my daily lunchtime zooms with my goofball Princess! I am glad that she is able to go back to school safely- hoping things stay that way...



  1. I was excited about the croquis, but when you got to the scale model patterns I believe I squealed. These are great.


comments, thoughts, idea? Please share!