You've found pattern school online - the best resource on stretch fit pattern making available. Together with our Facebook Group we try to answer all your questions and even some you never knew you had. We are constantly playing with new ideas and concepts in order to grow and develop our Ready to Wear knowledge ... why not join us?

This website has a science of stretch section open to the public and a whole stack of pattern making lessons (membership) that will teach you exactly how to make your own blocks/slopers and patterns from scratch ... while we focus on swimwear, you'll find most things apply to dance and other stretchwear ... knowing how to make and use a block means never having to buy patterns again! The site is aimed mainly at fashion school students and assumes some basic knowledge, it may still be appropriate for home sewists wanting to learn stretch fit pattern making.

We even have an eShop with ready made blocks/slopers and patterns if you just want to get straight into it. And lastly of course there's the blog below where we highlight some of the discussion topics from the Facebook group.

What's New

So I did a thing. I mashed a Victorian and an Edwardian corset together ... and shrunk the under bust so I could stick in cups. They're very different styles but technically it should be possible.

Why? Well I'm not entirely sure ... I wanted the deep sway back and straight front of the Edwardian styles, but I also wanted the softer hourglass shape of Victorian styles so I could further soften it to make it wearable ... but I don't like the squished flat bust, so I brought back the under bust and added cups. I also allowed for hip bones at the same time as tucking the center tummy in even more ...

But really it was just a pattern making exercise in possibilities ... I do these things from time to time just to keep my skills sharp and see what I can learn from the exercise. I've been interested in making corset forms for a while, too, so I want to see which shape I like. With a bit of effort I could simplify this "bust to hips" shape somewhat and possibly create a form in a similar manner to Miyumi and Friends.

It's so much fun. There's also an element in here based on my observation of latex fashion ... using latex corsets over latex catsuits ... and latex is still stretch-fit right? I've no idea if anything will come of this but I'm following my creative instincts anyway :)

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So you think it's too cold to make swimwear at the moment? You know what else is popular? Bodysuits. Kirsty Paterson reminded me about them today so we thought we should give you some inspiration for winter sewing!

Most of you already have the 8% body and sleeve blocks (if you don't they're still at 50% off too) so it's quite easy to use that same block to make yourself a bodysuit .... they're even easier than swimwear because they don't need lining! What you're looking for is a plain/ribbed/textured cotton spandex knit.

I've included a photo from Commando ... I quite like this Brand and have bought online from them before, but the image is here for inspiration only.

What do you need to think about when doing body suit patterns? Well cotton spandex fabrics generally have much more stretch (but less rebound) so you could (I can't believe I'm saying this) even close out the bust dart vertically on busts D cup or under.

You can choose a standard sleeve head without having to alter the block at all or you could make a raglan sleeve ... or you could even do an asymmetrical top with one sleeve like in the photos on their website. The choices are limitless really.

Generally bodysuits have a thong back and lower leg line because they're worn with jeans/trousers, but there's no reason why you couldn't do them with a full bottom too. The low and high thong lines are already on the block as well so you can use those literally or as a guide for your own half way style.

The one thing you may need to do is move the crotch seam forward slightly for the snappy tape as it's further back for the thong on my blocks. I recommend the tape rather than individual snaps as they're less likely to pull off or damage the fabric ... cottons need to spread the load and tapes do that much better.

I also recommend using a 10mm (3/8") soft braided elastic with around 5% length reduction below the actual pattern length because cottons lack the rebound strength you see in nylon spandex fabrics ... and this can help prevent the garment from over stretching and distorting (especially in the wash).

It's really quite straight forward ... if there's huge interest I can do a tutorial but I don't think there's anything new in there we haven't covered before. Do people like bodysuits? Do they have favorite things about ones they own that might help inspire others? Have you made one before?

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Previously I've done my blog posts in our Facebook Group because it's really interactive and easy to share things from other groups and pages ... but not everyone uses Facebook so they might be missing out on an awful lot of information. I really do encourage you to join if you want a quick response to questions or want to learn even more than you'll find here.

I'm going to use this blog as the home page for the website and cross post the occasional item from our Facebook Group so that interesting posts aren't lost over time .... and maybe they'll encourage you to join :)

So to start with, my name is Stuart Anderson. I'm the guy who documented the first ever techniques for drafting stretch fit patterns and coined the phrase negative ease over 30 years ago ... yeah really, that's me! My methods or variations on them are still used in most fashion colleges around the world today.

Fifteen years ago, I created a totally free website called Pattern School, aimed specifically at teaching fashion students wanting to learn how to make patterns for stretch textiles, and to help home sewists, particularly those making dancewear for their children.

This is Version 2.0 of Pattern School .... take a look around ... the format is very similar ... the old information is all still available too! If you're new to my techniques then start at the beginning and work your way through each section, one step at a time. There's a lot to learn about stretch textiles and you need to know it all to understand how to make your own patterns.

What's Changed At Pattern School Online?

  • The name has changed to better describe the purpose of the site

  • Everything has been updated to reflect changes in industry and textiles. Newer methods have been added, and new demonstrations will continue to be added.

  • The CGI automatic pattern generator is gone (Wix won't support it now sorry)

  • There's the accompanying Facebook Group I mentioned before for theory discussion, questions and support (I highly recommend joining if you really want to learn).

  • I have an Instagram Account you can follow

  • There's also a Pattern & Block Shop (see menu) for start up RTW designers who need a set of blocks or for home sewists who just want to buy a swimwear pattern​.

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© 2020 Pattern School Online by Stuart Anderson