Do you ever feel overwhelmed or like you don't know where to start so you just never start at all? I opened some cheesy quote cards last year and I received some of the best advice that I really needed at the time..
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further."
It's so true! I've definitely put things off in my business because I don't know all the steps of how to get there.. Back in 2022 I was trying to launch my online pattern making videos and I really didn't have much experience in filming and editing. But I decided to start filming the bird eye view pattern making videos of all the main techniques, because pattern making is what I know best.
I had used an editing programme called Adobe Premiere Rush in the past but I knew I needed to upgrade, (as you can't save the files properly with the basic version) so I set it as my goal to learn how to edit the videos I’d filmed on there.. a few YouTube videos later and I’ve got it!
And each step kept developing from there.. *spoiler alert* - it turned out pretty well once I stopped worrying about the end result! In fact, the feedback I kept getting from my first course was how well the videos were filmed!
And it's the same with pattern making or whatever creative project you've been putting off! Sometimes it can be overwhelming because you're not sure if you can make it to the end design. So start with what you do know and go from there..
Question to ask yourself to help you get unstuck
First up, write down a rough end goal. Then note down all the things you do know that will help you get there.
Now write down what's stopping you and ask yourself..
- Can you make a start on the project or goal with what you already know?
- Have you got someone who you could help chat things through?
- Do you know someone who can help with the elements that are stopping you?
- Is there a course you can take to help you get there?
- Can you outsource the tricky bit that's stopping you? Get an expert to help with the areas you find hard!
Pattern making tips to turn you pro
If your goal is to draft a pattern for yourself then here are some tips for pattern making that will help:
Use your wardrobe for reference
Look in your wardrobe for references, recently I measured up my favourite jeans pockets to replicate onto a new denim skirt I was drafting. This helped me know the proportions would be right first time!
It could be measuring the hem of your most worn dress to decide how much volume to add into your sewing pattern or measuring the proportions on your favourite pants.
Learn the fundamental techniques
Learn the fundamental pattern making techniques.. they'll take you SO far and you can create 100's of designs with just the basics. You can start with pattern hacking and keep combining the skills you know until you work your way up to more complex designs. (Our Intro to pattern making is a great fast track to get these skills down!)
Make a toile - get something visual in front of you!
Make a toile (and use a similar weight/drape of fabric to your final). If you've started a pattern but you’re stuck or unsure about certain elements then make a toile. So you can see what you've got and you can work from there. Sometimes you just need something visual in front of you to understand what's working and what's not. And this may save you time in the long run anyway!
Learn to test out your ideas
Remember experimentation is key - I understand the fear of the unknown; often I have it too, but you can’t let it stop you. There are lots of ways that you can quickly test out your ideas.
Knowing how to sample and experimenting means you’ll gain confidence so that when you ‘fail’, you can pivot and turn these mistakes into successes! Try reframing the fear as a fun time to play and learn.
That’s how you become a really great pattern maker.
I hope this blog gives you the inspiration to get started today! No matter how small the step..
*Takes own advice and goes to work on the project I've been too scared to finish..* (Eeek excited to share something new with you soon!)
Mentioned in this article:
If you're beginning your pattern-making adventure or you'd like to dive in deeper, this course is perfect for you; it covers everything from moving darts to adding volume and finishing patterns.
Or you can check out our other online courses here.