October 2008

The trendy fox styles of winter headwear are ideal for coldest weather and make a great fashion statement of you.

You will need:

  • ¾ yd. of faux fox fur, 60″wide
  • ¾ yd. of velveteen, 40″ wide
  • 3 yds. of twill tape, ½” wide
  • ¾ yd. of grosgrain ribbon, 1″ wide
  • ½ yd. of Kasha lining, 45″ wide
  • Heavy-duty thread


Head Measurement – measure around the head over the ears.


Note: Add ¼ inch seam allowance to perimeter of cap pattern piece.


Cap – cut 6X on bias grain in velveteen. (one-way nap)

Cap lining – cut 6X on bias grain in kasha lining.

Fox trim** – cut 1X on straight grain in faux fur. (one-way pile)

Sweatband – cut 1X in grosgrain ribbon.

**note: do not cut fur trim with scissors. Cut the backing of the faux fur with an x-acto knife or safety razor blade then gently pull apart the excess material away.


  1. Take the fur trim and butt short ends together, with right sides facing. Push all hairs of trim to the fur side along the short end. Whipstitch the short ends together with small even hand-stitches using heavy-duty thread.
  2. On top and bottom edges of fur trim, whipstitch twill tape to edges on the fur side. (fig. 4) Keep hairs on fur side and under the twill tape.
  3. Turn tape to backside of fur trim and catch in place with long zig-zag stitches. (fig. 5 & 6)
  4. Turn fox trim right side out and comb fur in one direction.
  5. Pin/baste 3 cap pieces together, with right sides facing. Machine-stitch seams. Press seams open. Repeat on remaining 3 pieces. (fig. 1)
  6. Layer the pair together, with right sides together and pin/baste together. Machine stitch from front to back to create cap. (fig. 2) Turn cap shell right side out. (fig. 3)
  7. Repeat above procedures to make up cap lining. Set aside.
  8. With wrong side of fur trim to right side of cap, slipstitch fur trim to cap, leaving 1″ free along bottom edge of cap.
  9. With wrong sides together, drop cap lining into cap and match up seams. Baste lining to outer shell along bottom edge of cap.
  10. Sew grosgrain ribbon to bottom edge on right side of cap to catch both layers of fabric. Fold back raw end to neaten at centerback.
  11. Turn sweatband up inside of hat and tack at centerback.

Featured: Ella Moss Red Label ‘Simone’ Top

Here’s an easy-to-draft casual fun style with a spirited “young in attitude” feel by Ella Moss. A silky knit blouson top designed with a fitted under-layer, topped with a second draped layer, featuring a single flutter sleeve offset by a thin spaghetti strap.

You will need:

  • Approx. 2 yds. of jersey knit, 54″ wide **
  • Approx. 1 yd. of 2-way stretch spandex, 45″ wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • Approx. 1 yd. of cable cord, 1/8″ thickness
  • Kraft paper


Bust – measure just under arms around fullest part of chest.

Back waist length – measure from nape of neck to waist.

Bust height – measure from top of shoulder to apex of breast.

Apex Distance – measure distance between apexes of breasts.

Armscye Depth – measure from top of shoulder to underarm level.

Elbow Length – measure arm from neck, along shoulder to elbow.


Fold kraft paper in half lengthwise and open it flat.

Draw a straight line along the foldline of the paper.

Plot a point and label, 0.

0-1 = back waist length + 1″; square across

0-2 = bust height + 1″; square across

2-3 = ¼ of bust measurement

2-4 = ½ of apex distance + ½”; square down to locate 5 on line 1.

3-6 = 3-4; square across to locate 7 and 8.

Join 3 and 7 with a straight line.

3-9 = distance from 4 to 5 plus 4″; square across to locate 10.

11 is located midway between 1 and 2; square across.

10-12 = 9-10; square up to locate 13 at intersection of line from 11.

1-14 = 1-5

2-15 = 2-4; square up.

15-16 = armhole depth + 1″. Draw a tangent line from 0 through point 16.

17 is located at intersection of 8 and 15. Draw a tangent line from 0 through point 17.

18 is located midway between 0 and 16.

Join 15 to 18 with a straight line.

The fitted under-layer consists of 0-8-7-5-14-15-18-0. Trace.

0-19 = elbow length

0-20 = elbow length

Join 20 to 13 passing through 19 with a smooth curve.

The draped overlay consists of 0-8-6-9-12-13-20-0. Trace.

NOTE: Add ¼” seam allowances to perimeter of all pattern pieces.

** Please be aware that all stretch fabrics have different elasticity and will affect the design ease in the pattern draft based upon whatever you chose.


Cut all pattern pieces with greatest amount of stretch across the width of each piece.

Overlay – cut 2X in jersey knit fabric.

Underlay – cut 2X in spandex tricot fabric.

An 18″ strip of jersey fabric ½” wide for spaghetti strap.


  1. Find mid-point of cable cord and place it on fabric strip with right side face up.
  2. Stitch across mid-point to attach cording to strip end.
  3. Wrap fabric strip around the cording with right sides together (RST). Using a zipper foot, stitch long edge of fabric close to the cording. Trim the seam allowance.
  4. Pull the fabric tubing down over the uncovered end of the cable cord, easing gently as it slips over the cording. You will have 18″ of thin spaghetti strapping. Cut off excess cable cord.
  5. With RST, layer the underlay pieces and match up seams. Pin/baste the side seams from 4 to 5 and from 14 to 15. Stitch seams.
  6. Match up shoulder seam and pin/baste from 0 to 18. Stitch seam.
  7. Sew a narrow double-rolled edge to finish the armhole. Set aside.
  8. With RST, layer the overlay pieces and match up seams. Pin/ baste the shoulder and sleeve together. Stitch seam and press open.
  9. With RST, match up the side seams and pin/baste from 3 to 9 and 12 to 13. Stitch seams and press open.
  10. With RST, match neckline of underlay to overlay. Match up points 7, 8, and 0. Stitch neckline. Clip seam allowance at 8 to release stress.
  11. Attach one end of spaghetti strap at point 7 between the two layers on the front.
  12. Pin/baste 3 to 4 and 7 to 7. Stitch left armhole seam.
  13. At hemlines of each layer, divide into 4 equal portions. With RST, match up each point and pin together. On overlay, gather hem edge to the under-layer between the pins. Pin/baste layers together. Stitch seam while slightly stretching the fabric to ease.  Turn right side out through right sleeve opening.
  14. Put on top by slipping it on over the head. Place spaghetti strap over shoulder and align end with point 7 on back. Tack in place neatly.
  15. Stitch a narrow double-rolled hem edge on opening of flutter sleeve.

Addendum (as of August 2010)

It has come to my attention that the ease is too little for the drape of this garment. I am certain that you know that the pattern pieces are cut twice with the greatest amount of stretch going in the direction of the girth (ie. across the fabric rather than up & down with its length) as the cutting direction have clearly been given.

Please be aware that all stretch fabrics have different elasticity and will affect the design ease in the pattern draft based upon whatever you chose. It is very well possible that the elasticity of your fabric is not the same as the sample given. Therefore I will try to explain the concept of ease as it pertains to knits and stretch fabrics. I hope this will help you to get a better fit to your pattern draft.


Very easy-fitting garments can be cut from simple basic patterndraft when a designer wants to create styles that are loosely fitted or even oversized. This can be done by adding ease to create volume in the styling rather than grading up to the next size. Note that when dealing with basic body measurements, substantial extra ease must be added for movement and comfortable fit. The sizing remains the same, since the neckline and wrists have not changed in dimensions.


Use this chart to determine the amount for additional ease for movement and styling.

Total Body 


Quarter Body Increase Shoulder 




1” ¼” ⅛” ⅛”
2” ½” ¼” ¼”
3” ¾” ⅜” ⅜”
4” 1” ½” ½”
5” 1 ¼” ⅝” ⅝”
6” 1 ½” ¾” ¾”
7” 1 ¾” ⅞” ⅞”
8” 2” 1” 1”
9” 2 ¼” 1 ⅛” 1 ⅛”
10” 2 ½” 1 ¼” 1 ¼”
11” 2 ¾” 1 ⅜” 1 ⅜”
12” 3” 1 ½” 1 ½”
13” 3 ¼” 1 ⅝” 1 ⅝”
14” 3 ½” 1 ¾” 1 ¾”

For styling purposes, a designer may require garments to be loose-fitting, or much larger than regular styled garments. Understand that your garments may be created as large as you wish but the sizing does not change, because the styling is worn simply larger, looser, and baggier. To create additional volume without changing the fit, add designer ease instead of grading the pattern.


Use a straight waist (no dart suppression) on your chosen pattern as it does not make sense to make a loose-fitting “fitted” waistline on the garment.

  1. Draw a vertical line through the shoulder area to the hem and then the underarm area to the hem, dividing the quartered body ease equally.
  2. Next, draw a line horizontally through the armhole, the same amount that the shoulder is increased. Slash and spread the pattern to increase the fit. Blend the new lines together.
  3. Slash and spread the sleeve pattern to correspond to the body pattern. Only the widths of the body and sleeve have changed, not the garment size; the neckline and wrists remain the same.

Remember to keep the spread parallel with the centerline and the waistline (90° angle) to stay on straight grain with the grainline of your pattern.

Example of a pattern with 6 inches of additional ease.


Wraps and capes are trendy, practical and plentiful this Fall  season. They are rather soft, with a rich brightness that will be specially attractive in the first cool days of Autumn.

This cape-like wrap from Loro Piana is gorgeous in aubergine cashmere and great for staying warm and stylish without crushing delicate fabrics and can accommodate full or dolman sleeves beautifully. The cape pattern can be chalked right onto the fabric if you have a circular shape to trace around. Give every promise of a season of beauty unexcelled by the choice of your fashion fabric… try a cosy pashmina, wool flannel, or even yukon fleece.

Featured: Montella Regina Unita Cape

You will need:

  • 1-½ yard of fashion fabric, 54″wide
  • Coordinating double-folded bias binding, ¼” wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Tape measure


Fold the fashion fabric in half lengthwise, matching the selvedges together and pin or baste.

From center of fold, measure a radius equal to the width of the folded cloth (eg. approx. 26″) to create a semi-circle.

Place a small circular template (I used a saucer) at the center point with its diameter lying on the fold of the cloth. Trace it with tailor’s chalk.

From the outer edge of the small semi-circle, measure and draw a straight line parallel to the fold.

Place a larger circular template (I used a large plate) at the intersection of the straight line and the curved chalk line. Trace a smooth curve from the straight chalk line blending into the curved chalk line.



Cut the fabric following the heavy solid chalk line and open flat.

Beginning at the back of the neck, bound the raw edges of the fashion fabric with the bias binding.

Classic five pocket cool, with an always-in-style timeless wash denim and the most comfortable fit ever. It’s no wonder you reach for your made-to-measure jeans again and again.


Waist – measure narrowest part of torso at navel level.

Seat – measure around fullest part of hips approximately 8″[20 cm] below the waist.

Body Rise – measure drop from waistline to crotch level.

Outseam – measure distance from waistline to floor.

Bottom width – desired width of jean leg bottoms (minimum amount must allow for measurement of foot around the heel).


Jean Template: Front

Square both ways from 0.

0-1 = body rise minus width of waistband: square across.

0-2 = waist to seat minus waistband width; square across.

0-3 = outseam measurement; square across.

1-4 = half the distance of 1-3 minus 2″[5cm]; square across.

1-5 = 1/12 of seat measurement + 3/8″[1cm]; square up to 6 and 7.

6-8 = ¼ of seat measurement.

5-9 = 1/16 of seat measurement.

7-10 = 5/8″[1.5cm].

Join 10-6 and 6-9 with a curve touching a point 1 ¼”- 1 ½” [3.25-3.75cm] from 5.

10-11 = ¼ waist + ½”[1.25cm]

3-12 = ½ of bottom width minus 1/8″[0.5cm].

4-13 = the measurement 3-12 + ¾”[2cm].

Draw side seam 11,8,13,12; curve 8-11 out 1/8″[0.5 cm].

3-14 = ½ bottom width minus 1/8″[0.5cm].

4-14 = the measurement 3-14 + ¾”[2cm].

Draw inside leg seam 9, 15, 14. Curve in 9-15 by 1/8″[0.5cm]

Jean Template: Back

5-16 = ¼ of distance 1-5; square up to 17 on hipline, 18 on the waistline.

16-19 = ½ of distance 16-18.

18-20 = ¾”[2cm].

20-21 = ¾”[2cm].

21-22 = ¼ of  waist + 1″[2.5cm]. Join 21-22 to touch the line squared out from 0.

9-23 = ½ of distance 5-9 minus 1/8″[0.5cm].

23-24 = 1/8′[0.5cm].

Join 21-19 and 19-24 with a curve touching a point 1 ½”- 1 ¾”[4-4.5cm] from 16.

17-25 = ¼ seat + 1/8″[0.5cm].

12-26 = 3/8″[1cm]

13-27 = 3/8″[1cm]

Draw side seam 22, 25, 27, 26. Curve out slightly at 25.

14-28 = 3/8″[1cm]

15-29 = 3/8″[1cm]

Draw inside leg seam 24,29,28; curve 24-29 in 3/8″[1cm].

21-30 = ½ of 21-22; square down from line 21-22. Construct a dart on the line, 1/2′”[1.25cm] wide.

To Complete Jean Front

Trace off front section from template draft. Mark point 6.

Draw in curved pocket line 31-32 and pocket bag.

Cut off side piece along the line 31-32; add 1-3/8″[3.5cm] from 31-32.

Draw in fly piece shape to point 33 3/8″[1cm] below 6.

Fly piece width = 1 ½ – 1 ¾”[3.7-4.5cm] wide.

Trace off fly piece.

Trace off pocket bag along line 31-32.

To Complete Jean Back

Trace off back section from template draft. Mark points 16, 17, 21, 22, 24 and 25.

Cut along hipline 17-25, open a wedge approx. 1 ½”[4cm] wide at 17.

(Note: for rounder behinds increase more if desired).

17-34 = 1/8″[0.5cm]; draw in new crotch seamfrom 21-24.

Draw in patch pocket design. (Note: opening must allow for width of hand).

21-35 = ¼ of distance 21-16.

22-36 = ¼ of distance 22-25.

Cut off yoke along line 35-36; close dart.

Curve the line 21-22 and 35-36.

Patch Pocket – trace off back pocket.


The jean waistband is cut with ease (1 ¼”[3 cm] larger than waist measurement to fit lower waist position).

37-38 = 2 x waistband width; square across.

38-39 = waist measurement + 1 ¼”[3cm]; square up.

39-40 = fly width; square up.

39-41 = ½ of distance 38-39; square up, label CB and CF. Mark foldline down center.

Featured: Abaete Lauren Top

Ever the chic choice, a simple shell blouse is the definitive feminine look. With cascading sleeves and a universally flattering shift shape, this sweet style is a fabulous day-to-evening option. Shown here, the Lauren top by Abaeté has flutter sleeves and a bateau neck, an easy fashion project to draft and make up in a lovely silky fashion fabric.

You will need:

  • approx. 2 yds. [2 m] of fashion fabric, 45″[115 cm] wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • 1 – hook and eye set


Bust – measure just under arm around fullest part of chest.

Waist – measure around narrowest part of torso

Armhole Depth – measure from top of shoulder to underarm level.

Back waist length – measure from nape of neck to waist level.



Square down from 0 and square across on the pattern paper.

0-1 = back waist length + 2″ [5cm]; square across.

0-2 = armhole depth measurement + ¾” [2 cm]; square across.

0-3 = 2″ [5 cm]; square across

Extend distance between 2-3 beyond centerback line by ½” [1.25 cm].

2-4 = half bust measurement + 2″ [5 cm]. Square up and down to locate 5, 6, and 7; mark this line the centerfront line.

4-8 = midway 2 and 4 plus 1″ [2.5 cm]; square up and down to locate 9 and 10.

2-11 = half of back width measurement + ¼” [0.7 cm] ease; square up to 13.

Shape back neckline with a shallow curve as shown.

8-12 = 8-11; square up to 14.

Shape front neckline with a shallow curve as shown.

9-15 = 1 ½” [3.75 cm]; connect 15 to 13 and 14 with a straight line.

16 from 13 and 17 from 14 = 1 ½” [3.75 cm].

11-18 = midway 11-13.

12-19 = midway 12-14.

At a 90° from 16 and 17, join 16 to 18 and 17 to 19 with a smooth curve.

4-20 = two-thirds the distance from 4 and 8. Square down.

20-21 = 2″ [5cm].

Find the difference between half the bust measurement and half the waist measurement. Add 2″ [5cm]. Make a waist suppression dart from point 21 with equal distribution of the difference at 22 and 23 on the hem line. (see draft)

NOTE: The waist suppression may be determined by fitting the garment on the body as well.

Grainlines are parallel to centerfront and centerback lines. Add hem allowance. Add seam allowances to centerback, side seams, shoulders, and armholes.

Armhole Ruffle:

Measure armholes from 11-18-16 and 12-19-17. Add amounts together and record this measurement.

Using the formula C = 6.28 x R, determine the radius (R) using the armhole sum for the circle circumference (C).

Using a compass, draw a circle based on this radius. (A-B)

B-C = 5″ [13 cm]

B-D = ¾” [2 cm]

Draw a tapered spiral curve from C to D, pivoting from A as shown.

Grainline is parallel to B-C.

Measure front and back necklines. Double this amount. Make a cutting guide for bias binding (2-3/8″ [6 cm] wide) based on neckline measurement + 5″ [13 cm].


Front – cut 1X self on fold

Back – cut 2X self

Ruffle – cut 4X self

Binding – cut 1X self on bias grain


  1. Staystitch neckline on front and backs as well as corners of square armholes.
  2. Turn under raw edge of extension of back neck opening to create a rolled edge. Slipstitch or topstitch in place.
  3. With right sides together (RST), match up back shoulders to front shoulders. Pin/baste together and sew. Press seam open.
  4. Fold bias strip in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) to create bias binding. Pin raw edge of binding to raw edge of neckline beginning and ending at CB opening. Turn under short ends of binding to neaten and align folded bias strip to right side of neckline. Pin/baste in place. Sew binding around neckline using 3/8″ [1 cm] seam allowance. Wrap binding over neck edge to underside. Align folded edge of binding to overlap machine stitching. Sew binding to neckline face up by “stitching in the ditch” or slipstitching folded edge of binding.
  5. Pair up armhole ruffles. With RST, pin/baste short ends on each pair and sew. Press seam open.
  6. Measure the side seam of the blouse.
  7. Sew a double-rolled hem along the outer edge of each ruffle. Do the same for the inside edge equal to the sideseam measurement beginning from the tip of the spiral.
  8. Clip diagonally each corner of the square armhole up to the stay stitching. With RST, pin/baste unhemmed edge of ruffle to armhole from front corner to back corner. Gather excess on either side of shoulder seam and distribute evenly. Sew gathered ruffle to armhole. Repeat a second stitch 1/8″ [0.25 cm] along side the first stitching. Trim seam allowance.
  9. With RST, pin/baste backs to front at side seams. Sew and press seam open.
  10. Turn under seam allowance twice at underarm to create a double-rolled hem. Slipstitch or topstitch underarm.
  11. With RST, pair the back pieces at centerback and pin/baste along CB seam. Sew seam from bottom of extension to hemline. Press CB seam open.
  12. Create a waist suppression by making front waist dart under the bust on the front of the blouse. Pleat out the excess fabric and stitch up dart. Press dart fold towards sides.
  13. Hem bottom of blouse with a narrow double-rolled hem.
  14. Hand-stitch a hook & eye set at top of CB neck.

Featured: Column evening gown by Oscar de la Renta

Effortlessness and the flow of luxurious fabrics were cited as the most important elements of this autumn/winter 2008-9 shows. The theme continuing on the shoulders and defining the silhouette at the hips, while the simple eveningwear dresses were long, figure-hugging and draped sensually over the body.

Simple textures and technically brilliant structures, like the gown by Oscar de la Renta, make this a simple and yes, “patternless” couture project.


You will need:

  • approx. 2 yds. of fashion fabric, 45″ to 54″ wide
  • approx. ½ yd. of fusible interfacing, 22″ wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • 1 closed dress zipper, 18″ long
  • ¼ yd. of elastic, ½” wide
  • 1 – Hook & eye set


Finished Length – Measure from under arm to floor.

Gown Width – Measure the fullest part of your body – eg. bustline or hipline.



Cut 4 strips of fabric 2 inches wide.

Cut 4 strips of fabric 3 inches wide tapering to 2 inches wide.

Cut 1 rectangle of fabric 8 inches wide by circumference of tube once pleated.

Cut 1 rectangle of fabric equal to the finished length plus 2 inches by the gown width plus 3 inches.


  1. Set the fabric strips in pairs. For each pair, interface 1 strip following the manufacturer’s direction for fusing.
  2. With right sides together (RST), pin/baste the long edges of each pair together. Stitch.
  3. Turn right side out and press flat. Edge-stitch along the finished seams. Set aside.
  4. Fold the large rectangle in half lengthwise with RST. From the top, leave 18 ½” open for the zipper. From the bottom, leave 19″ open for a slit. Pin/baste the remain edges together and stitch using ½” seam allowance. Press the entire seam open.
  5. Align the zipper along the top opening and insert using the center slot method.
  6. For the open slit, fold under ¼” of the seam allowance and topstitch or slipstitch the slit opening.
  7. Turn the “column” right side out and try gown on. Take the excess fabric above the bustline and pleat 2 box pleats, one on either side of the centerfront (red dot). Pin/baste pleats down. (see diagram)
  8. Remove gown and measure the finished circumference of the gown, beginning and ending at the zipper. Add 1″ for seam allowance. Record this measurement.
  9. Match the 2 tapered straps to the 2 pleats on the front of the gown (red dots) and align the raw edges. Pin/baste in position. Next, pin/baste the narrow straps 2″ away from the tapered straps. Align the raw edges and pin/baste in position.
  10. Try on gown. Drape straps over the shoulder and pin/baste other end of each strap to back of gown. Adjust the lengths of the straps and cut off excess. At top of shoulder, fell or tack the tapered strap to the narrow strap with handstitching so they are side-by-side.
  11. For the facing, use the smaller rectangle and adjust the width to equally the finished circumference dimension of the top of the gown plus 1″ for seam allowance.
  12. On the bottom of the rectangle, turn under ¼”, then turn under 5/8″. Press turning.
  13. Fold the short ends of the rectangle to its center. Mark the 2 foldlines with chalk. Open the rectangle flat, wrong side up.
  14. Pin the ends of the elastic to where the foldline marks are located. Stitch across the ends of the elastic.
  15. Stitch the 5/8 turning along the bottom to encase the elastic. (Stretch elastic as you sew).
  16. With RST, match up the raw edges of the facing piece (the side without the elastic casing) and the top of the gown, sandwiching the strap ends between the layers and allowing ½” seam allowance extended beyond the zipper for the facing piece. Pin/baste the top edge of the gown and machine-stitch. Grade seam and press seam allowance towards facing.
  17. Under-stitch facing inside of the finished seam.
  18. Turn under seam allowance on facing piece at centerback and slipstitch to back of zipper tape.
  19. Hand-sew hook and eye set above zipper opening to facing.
  20. At hemline, make a ½” double rolled hem.