Sew grow clothes designed to grow with your children and last more than one season. Vêtements pour se transformer en. Ropa para crecer en. Oдежда для выращивания в. Kleidung hineinwachsen.

How to draw your own pattern. Part One setting up inkscape to draw Fatimas pattern

Hello again, it has been a while, my Mum passed away on the 2nd of August, and I have been lulling about in some kind of haze since then. 

This week I have decided to pull myself back together but I'm at a loss as to where to start and not being sure what I want to do next.
So I thought I'd just start, anything is better than nothing.

Looking at my blog list, I noticed the Tunic Fatima had drawn yesterday. Its simple, its adaptable and its easy to make a pattern from. She has given the lengths for a large size 40 cm. But seeing as I'm 44 around the hips, what I will do is show you how I draw the pattern and how I size it up, in this instance to a 44cm hip, plus I will probably sew this as a mid thigh length tunic.


1) Setting up ink scape to draw Fatimas pattern  part one (here)
2) Drawing Fatimas pattern PART 2
3) Drawing Fatimas pattern PART 3
4) Adjusting the pattern to fit a size 44cm hip Part 4

The pattern as Fatima has drawn below and the link

If you are not aware of Fatima, check her blog, she is a very generous and talented pattern drafter, and there are literally hundreds of patterns on her blog. Some you don't have to draft yourself, but most you will. She takes styles she sees in magazines and drafts patterns to copy. If you don't like the pattern I have chosen, choose something else to work with that  you can work along with.

Oh, and Fatima blog is in Portuguese, but don't let that bother you, or limit the places you go. Patterns are patterns, a dart is a dart. But if you need to read every word, load a free translator on your browser and hit translate page when you want to read.

So okay, without further prevarication I will start this tutorial / how to.
Just a note, you could go blind trying to work out whats going on in my screen shots, use your zoom to see clearer, 150% should be fine. If I make the shots bigger the sidebars get in the way and its worse.

1) Setting up Ink scape to draw Fatimas pattern

I draw using a free open ware program called "Ink scape" available for down load here. I am not going to detail how to down load it, it's generally straightforward enough. My link is to the English version, take out the en at the end of the URL to get instructions in another language.

I will start from the point where you have actually loaded it on to your PC or thumb drive (there is a portable version), and you have opened it up and gone;

oh boy?!11?!, what do I do next.

Some of you will be reading this and saying, why go to the effort of learning how to draw it electronically, why not just use paper and pencil.

Agreed, that is a valid point, but the reason I started and persisted, (because I didn't get the hang of it straightaway) was that my drawing work is always available  if I have my PC. I can be waiting at the doctors and I can get it out and do a bit more tweaking, I can be at the airport, on a train, anywhere and I can do it. Storage is not a problem, if I loose my printed out copy, I can print another. Quite often I will want to tweak the fit, or merge styles or redesign, all easy once I have drawn it in Ink scape. If I want to share it, its easy to send to other people (if the copy right allows or its your own design).

So you have download Ink scape on to your PC, and it looks like this, the rectangle in the middle is your page outline.

First step, import Fatimas drawing. I do this chiefly so I can read her measurements on the page I'm working on, and I tend to do this with my own sketches. Its easier than going back and forth or resizing a page. This step also enables you to copy /  trace something that you might want to edit. In this case I have a picture (jpg file) of Fatimas instructions on my desktop, so I will load these into the active document.

Select File------>from drop down menu select import-----> go to the place that your file is stored, in my case the desktop ------> select the file --------> click open

A message will come up saying embed or link. I always select imbed, which means the picture, object or whatever is permanently in your inkscape file, so that if you delete it from say your desktop as in this example, its still in your file. If you select link and permanently delete the picture, object or whatever by accident, it will be gone, from your desktop and inkscape. If link and later move the picture/object at a later date, your link will need resetting or it will be broken and you will waste time looking for it.

Select embed ---------> select okay


A hand tool will come up which will allow you to move the imported file, to a spot out of the way of your page outline/working area.

There is a box in the right hand corner of your inkscape screen which tells you how large your viewing page is, if the page is to small for you just tap the top arrow button to increase the size, say from 35%  currently to 50%.

One thing I differ from other people that use Inkscape is that I don't worry about the page size till I have finished. I also don't use the pages option to print, I have it loaded, but I prefer to use another free application to print. 

Now if you wish to save you work at this point do so as follows:

Select File from the menu ------> Save as from the drop down menu-----> and select SVG from the file types -------> and select where you are storing it (for me its always the desktop).

SVG is a vector file and is the type that inkscape generate. If you select another type of file at this point and don't save as SVG, you will not be able to open and edit any further in inkscape.

Now you are nearly ready to work, we just need to adjust the measurements in inkscape. Fatimas pattern is in cm, don't panic if you don't use cm. Trust me, you will be okay and once you have copied her pattern drawing directions you can change the settings to inches, and go on your merry way in inches.

Having said that, cm are easier than inches as there is no 8ths, so you might like to get yourself a cm tape measure at the end of this and make your maths easier.

File ------->select document properties from the drop down menu -------> default units change these to cm ------> click on the tab named grids and select new----->

change the spacing Z to 1 and the spacing Y to 1--------> x out of the menu

Your work should look like this:

Save your work

Okay tommorrow 2) Drawing Fatimas pattern PART2

Regards Liz

PS I feel much better having started something. Also if I have missed something in my explanation let me know, don't be shy to tell me I have stuffed up, its not that uncommon.:)0

PSS Would you consider designing your own patterns? If so see my question regarding the sale of childrens blocks