Pattern Materials & Mockups
Sharing one of the ways I make some of my patterns for my cosplays! :)
So I usually try to find a pattern at my local fabric store that is as close as possible to the design I need. If I can't find something that's exact I'll find something close to what I'm looking for and alter it later. If the pattern is super simple I'll use a t-shirt to help with the sizing and guidelines as I draw something up (mostly eyeballing to start).
This is where mock-ups and cheap materials come in handy. Before cutting any of the real material I'll be using, I'll create the final patterns (when a pattern needed to be altered or is drawn from scratch) on the cheap material. A cheap material I've seen many people use for mock-ups (including seeing it used on Project Runway) is muslin. I'll typically buy 5-ish yards at a time.
If I'm altering a pre-existing pattern, I'll trace all the pieces onto the muslin and then change what's needed, adding or taking away from the pattern. When it looks right, cut it out and pin it together (you can even sew it together if it has a lot of pieces, just keep a seam ripper nearby and use a loose stitch).
It's important to put it all together so that you can try it on and make sure it looks right and fits well. This is when you make any changes. It's easy to just cut and take away fabric if you need it smaller or redraw a piece if you need to make it bigger or add on more/completely change something. Using cheap fabric to create mock ups allows for you to make as many mistakes, changes, etc as you want without wasting any nice and/or expensive materials.
Once everything fits well and looks the way you want, it's time to undo any pins or stitching on the mock-up and transfer that pattern to the real fabric you'll be using. Sew it together and done! Add any finishing touches and details as needed, of course.
There are other ways of creating and making patterns as well. Some people use newspaper--I have and still will too, mostly when making armor. Newspaper is flimsy and can tear easily, so I don't bother too often with trying to make dress and pants patterns out of it (at least not when I'm wanting to wear it/try it on before using the real fabric). There's the duct tape method too. Although, I've found that with this, even when wrapping the duct tape as loosely as possible, it will still "corset" you a bit and the pattern can come out anywhere from slightly smaller to a lot smaller than what you needed, depending on how tight the duct tape was wrapped. It is handy when working with stretchy materials and designs that you'd want tighter.
I hope this was well explained enough for you all to find it helpful! :)
~Positive outcomes only! :)
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