Pattern Drafting Crash Course-Explanation Of Measurements & Diagrams Shown on a Lady
Now we get into the actual activity in preparation for drafting a pattern. This explains how to make the measurements correctly from yesterday’s chart.
Take ribbon and pass it around your doll’s waist, bust or chest, neck and hips. Fasten ends together. Choose to use either the top or the bottom of each piece of ribbon as a guide for where you are starting or stopping a measurement. You may also want to mark in pencil or pen the center front and back for reference too. This section of the book deals specifically with measuring different types of dolls and all of the explanations are included in one place.
|1) Full Height Head to toe height with or without wig2) Bust /Chest Around the fullest part of the chest
3) Waist Around waist
4) Hip Measure widest area parallel with the floor
|5) Center Front /Back Length
Center neck to waist nape of neck to waist for back6)Full Length Waist to shoulder at neck over bust (determines shoulder seam) waist to neck over shoulder blade7) Across Shoulder From shoulder tip to shoulder tip on front and across the back at the fullest point. ONLY RECORD 1/2 of measurement8) Side Seam Length Bottom of armhole (about chest high) to the waist
|9) Shoulder Length Shoulder tip to neck10) Shoulder Slope Center of waist to shoulder tip
over bust diagonally same on back. Should be almost as long as full length within about 1/4″
11) Bust Span (lady only) from apex to apex of the
bust (where a nipple might be)
12)Bust Depth (lady only) Measure from tip of bust (apex or Measure from tip of bust (apex or nipple) to waist straight down
|13) Side Seam To Floor Side at waist to floor14) Back Waist To Floor Center back to floor
15) Crotch Depth Depth from waist to crotch level (if doll does not have an official crotch approximate the right area for it.)
16) Hip Depth center front to hip line
17) Side Hip Depth side waist to hip on side of doll (over the curve of the hip
|18) Finger Span Around the fingers of both hands
to determine which is bigger Finger Span or Wrist19) Wrist Around the wrist20) Around Foot Around the circumference of the foot at sole level21) Upper Arm Around where the porcelain or vinyl meets the cloth of the rest of the body
|22) Sleeve Length From shoulder tip to wrist23) Armhole Depth On back from center at the neck to chest ribbon
|24)Waist To(A)Knee, (B)Ankle, (C)Floor, (D)Short Train (lady only), (E)Long Train (lady only)(A)Center front Waist to knee
(B)Center front waist to ankle
(C)Center front waist to floor
(D)Back waist to beyond floor for only an extra inch or so
(E)Back waist to a larger distance beyond floor for longer train 4-5″
|25) Inseam From Crotch to ankle where pants would end. No seam allowance or hem added26) Outseam Waist to ankle along side of body
|Waist arc Divide total waist circumference measurement by 4 and then add ease from section chart (waist is 4″ divide by 4 equals 1″ ease for doll is 1/4″ total waist arc is 1 1/4″)Hip arc Divide hip circumference measurement by 4 and add ease using section chart
Arm type Where the porcelain or vinyl meets the rest of the body determines minimum sleeve length
Leg typeWhere the porcelain or vinyl meets the rest of the body determines minimum skirt or pants length
Body type Cloth porcelain vinyl etc determines if you need extra ease
Finger type What type of fingers your doll has- a mitt, some fingers spread or individual fingers. Especially important for sleeve openings if the fingers are spread out then you have to adjust and use the finger spread measurement and not the wrist measurement if you have a porcelain or other fragile type doll and
a straight sleeve without elastic or other style of opening at the hem.
Guidelines are simply lines of undetermined length to provide a place to measure or draw a line to. They are not precise and do not have set lengths, most however, do need to be a squared (90°angle) angle from another line.
Here are some suggestions for some common items that can make drafting and sewing for smaller dolls easier!
Dryer sheet— can be used for any spot that requires interfacing of sorts as in collars and cuffs but should not be used for the entire garment. I have tried it several times and cutting it away sometimes ends in holes in the actual garment no matter how careful I am.
Tear away stabilizer— this is useful for china silk that is slightly heavy yet still slippery. The bad thing is that tearing it away sometimes will distort the stitching and fabric.
Water Soluble stabilizer— my latest discovery! This stuff is easy to use simply trace the pieces to the stabilizer and construct the garment. When ready to get rid of the stabilizer simply dunk in cold water and it all dissolves like magic leaving soft silk in it’s place. It is also handy to use in bodice construction as when you turn bodices sometimes pointy or even dull tools can poke through the fabric the stabilizer helps to prevent this thus avoiding the ruin of a lot of work! So far I haven’t found a downside to this yet.
The 2 stabilizers mentioned above are available in the machine embroidery section of any sewing or craft store and are usually very light weight. My current packages of both the Tear Away and the Water Soluable (Solvy) are by Sulky. No I do not sell the items mentioned I just use it and love it!
Machine basting patterns to fabric is a lot of work. I’ve found that hand basting is faster and less of a hassle as you do not have to pin the pieces to the fabric first. Slightly larger stitches are ok for this too as you want to be able to see to take them out later!
Best tools I’ve found so far are crochet hooks. A size 5 crochet hook has a blunt butt end that is smaller than a bodkin which is useful also but the crochet hook also has a rounded end by the hook that is great for getting bodice pieces to turn nicely too. This is especially important for half inch scale bodices!
Got small kids in the house? I do! Mischief makers both. Now being that I sew and do it A LOT I use needles and pins…. standard pin cushions don’t babyproof enough to suit me. My solution is to take the nice childproof prescription medicine bottles and put pins and needles in those. I have a nice fat one for pins and several skinny ones for various types of needles including sewing machine needles. This makes good storage…. and the kids can’t get into them!
Alternate to ribbon for measuring small dolls accurately is a twist tie.To measure simply place one end at the starting point and the other end you bend then measure the tiny portion before the bend against an accurate ruler.
Dressmaker’s Ham Pattern (pressing aid) – originally on Perfect Patterns but not on the current site it’s on an old page.