This is a short but detailed guide for anyone interested in getting to know how clothing patterns are developed from basic blocks. The majority of garments bought in shops are developed from very simple blocks with style variations added and tweaked along the way. Every fashion house has its own set of blocks from which their designs are developed. Any budding fashion designer who wants to produce patterns for their own designs needs to understand the concepts involved in adding and taking away fullness, how to introduce style variations and how to make it all come together in the construction process. The first step to achieving this is to work in quarter size (or quarter scale) and included is a master set of basic bodice, sleeve and skirt blocks that you can keep and copy to get you started.
Quarter size blocks are a fabulous way to develop concepts and try out ideas in a format that is both inexpensive and manageable. Pattern adaptation can seem a little daunting at first glance but working in quarter size makes it easier to see how the adaptations affect other pattern pieces and provides a platform for ideas to flow much quicker than in larger formats. Since it is small and easily viewed, issues of scale and function are more obvious and once you get the hang of it, it can be oodles of fun. The only limit is your own imagination.
Written by the people who decided to manufacture half size mannequins out of frustration at a lack of a suitable product for their needs, this guide is intended as part of a series of booklets being developed with both the home sewer and student in mind to enhance their design skills and take their creativity to a new level.