Patterns and Modifying Them
©copyright 2002 by wetseal_rubber
From: Rubber The Right Way - A Condensed Primer on Making Your Own Latex Clothing
- Take a pattern drafting course or purchase a good book on pattern drafting if you are serious about good fit. Patterning and sewing references also provide tips to create really dressy 'not your basic' latex. You can teach yourself about pleats, bound hems, ruffling, and numerous other techniques to add style to your latex outfits.
Which Commercial Patterns to Modify
- Commercial patterns don't consider latex as a material for their garments. You will nearly always have to make allowances on a store bought pattern. Some store bought patterns are easier to adjust for latex than others.
- Kwik Sew creates a substantial number of patterns for lycra that are easier than most to modify for use in latex. Their surf-suit pattern (No. 2335) alone can be adapted to make T-Shirts, Shorts, Tank Tops, Leggings, and Catsuits.
- Stretch & Sew also produces patterns that can be adapted reasonably for form fitting latex garments.
Buying Versatile Patterns
- When buying patterns, look for a few versatile stock patterns can be adapted and combined to make several different outfits. Elements from one pattern can also be used in another. A snug short cocktail dress pattern with a princess line can be combined with elements from the surf suit pattern to produce interesting results.
Modifying Patterns to Fit
- Modifying your patterns to fit you is a math exercise that is out of scope for this essay. You must count the pieces in the pattern and the difference between your measurements and those of the pattern. You then subtract or add to each pattern piece (usually, but not always evenly) to get the desired fit. If you buy a multi-size pattern, use the spaces between the lines to determine where to increase or decrease the measurements. A good pattern drafting course or book really helps here.
- For medium thickness form fitting latex clothing, strike for a finished chest, waist, and hip measurement about 1" (2.5 cm) smaller than your actual measurement. Thighs should be about 1/2" (1.3 cm) smaller. Arms and legs should only be slightly smaller. Lengths for arms, legs, and torso should be right on or very slightly smaller when finished (but slightly longer when cut to allow for squaring up and rolling over hems).
- Seam allowances in many patterns are 5/8" (1.6 cm) on each pattern piece. For a standard lap seam of 1/2" (1.3 cm), you only have to allow 1/4" (0.6 cm) per pattern piece to join. Each pattern piece contributes half of the overlap.
- Most older Burda patterns have NO seam allowance!
Creating Reusable Patterns
- Trace often used patterns to poster board, add markings from the pattern, and cut them out. This saves your pattern and makes it easier to lay out and cut your next garment.