I spent the last several days at this gorgeous place, Chautauqua in Boulder, Colorado. I was at the Makerie, a sewing retreat, learning from some of my crafting idols. I’m sharing what I learned in series of blog posts. Check out yesterday’s and/or read on!

Today: Designing Your Own Clothes with Cal Patch.

drafted dress pattern

I went into this amazing class on drafting your own patterns with a high degree of skepticism about actually being able to really, truly draft patterns. As it turns out, though it does involve a lot of math, it isn’t impossible! In fact, this project gave me a sense of serious accomplishment.

The class was taught by Cal Patch of Hodge Podge Farm and author of “Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified.”  In just four hours, we learned how to draft an A-line skirt pattern and a simple shift dress pattern from our own measurements. Cal is just about the cutest, most wry instructor I’ve ever had; if you get a chance to take a class with her, DO IT. I promise you won’t regret it.

cal patch, courtest of the makerie

The process behind designing your own clothes, again, involves a lot of simple math (addition, subtraction and division). It also reminded me a lot of high school geometry class (remember writing out proofs? this is just like one giant proof for a garment that fits you). And you have to be completely fearless when it comes to taking your measurements — no fudging it! — because you want to make sure the garment fits. Though those were challenges for me, it ended up being so exciting to overcome it and make patterns. There also is something so raw and delightfully essential about drawing a design on paper. It was a satisfying experience.

That said, I have yet to actually sew one of my own patterns. Be assured, I will report back when I do. I already bought the fabric for the skirt – I can’t wait to dive in!

~ Kristina