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Corset en X Award

Children's Pattern Drafting books

Posted by corsetrasewing on 2008.01.07 at 13:06
Cross posted from garb_the_child

I have ran across a few books that cover pattern drafting specificly for children's garments. here are the ones I have seen personally. I will note when I have tried the patterns out.

since this post is going to get long, each review will be under the cut for the title.

Children's Clothing: Desiging, Selecting Fabrics, Patternmaking, Sewing
Selma Rosen
This book is supposed to have a companion book  Master Patterns for Children's Clothing and as such doesn't have any drafting info in it. It is all about modifying the slopers that are not there!
If you can't get both books, this isn't going to  be too helpful.
I can't get the other book! libraries don't have it, nor amazon
If on the other hand you want to know about manipulating patterns, this maybe helpful to you. But as many of the other books that actually have drafting instructions in them also cover manipulating patterns, I would skip it unless it was in your local library and curiosity got the better of you.

Childrenswear Design

Hilde Jaffe & Rosa Rosa
Second Edition 1990 (1972 original)
This book shows you to create blocks by draping on a dress form. the only drafting is the sleeve, pants, and hoods. If you don't have a child dress form, you will be out of luck. (that is unless you can get your child to stand still long enough to be draped)
The Authors of this book were instructors at F.I.T.
That said, even though this book isn't the best for drafting it does have some very good things in it. It talks about child developement in relation to clothing needs, Garment measurement for stand sized mundane clothing (like onsies and kimono gowns for infants)
The best is the body measurements for children from birth to size 6X for both genders and preteens for girls.
And there is also a nice Metric to Inches conversion chart in the back which is very useful should you misplace your calculator
So even though it is a bum deal for drafting, this book has it value, to me at least.

The Complete Guide to Pattern-Making
Barbara K. Nordquist
ISBN 0-87749-595-5
Mainly a women's drafting book, but does cover children's as well. Full size children's slopers in the back for sizes 1 to 6
Not that useful. and now I can't remember what the body measurements are that corespond to the pattern sizes

Pattern Design for Children's Clothes
Gloria Mortimer-Dunn
ISBN 0-7134-7874-8
This is mainly in Metric, though there is Imperial charts in the back.
Starts at size/age 2
Has a couple of pages on grading.(the the circle skirt grade looks off.)
a thin paperback that is found for a very reasonable price on Amazon.
This book is slightly harder to use personal measurement than some others.

Metric Pattern Cutting for Children's Wear: From 2 - 14 years
Second Edition  1991 (originally released in 1985)
Winifred Aldrich
ISBN 0-632-03057-7
IN Metric.
Covers a wider variety of garments and styles of garments than Dunn, also More expencive.
Also covers gradeing.
the British standard size charts in the back go from birth plus, and are quite interesting.

Metric Pattern Cutting for Children's Wear and Babywear: From Birth to 14 Years
Third Edition 1999
Winifred Aldrich
ISBN 0-632-05265-1
Again Metric.
So far this is the ONLY book I have found that covers drafting for the under 2 years set.
For the rest of the book, there were some subtle changes from the second edition and I haven't had the time to go over them all yet.
For our purpose, you want the CLASSIC Bodice block towards the center of the book for the infants, not the Flat or Jersey blocks that are in the Babywear chapter in the front of the book.
I have used the 18 moth block for my 18 month's Victorian outfit with very little modification!

Patternmaking for Fashion Design
Helen Joseph-Armstrong
there are several editions of this book, I have the third from 2000
This was my college textbook.
The bulk of this book is women's drafting, though the last part is on children's wear.
Drafting is in Inches
Covers boys and girls sizes 3-6X and girls 7-14

Making Patterns for Children's Clothes
Brenda Redmile
ISBN 0-7134-2141-X
Inches drafting method
Starts with size 2
One of the most charming things about this book is the last few pages talk about "calculation yardage required"

Modern Method of Women's and Children's Garment Design
Complied by A Gabbin and "Master Designer"
1983 (first edition was in 1955!)
Inches Drafting which requires a "Tailors Divisinal Square" (fairgate makes them)
Covers children sizes 3-6, Girls 7-12, Teens 10-16, Juniors 9-17, Misses 12-20, Half sizes 14 1/2-22 1/2, and Womens 36-44
Also covers Grading, though the grading looks like it is for the women's drafts, not the childrens. This method of grading requires a Proportional Divider. (A very useful tool for enlarging patterns by hand and dividing lengths into thirds or sevenths, I love mine!)

Drawing and Designing Children's and Teenage Fashions
Patrick John Ireland
ISBN 0-470-26592-2
Exactly as it is titled. This is fashion drawing for children and teens. I will be copying the drawing of bodies. The clothing drawing is similar to other fashion drawing books out there. Of course this is fun 70's fashions!
While this book is not drafting, it is useful in planing out the garment you want to make
The bodies are slightly stylized and these children are definatly not chubby!
Sometimes regular fashion drawing books cover children's fashion, one that I know does is
Drawing Fashion  by Bill Thames 1985 ISBN-10: 0070637229
although the size ranges are more limited than Ireland's book.

Pattern Grading For Children's Clothes: The Technology of Sizing
Gerry Cooklin
ISBN 0-632-02612-X
Exactly as it says, a grading manual for children's clothes.
I know most of us won't use grading, but I did look at this book and want you to know it is out there.
I don't compleatly understand this grading method, I need to look at it more.
This is a Metric Grade, though there are measuremtn charts in the back that are in Inches and in Metric (the charts are pulled from variouse places)

Profesional Pattern Grading for Women's, Men's, and Children's Apparel
Jack Handford
ISBN 0-916434-34-6
Another book solely on Grading. This one comes with many positive reviews. and is much easier to understand.
In Metric and Inches.
covers infants and up.
If you want a grading book, this is the one to get, I hear.

Classic Designs for Today's Active Children
Kitty Benton
ISBN 0-688-05684-9
This is another book that is about modifying basic blocks. Doesn't actually give drafting instructions though it has this weird  method of making a pattern based on a grid based on your child's measurement. If you want to see how weird it is, go ahead look it up, otherwise skip this book.

Making Children's Clothes using the Block Pattern Method
Joan Moloney
Another book on modifying basic blocks but doesn't have any blocks. It does have one scary looking home-made girls dress form though. Skip this book.

Lastly is a on online link, not a book!
Vintage Sewing has an 1940's Children's Drafting method up. (I think it may just be for girls though)
I tried this once. the smallest size is quite large, as sizing was different back then. (coresponds to about a modern 6?) The drafting instructions keep haveing you refer back to the Women's draft so it is a bit complicated. the draft ends up looking very different from all the others posted here.
So while it is free, I don't recomend it highly.

There are a few others that I haven't had the chance to see yet, but they date from the 70's or earlier.

My final verdict at this point is.....

If you want to draft patterns for children under the age of 2, Aldrich's third edition is the only book and you will have to work in Metric (it's not that hard)

If you would prefer to work in Inches, Dunn's book is currently quite affordable.


caliginous at 2008-01-07 18:22 (UTC) (Link)
thanks! that's a thorough bit of work!
corsetrasewing at 2008-01-07 18:24 (UTC) (Link)
been sitting on it for months, other things just got in the way.
caliginous at 2008-01-07 18:33 (UTC) (Link)
I hear that! thank you for sharing though, I hate how little here is readily for kids and mens clothing.
thereyougothen at 2008-01-07 18:29 (UTC) (Link)
i have the new aldrich. and luckily i much prefer metric to inches!

thanks for the reviews, though, this is great. looks like I don't need another book as I have armstrong as well.
corsetrasewing at 2008-01-07 18:33 (UTC) (Link)
nope you don't need another book unless you want to get into grading. Aldrich is the one I prefer, and since I tend to do my drafting in the computer, metric doesn't bother me one bit!
queenvickitoria at 2011-02-20 21:41 (UTC) (Link)

child's measurements

So I would like to draft my own patterns to make children's clothes to sell. (I don't want to use commerical patterns because of copyright stuff) I was wondering if you came across a chart with standard children's measurements? I already have a book on how to draft woman's clothes and understand how to draft a bodice block and whatnot. Now I just need children's measurements to work with! Thanks!
corsetrasewing at 2011-02-22 20:38 (UTC) (Link)

Re: child's measurements

many of those books I listed have childrens measurement charts, and the drafting is geared towords fitting their bodies. drafting for childern is a bit different than for women. just like it is different for men.
Also look up Anthro Kids on the 'net.
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