A BIG THANK YOU to Maria.
“Maria’s system was an outstanding item and I know many members are now anxious to get hold of it. Our young costume designer, only 23 years old, said when she gets her next contract the money is going to buy one of these. She sees it saving her hours of time spent drafting blocks to make the individual costumes.
I was in Tasmania on Sunday for a meeting of the Guild there and discussion centred on one group that wants to establish a pattern-drafting group.
Consequently “The Pattern Drafter” got a mention. One of the members works in a fabric store in Launceston and often sees the Birch rep so don’t be surprised if you get enquiries from the “island state”.
Once again, I cannot thank you enough for all you did to make our day the great success it was.”
Regards, Shirley, AUSTRALIAN SEWING GUILD
“I thoroughly enjoyed the Dress and Pants Workshop, learning the ruler and how to apply it. It was so simple once I saw our finished product and realized how it all went together. I have done several courses and this was the best. Maria’s teaching is fantastic and very patient to explain again and again if we were not quite clear. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to make their own clothes AND enjoy wearing them because they really do fit!”
Irene Williams, Canberra ACT
“The pattern drafting course last Saturday was inspiring. I enjoyed the simple solutions presented, as well as sharing ideas with others. You have made sewing a joy again. Thank you”
“Hi Maria, I thought the pattern drafter was great. And to actually make a garment from it that actually fitted perfectly. I only had to take in the darts under the bust by about 3mm. Not even really worth mentioning. The woman I made the dress for had a very low bust line and I wondered if the pattern drafter would do it. So I was pleasantly surprised when she tried on the toile and everything was in the right spots. It was the first time I had actually used the pattern drafter. I had a beam from ear to ear. Being in the fashion and couture industry, It makes the end product that much easier to sew knowing that the garment is going to fit the wearer. I recommend the pattern drafter to other sewers. I will never buy another sewing pattern again (I no longer have room for them anyway as I have about 1000).”
Regards Melanie Jayne.
“I learnt a lot and gained new ideas and techniques to try, a most excellent teacher and really clear and easy to follow instructions and diagrams.”
“Many thanks to Maria and Christine for a great weekend.
Friends were made, fun was had. The accommadation and catering was excellent and best of all I now have patterns that fit me, thanks to Maria’s very clear instructions.”
“Very Good very informative and an enjoyable weekend.”
“Dear Maria, Just a short note to say Thank you for the wonderful sewing retreat that you hosted.
lots of good food, laughs and friendships made. I learnt a lot and came away with basic top, skirt and pants patterns and the knowledge that these will fit. GOODBYE Commercial patterns. I can recommend this weekend.”
The Quick Unpick
4th April 2011
Pattern Drafting… the smart way
“3 hours past the edge of the world”
Saturday, February 5, 2011
From the Miraculous to The Unexplainable
In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll tell you I took this class at work as part of my job. However, no one asked me to write this up and I wouldn’t if I wasn’t impressed.
First, the Miraculous: Today I made a full set of basic blocks or slopers or whatever you want to call them. Maria Opresnik is a very clever dressmaker and drafting teacher in Australia, she invented a special ruler designed to take 7 measurements and create a perfectly fitting block. It’s called Maria Martin’s Pattern Drafter.
After wrestling with a vintage pattern-making textbook which yielded questionable results, I didn’t think it could be that simple and approached the class with a certain measure of skepticism. I knew I made rookie mistakes with my other sloper, I wasn’t sure how to take some of the measurements and used reams of polytrace making a series of so-so slopers which I don’t use. It’s frustrating because I spend enough time altering patterns to fit I often think I should just start from scratch, but I lacked the right foundation. So how could a little template work magic?
Maria ran a lovely class of 12 individual women. We were all different body shapes and had varying levels of skill, as you’d expect. I am blown away. Not only did I make my dress front and back, a sleeve, two collars, a pants sloper, dress and pants muslins in five leisurely paced hours- everything fit. Mine fit me, my partner’s fitted her, everyone had a good fit.
Those of us with larger busts needed a little tweaking, but she tweaked deftly and transferred it to our slopers. After my bust tweak (hehe), my sloper closely resembled my usual bodice pattern after I do a FBA- armscythe, width, length, and dart depth. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of me in my dress before I cut it up to transfer the tweakings but I’m itching to extrapolate a new blouse.
Worth looking into. I think this could be the next “thing.” Her design is elegant simplicity, not “slap it together and make it work but it looks like crap” simplicity. If you know what I mean. The book is spiral bound and painfully clear (imagine if Amy Butler wrote the instructions…), and Maria herself is calm, patient, and she dressed in an impeccably fitted linen dress with pleated interest.
Here’s my pants muslin, my photographer didn’t inform me I pinned too hastily, that’s the wrinkle-pull. Just wait til these become K.Hepburn pants.
No smiley shorts. Nothing. The pulling is my pinning but I’m not going to re-photograph.
Just make it sew
The Perfect Fit!
Posted on March 7, 2011 by justmakeitsew
Early on in my stay here in Melbourne, you may remember that I met a woman (Maria) at the Australian Quilt Market who had designed a ruler called The Pattern Drafter. At the market, Maria had given me a very quick demo on making a pattern sloper for a bodice and showed me a muslin she had created using her Drafter. Using only her ruler and a measuring tape, she told me that you could create a sloper for a bodice, a skirt, pants or a sleeve. Taken together, these slopers are all that is needed to create custom designed clothing that will fit each individual, using your own body measurements.
Naturally, I was curious and wanted to know more. She told me that she would have some workshops coming up at the beginning of the year that would provide a hands-on experience using her ruler.
I kept in touch with Maria over the holidays and agreed to meet her after I returned from our trip to New Zealand. Finally, the appointed day arrived and I traveled two hours by train, to a town in the state of Victoria called Bendigo. Maria met me at the train station and took me to her studio for the workshop. Our time together was less of a workshop and more of a private tutorial on how to use the ruler.
During our time together, we created a sloper for dress and pants. It went so quick I had just enough time to sew up the muslin for the dress before heading back to Melbourne. The muslin sample fit like a glove! My time with Maria was like meeting an old friend, she was a pleasure to meet and work with. We had much in common and I enjoyed talking to her during our time together.
One of the things I was most interested in drafting was a pattern for a pair of nicely fitting pants. If you know me at all you know that I almost always wear a skirt. This is partly due to the fact that I have a very hard time finding pants to fit nicely that are not too tight, too low in the waist and do not ride down when I sit down.
Well , as I write this blog, I am wearing a pair of pants. A pair of dark denim city shorts to be exact. For the waistband, I made a facing and after sewing it on, understitched it to help hold it in place. I placed the zipper in the center back so that there is no extra bulk over my tummy or hips. Regardless of where I placed the zipper, I had the freedom to make them any way I so desired. I even had control over the length. It is wonderful to know that I now have a workable pants pattern. And, I won’t stop here. I see a dressy pair of jeans in my future along with linen capris and a wide leg pair of trousers for the fall.
At the moment, a have few extra pounds on me. (I didn’t know the food in Australia would be so good!) My point in bringing this up is that when I proceed in making another pair of pants and have lost some of this extra fluff, I will still have the Drafter to make myself another pattern. I will always be able to make a nicely fitting pair of pants for myself. Same goes for a blouse, jacket, dress, skirt – whatever!
Do you have a problem with measurements from where you are not the same size on top as on the bottom half? Using the Pattern Drafter it doesn’t matter as long as you take accurate measurements. My measurements are currently in centimeters, but it could be in any form. At first I felt apprehensive, but I don’t find that to be a problem. Why you ask? Because a number is a number is a number. Once you have taken the necessary measurements in centimeters (or whatever sizing) you only work with those numbers.
Lastly my fellow sewista’s — just so you aren’t left out — you won’t have to travel to Australia to purchase this wonder ruler or take a workshop. Just Make It Sew in Burlington, New Jersey will be the first among shops in the States to satisfy your curiosity and quest for the perfect fit! I will be offering a workshop on the Pattern Drafter soon after I return from Down Under. Check out the JustMakeitSew website for more details and reserve your spot now for this class. I will have a few of these wonder rulers for sale and will be taking orders for more if needed.
A Message from Sewco.
“The Pattern Drafter classes at Sewco Sewing and Patchwork Centre were just “miraculous” according to those who attended them. “It was just so simple and accurate,” said Dianne who is planning to start dressmaking again after avoiding it for years. She is also going to make basic pattern toiles for her daughters so they can also start making their own clothes. “I have learnt so much and feel so inspired. The measurements were so easy to take and then it was no trouble to draw up the master pattern,” Dianne said. Everyone agreed that The Pattern Drafter System had inspired them and they couldn’t wait to start on their new correctly fitted clothing. Brenda, a trained Home Economics teacher, who teaches dressmaking, said she was very impressed with the ease of use of Maria’s The Pattern Drafter. “She has refined the methods we learnt in the past to fit in with modern styling and methods,” Brenda said. “The accuracy of the system is most impressive and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.”Stephanie, who teaches dressmaking and is encouraging younger women to sew their own style of clothing, also found The Pattern Drafter easy to use. “Fitting adjustments are simple to do, so you can keep your basic pattern up to date no matter what figure changes you have,” she said.”
Fantastic success with The Pattern Drafter
Posted by Raye on February 9, 2011
What a wonderful fun time was had on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday with Maria Opresnik from The Pattern Drafter.
Firstly Maria spent the time on Friday explaining how she had designed her unique system after years of teaching Fashion at Tafe, then the design tuning until she was absolutely satisfied with the way her special ruler worked.
And work it definitely does. Just ask the 25 ladies who were lucky enough to take part in The Pattern Drafter Workshops over the weekend.
Just 7 measurements – yes, only 7, are needed to draft a properly fitting pattern.
Then the girls made up their “toiles” in calico and were checked for fit.
We have the full system for sale here and our teachers have been trained in its use.
Did you miss out on this great learning event? Let us know if you would like the chance to become an expert pattern fitter and do Maria Martin’s Pattern Drafter Class and if there are sufficient numbers we can schedule another class. So please contact using the “Speak Your Mind” box below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
See some of the pictures of the fun the girls had pattern drafting below.
“It’s a fantastic tool, perfect results every time”
Monica Poole Designs
“I love the Pattern Drafter, use it all the time, thank you for your innovation, and congratulations!!!”
“I have now been using the Pattern Drafter for four years. As a dressmaker catering for custom “Made to Measure” garments for ladies from petite to plus size, I couldn’t do with out the Pattern Drafter.
My customers are delighted , especially when they find it hard to find garments that can fit accurately in the style and material they like. With The Pattern Drafter, I am confident to fit all sizes. I use it all the time and love it, knowing that it works so well for each and every customer”
Anne’s Sewing & Alterations Brisbane.
“Wonderfull Maria, best sewing tool that I have ever invested in. Use it for my self and daughter all the time. Thank you again for all the help you have given me.”
Corry Anderson Brisbane
We thoroughly enjoyed the dress and pants workshop weekend, held at the Meredith Community Learning Centre
Maria you are such a talented person your teaching skills are fantastic, with such patience and care, nothing was a trouble for you to explain.
The ruler is totally AMAZING along with your beautiful easy to follow book of instructions. The ruler makes drafting something everyone can achieve one does not need to be good at maths to use it.
Maria we can not thankyou enough for bringing the joy back to sewing clothes, we all learnt so much with plenty of fun and laughter along the way.
We wish you every success with your Pattern Drafter.
Meredith Sewing Group.
I have enclosed some photos of garments that I have made since purchasing The Pattern Drafter.
I just “LOVE IT”. To know that I can plan my patterns out, fit the pieces on bits of odd fabrics is a great feeling. Even better is to know it’s going to fit me.
Thank you Maria, I love my sewing and you’ve made it so much better.