Pattern Drafting

I have an amazing dress. It fits me in a flattering way when I gained 15 lbs and lost 15 lbs from where I am at right now (30 lb range at LEAST). It is modest yet flattering, hides my flaws. I always feel fantastic when I put on this dress. I put it on every time I need to wear a dress for a special occasion, sometimes having to change because I only have it in one color!

Naturally, I want my wedding dress to make me feel the same way. On the best day ever, I want to feel my best ever! Weird concept, right?

If I could find this dress in white to wear underneath the lace I’m knitting, I would get it in a heart beat!

Dun dun duh duuuun! (Please read as Trumpet fanfare, k thanks!)

Enter drafting a pattern from this dress.

If I can’t find a reindeer [dress], I’ll make one instead! -The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Steps for creating the lining pattern:

  1. Tape out different neckline and/or back opening
  2. Along the seams, cover dress with painter’s tape, omitting the sleeves.
  3. Peal up the tape
  4. Trace the taped shapes on paper/ newsprint with seam allowances
  5. Cut out pattern

Steps for creating the knit pattern:

  1. Mark place of desired knitting pattern changes
  2. Along the seams, cover existing dress with painter’s tape- mark changes
  3. Peal up the tape
  4. Trace the taped shapes on paper (ideally grid paper) with no extra allowance
  5. Measure the each piece
  6. Calculate number of stitches needed for: cast on, at cast off, increases/ decreases, and rate of increase/decrease based on gauge of knitting pattern being used. Adjusting for changes in size with blocking. Math. Basically do a LOT of math.


  1. Changing the neck lineIMG_20170301_170156075
  2. Changing zipper placement (center of back to side)
  3. Changing hemline (from below knee to floor length)
  4. Adding a train

I’m going to do a test mock up based off of the lining pattern before truly writing out the knitting pattern. I want to make sure all the adjustments work in practice and not just in theory.

The length change I double checked prior to cutting any fabric by measuring first then adding string that length to the bottom of the existing dress and trying it and measuring again. This worked great! I adjusted by adding an extra 1/2″ so the hem will hit at the right place.

What about you?

What’s your favorite outfit?

Have you ever adjusted a pattern? Or recipe?


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