I use Pinterest as a source of inspiration and ideas for my sewing and it has made a big difference to my wardrobe. Instead of being restricted to the offerings of the pattern companies I can choose from the best Lagenlook designers have to offer. Of course the snag is that none of these lovely pictures on my pinterest boards come with a pattern. I am quite good at adapting and combining patterns, but I am emphatically not a pattern maker and have no drafting skills. Consequently developing a pattern for something I have seen on Pinterest is a big pain. And of course designers and patternmakers do a prototype and tweak it probably several times before it goes into production. For me the prototype is it. My time is limited and if the first try is not at least highly promising, meaning it is a very wearable garment, I seldom go any further. I am very happy to see that at last the pattern companies are offering some Lagenlook patterns, and independent designers like Boho Banjo are specialising in Lagenlook, so there is now a lot more choice.
But there are also other ways than drafting or buying to get your hands on a pattern. Online sketches, if they are in proportion and the garment is not too intricate, can be enlarged, and combined with elements from a TNT if necessary, to make a pattern. So I was rather delighted when some time ago I came across this page on a Russian blog by Janna Jena. Google helpfully translated it for me as F&F. Fashion. Style. Life. I don’t think the Fs stand for anything impolite. 🙂
The translation is a little odd, as all computer translations, but what is of real interest is the sketches. There are about half a dozen different designs in the blog post, chosen for simplicity of style and aimed at the felting community. Luckily these simple styles also suit Lagenlook. Each design is shown finished on a model and also a sketch of the pattern. What makes this so exciting, at least for sewing tragics like me, is that it is quite easy to translate the sketch into a tiled printed pattern you can actually use to replicate the garment. I only wish everything on Pinterest was as easy to get a pattern for!
Printing this actual sketch in full pattern size has been quicker, easier and more successful than trying to replicate it myself. I think I would have drafted the body and flared hem longer and narrower based on the finished picture on the model, and would probably have ended up disappointed. You can of course also wing drafting this by hand based on the measurements, but I prefer to print it as a tiled pattern. For me, the digital world is so much easier to deal with than having to cope with pen and paper.
So how do you do this? You need at least one measurement on the sketch, although it is possible to estimate if there is none and you are really desperate to make a pattern anyway. Fortunately the sketch above had several measurements to work with. The resulting pattern has now become a firm favourite. I have made it several times and am planning more versions as we speak. This is what I did to get my pattern:
- Save the picture of the sketch by right-clicking and selecting save from the menu.
- Open it in something like Photoshop or Gimp. Print it out onto an A4 page. DON’T scale or fit to page. If necessary reduce or enlarge it in Photoshop to fit nicely onto a page without scaling when you print.
- Measure the actual size on the printed page of one of the measurements given. One of the larger ones is best because the outcome will be more accurate when you scale it up to full size.
- Work out the proportion of the small printout versus the size the garment is supposed to be. In my case, the chest measurement on the printed page was 7.6cm. On the garment it was supposed to be 47cm. 47 divided by 7.6 is 6.18. You therefore need to enlarge the pattern 6.18 times, or by 618%. Do this in Photoshop or Gimp. If you don’t know how to enlarge or reduce an image in your software, google for instructions.
- Of course the enlarged size will no longer fit on just one A4 page. When you print it, you need to select the ’tiled’ option. Again you must avoid scaling or fitting to page, because you don’t want the size distorted.
- Assemble the pattern. I use sticky tape rather than glue.
- I overlaid the shoulders, arm holes and bust with an existing pattern I know fits me, and also used the sleeve from that pattern. With some of the other, looser styles on this blog page you would not necessarily have to do this.
And here are some garments I have made from this pattern. The blue quilted top has slightly dropped shoulders, because I wanted room to wear something underneath. I used the shoulders and sleeves from an OOP Vogue pattern I have used many times before and knew it had the fit I was after.
I also chose the dropped shoulders because the quilted fabric I used is quite thick and not very stretchy, and I wanted ease of movement. I added a cowl, practically obligatory for a cold weather garment in my opinion. And I trust the outfit is rounded off nicely by a pair of furry ugh slippers.
For the next two tops I used my TNT t-shirt pattern, which happens to be Burda 3197.
Here is the resulting tunic in a black wool Jersey. This style can be worn on its own (although with the wool I would probably wear a cotton layer underneath), or with a shorter jumper over the top and the hem of the tunic peeking out. Or over a dress, like in the pic below. The dress is a winter version of the Tessuti Eva, made up in ponte and with long sleeves. And here is a version in printed viscose jersey worn over a bengaline tube skirt.
And here is another version with the tunic lengthened by a good 25cm, so the lowest point covers the knee.