Making Clothes: Patternless Fashions by Diehl Lewis and May Loh

An excerpt from the book Patternless Fashions by Diehl Lewis and May Loh which shows techniques to make new clothes yourself.

PATTERNLESS FASHIONS. By Diehl Lewis and May Loh. Washington, D.C.: Acropolis Books, 1973.

About the book: This book is designed to liberate the novice or the professional from being dependent on making clothes from standard patterns. The methods illustrated allow for the creation of more economical and better fitting garments. Over 80 formulas are presented for designing all types of clothing from evening dresses to hot pants, men's bathrobes to children's sunsuits.

From the book: The technique described in this book is really a very simple one--even for the beginner. First, it involves the construction of front and back torsos using your 25 measurements and 9 basic formulas. These torsos are then used to make any fashions you may choose, simply by drawing the torsos on your fabric with tailors chalk and making the necessary style changes described in the book.

How to take measurements accurately

The person to be measured should stand straight in a natural posture and the measurer should measure step-by-step with a tape measure. Start taking measurements from the front side of the body. In taking measurements, it is important to make note of such shapes as a high waist, round or square shoulders, or one shoulder lower than the other. A string should be tied around the thinnest part of the torso which will usually be the waist circumference. The string should not be tied too high or too low, but right at the waistline.

Circle skirt

This skirt has big waves downward, and a gentle sloping line. Fold the material in a square 1st, then fold again into a triangle. Move down from the point of the triangle until you are able to measure the amount figures in the formula across the pattern. The formula for drafting a circle skirt is:

Waist measurement divided by 6=amount to measure across the pattern.

In our drawing the waist measurement is 28" divided by 6=4 5/8". Move down from the triangle point until you can make a line across the pattern equal to 7". Draw a line with a curved ruler. This is the waistline. Measure down from the waistline for the skirt measurement in several places so hem will be even. Always make the hem in a circle skirt 1 1/2" wide.

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