continue using patterns or to go back to self drafting? that is the question…


“Mama look what I made today?Do you like it? How do I fix this? What should i do here?” The pictures in this post are usually accompanied by one of these or similar questions to my mother, the one who taught me how to sew.

I don’t “do it for the gram”. I’ve been sewing long before the gram, for most of my life. I’ve been helping my mother sew since I was 6. I may have mostly annoyed her and she used me for the cheap labor because Lord knows how much we all hate cutting patterns, self drafted or commercial. I learnt about darts, why and where to put them. She had books on pattern making and I read them. I was obsessed with sewing and making patent gowns one day. I hated that pageant girls wore the same dress in different colors at the time. This was the was the 90,s, I’m 32.

Anyway these pictures I posted up here were from 2010 to 2013 maybe before Instagram. Patterns were not on my mind. I barely used them. I wanted Abby originals and came up with plenty of boutique names. Then Instagram came along and I used to post fun times, nothing else. A friend one day said post what you make on there. I was shy and slowly I did.

I then discovered the sewing community and how much they use patterns. It was about the patterns at first and showing each other what we could do with them, our creativity, our own spin! I’ve met some amazing people through the pattern sewing community. We lift each other up, give each other ideas and even ask each other for help. “Help, I’m stuck. You used this pattern before, can I call you?” My DM’s and I’m sure everyone in the sewing community gets these. “Which pattern did you use please tell us”. I could tag plenty of influential sewing ladies and gentleman within our community. Yes community. Sewing patterns have become about community for plenty of us and now  plenty of us are torn. Representation matters and we don’t see it from the top.

I can go back to drafting because I can draft my own patterns, all the pictures in this post are self drafted but I don’t want to lose my sewing community and friendship. We do this together. I may not be “on brand” because I do African print a lot but that is because I love to sew what is not readily accessible to me. I have plenty of solids I buy from the store in my closet but people now literally associate African print with me and the sewers that use it a lot. Regardless of what I sew, this is not about me, this is about the fork in the road where I and numerous other sewers in the community have come to. Do I self draft or continue using patterns? How do I keep community and hashtags. I don’t know. Maybe the readers and other sewers can help me on this one.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Duana says:

    The fun thing about self drafting is that it represents you 100%. I’m always a fan of self drafting, which I will slowly pick back up. I also will continue to post outfits I made with patterns (since I have so many), but I will choose not to tag them or use their hashtags. Also, hacking those would be a good way to still personalize it and make it you. ❤


  2. Toni says:

    Yes, I love my sewing family and of the encouragement and inspiration that I get from sharing my work and from seeing others’ work as well. You are so blessed that you can self-draft so well! I am self-taught (mostly via YouTube) and mostly work with commercial patterns so I’m conflicted on what to do also. I guess I’ll have to spend more time learning to self-draft. I also like Duana’s idea of using the patterns that I already have (and not buy anymore- insert sad face here because I have a long list of ones that I was looking forward to add to my collection) and just not give the companies any recognition and no hashtags. I’m just going to miss the community-building of the sewyourview, sewalongs, tutorials, etc.


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