My newest pattern obsession is the German pattern drafting system M. Müller & Sohn. I've been experimenting with their pattern drafting system for a couple of months now and have taken a very brief private course with a teacher here in Vienna to properly learn the basics of this system. I'd like to introduce this system to the sew-o-sphere as it seems to be a well known and respected system by professionals in the industry (not only in the German-speaking world) but is not very popular with home sewers at all. This needs to be remedied :)
Before I write anymore about their system let me just warn you that this system is German and their textbooks are therefore naturally written in German. Unfortunately only one of their textbooks (Metric Patternmaking for Jacket and Coats with sleeve/bodice combinations) is available in English and just like all their other textbooks it's pricey.
However (don't despair!), there is a very reasonable pattern drafting book on the market which is largely based on the M. Müller & Sohn system: Patternmaking in Fashion by Lucia Mors de Castro. This book is by no means as comprehensive as the M. Müller & Sohn series and it doesn't purport to be either but it contains instructions for drafting basic skirt, dress and sleeve slopers very similarly to the M. Müller & Sohn system. So, if you are interested in trying out their system for yourself, this book is a good and reasonable introduction into, let's say, German-style drafting and it's also a trilingual edition in English, French and German. Yeah!
The reason I'd like to write a bit about the M. Müller & Sohn system here on my blog is because I think it's a very good system that many of you might find useful if you like drafting your own patterns. I have really come to prefer their system over let's say Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear or Natalie Bray's Dress Pattern Designing book, which I had both been using for a while. The thing that bugs me about most pattern drafting systems is the inaccuracy and obscurity of the system. While M. Müller & Sohn's system is still quite obscure it certainly is not inaccurate and that's what I love about it. So far I have only been experimenting with their textbook on dresses and
They also have one for jackets and coats and another one
for trousers and skirts. But drafting an accurate fitted bodice sloper
is what I think is most challenging and a thorough system makes this
process a lot more reliable. Generally I find that drafting skirts is a
breeze whatever system you use.
And there literally seem to be hundreds of different systems available around the world. I also find there is a huge gap
between what is available for home
sewers in terms of pattern books and what is used in colleges or by
professionals. Since M. Müller & Sohn is a hugely
important system for professionals and used in many fashion colleges it is certainly more accurate than some pattern drafting books which are geared solely towards home sewers. But before I go into the specific pros and cons that I have found when using M. Müller & Sohn and other systems in a follow-up post, I'd really be interested to know what pattern books and systems you use.
Do you draft your own patterns? If so, what books or resources do you use? What books or systems are used in fashion colleges or by professionals in your area? I'd really love to know more about how people draft patterns all around the world.