Drafting tools are necessary when you are tracing off an existing pattern on a cloth, making fitting, or designing alterations to a sewing pattern. Drafting a sewing pattern from scratch, or cutting and sewing garments to fit perfectly are their other uses. There are tons of drafting tools to make your patterns and clothing perfect.
For the best sewing results, you need to know the exact operation of each tool. In this article, we covered all the basic drafting tools in sewing and their uses such as different types of measurement tools, marking, punching and cutting tools, and many more. Stay with us till the end to find out more about these tools.
Drafting Tools in Sewing and Their Uses
For sewing purposes, you need to make different types of cuts or patterns no matter what you are making. For most projects, you will need the help of many drafting tools. This section is all about those drafting items.
1. Pattern Paper
To sew beautiful and accurate drawings or patterns in your fabric, you need pattern papers to shift the markings into the fabric. To make these patterns, there is a dedicated pattern-making paper with a translucency feature to make tracing easier.
2. Pattern Master
Pattern master or pattern maker is a versatile drafting tool for sewing patterns. It can be used as a straight ruler, curve ruler, set square, and to draw angles, lines at particular distances to an existing line. You can even get patterns in both metric and imperial measurements.
3. Pattern Drill
Pattern drill can drill a special hole into the patterns, leaving a perfect circle cutout behind, the same as the hole punch. You can then use the pattern to mark on the fabric and sew accurately.
4. Pattern Notcher
You can mark in notches in your paper and card patterns with a pattern notcher. This tool helps in keeping your notch markings consistent and more easily recognizable. Also, it is needed to cut an opening at the edge of the pattern to indicate seam allowance, and centerlines and to identify the front and back of patterns.
To indicate the end of a pocket, dart, trim, or buttonhole, you will need to pierce a small hole in your patter using an awl. This tool is also handy for the scoring paper to fold and also tracing your measuring tape around curves for accurate measuring.
6. Glue Stick
A glue stick is essential in making patterns and sewing. It can temporarily hold things in places so that you can sew your fabric more accurately.
7. Self-healing Cutting Mat
If you draft the craft paper on a cutting mat, it will protect your table from pencil lines, scissor scratches, tracing wheel, and many more. The bigger the cutting mat will be, the better and more use you can get out of them. If you can afford it, get the best A1 self-healing cutting mat.
8. Measuring Tape
A measuring tape is a must-have tool in fashion design to take measurements accurately. You will need tape at least 60 inches long. If you got several tapes, make sure to use the same tape in any particular project. Because, some tape can stretch or be wrongly marked, and it can ruin measurements.
Compass is mostly used for making curves or circular patterns in the fabric or for umbrella cloth.
10. Drafting Table
Usually, you can find a wooden drafting table with 4 feet in width and 6 feet in length with 3 feet in height. Make sure the surface of the table is firm and smooth.
11. Curved Rulers
Made with transparent plastic and being curved, a French curve helps a lot in marking the shapes of the necklines, collars, and armholes. To shape the hipline, hem, and lapels, a Hip curve is used. Also, sleigh curves can be used for necklines, armholes, pockets, cuffs, collars, etc.
12. Milton Cloth
The Milton cloth is a blue-colored thick woolen cloth that is mainly used in practicing drafts by fashion students.
A brush is used with the Milton cloth to rub the mistakes during drafting and sewing.
14. Tracing Wheel
A tracing wheel is a wheel with a handle that helps in tracing patterns as the name suggests. There are usually two types of tracing wheels, pointed and blunted. The pointed wheel is mainly used for transferring patterns and shapes to the paper, and the blunted wheel is usually used with carbon paper to transfer the pattern to fabrics.
15. Flexible Ruler
The flexible ruler can bend into shapes, but it will hold its shape once removed to help you draw around the curve created by the ruler. Most flexible rulers don’t have measurement markings on them, you can try using measuring tape along with this ruler to know measurements.
To cut pattern paper and fabric, you will need two separate scissors dedicated to their respective works. you can use short blade scissors for better control over cutting the pattern or fabric.
Pencils are used to make marks on the pattern paper. You will need at least two different color pencils to differentiate between pattern lines. The best pencils are 2H, 3H, or 4H because they are hard and give you sharp lines. There will be no wide lines or smudge and you will easily differentiate the right lines.
18. Marker Pen
Marker pens with different colors are good for differentiating among close pattern lines and designs. However, the markings are not easily removable like the pencil marks, so you need to be careful while using the marker pens.
For any mistake in pencil markings or to erase everything later, you need a good-quality rubber that does not leave black lines.
20. Sellotape/ Masking Tape
You can use masking tape or sellotape to secure the pattern paper down to the working surface such as a cutting mat or the table. Also, it can hold garment pieces on paper before tracing. If you buy a non-tacky variety of this tape, you will be able to peel away the tape easily once you’ve finished your work.
21. One Meter Ruler
A one-meter ruler is a straight ruler that you can use for marking long-grain lines when making or modifying patterns or on fabric.
L-scale or tri-scale is L shaped measuring scale made of steel or wood. You can easily draw horizontal and vertical lines with an accurate 90° angle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is washi tape better than masking tape?
A washi tape is less sticky than the masking tape. So, it will be easier to remove after the work, and no need for glue to stick with the fabric.
What exactly are drafting tools?
Drafting means the process of producing a technical drawing or draft. So, the tools you use to make those drafts are the drafting tools. Since making different items by sewing needs technical drawings and patterns, tailors also use many drafting tools.
Just knowing the drafting tools in sewing and their uses won’t help you in making the best garments. Always be careful with the measurements and cuts, work on a large surface. It’s alright to face troubles at times, but don’t forget to learn from your mistakes!