When Mrs. E, our choir director first laid out the guidelines of clothing choices, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to wear. My red Chap's sweater with my black wool skirt. Until a few practices after and I realized how horridly hot I'd be. Particularly as I get sweaty when at all nervous.
Then I had an idea. A red corduroy vest. Not just any ol' red cord vest, but a double-breasted, militaristic red corduroy vest.
Problem #1: none of the vest patterns we have hit the spot.
I designed my own.
Problem #2: I had never drafted a pattern for an adult.
I took my own measurements (with just a wee bit of help from Katherine on those really hard to measure spots) and marked them down on the miniature scribbled pattern I'd draw on a piece of college ruled paper. I did end up borrowing one of Katherine's vests to figure out the armhole curvature, since my attempt at it freehand was 100% backwards. (I have this slightly dyslexic thing that happens occasionally and I can't think my way out of it.)
I measured and drew it onto a few sheets of scrap paper taped together and cut it out. Minus the seam allowance, of course. :p So...I had to redraw it and add in the seam allowance.
Well and good...but I wanted a stand up collar. Back to Pintrest I went and found two different tutorials. Between the two of them, I drew up a collar.
I cut out the mock-up out of fabric that, assuming it worked, I could go ahead and wear. It fit! :)
Then I ran into Problem #3: The pattern wasn't going to fit on the red corduroy dress I was using for material. Removing the pockets from the skirt did nothing to help, since the very obvious markings of where the pockets had been was completely unacceptable. COMPLETELY.
Then inspiration struck! I'd put a seam down the back of the of the vest (it was supposed to be cut on the fold). I laid the pattern actually over the skirt seams (I had them lined up evenly) so with the center back seam, I actually ended up with a three-seam almost decorative look. I then put three matching seams down the back of the collar. They didn't end up lining up exactly, but I didn't rip it out since it's not overly noticeable and I may have that part covered with my hair anyway.
Due to a mistake in the initial stitching together, I ended up having to sew the armholes by hand. I wasn't going to rip the whole garment out when it's not too much trouble to hand-stitch an armhole....
Then came the next question. Four big brassy/gold buttons or six small black ones? I liked the brass and my sister liked the black. Since I was aiming for an early 19th century military-esque vest, I decided I would go with the brass...only to realize four (I had five total) would not look right. Six would have been perfect...but since I didn't have enough, I returned to digging through the button box and came up with eight black rimmed buttons with a silver lattice/basket-weave like center.
I also put three small shirt buttons on the inside to hold the inner flap shut nicely. (The perk of having hundreds of buttons cut off the men's shirts that we use for aprons and children's clothes.)
While it didn't turn out completely perfect, the sides being a wee longer than I was aiming for and a little extra room in the back about the waist, I like it. I may look slightly wide in it, but I think with a fuller sleeved shirt it will counter-balance some of the extra room.
All in all, I don't think it's a bad job for the first time ever drafting a pattern completely from scratch!