Sewing: Pattern cutting – trouser block class

On Sunday I met with one of my best friends who I have mentioned on this blog before and who really is the reason I 1. sew, 2. knit and 3. blog about it. 🙂

We went to a little fabric shop in London called Ray Stitch to attend a sewing class. My first ever class! We took the Pattern cutting – Trouser block class.

The description of the class was:

Pattern cutting demystified with minimal maths and a lot of fun!

  • Create a trouser block which will fit you to perfection
  • Make your own unique toile and learn how to make small adjustment
  • Learn how to adapt your paper pattern to realise your own designs
  • Use your new skills to give your commercial patterns a personalised fit


I have made a couple of pairs of trousers in the past. I am pear shaped and hence have struggled with many RTW trousers let alone sewing my own. The one I was quite successful with was the Thurlow pattern. So I was super excited to learn how to take my measurements properly and create a block from them.

The Class

We were 5 students and the teacher Alice.

Alice was brilliant. She’s a whirlwind of information and has great anectdotes of working in the industry of sewing and pattern cutting for some big names.

We were downstairs in the shop and were reassured we would have time to shop during lunch or after the class. The shop has lots of sample garments made up which I thought was awesome!

The space for the class however was a bit cramped for 6 people plus the odd customer. That was the only downside but at the same time didn’t distract from the learnings.

Making a block was ridiculously simple especially on dot paper and using the tools Alice provided. These you can of course buy at the end of the course. And they are just magic!

You can see the top of my block here.

All you need is 3 measurements to make it and a bit of maths, and the magic tools!

Between us we all worked it out. Among awkward crotch adjustments and comparing crotch rises we had a lot of laughs.

We made our own blocks and traced off a pattern by lunchtime.

The lovely folks from ray stitch provided many sandwiches, coffees, teas and cakes throughout the day.

After lunch we all made a muslin to check any special fit requirements. Everyone’s fitted nicely mostly but some extra adjustments were suggested by Alice and transferred to our blocks.

Mine was to lengthen my darts by 1 cm in the front.

We then spent a couple of hours working on mini patterns, designing pockets, waistbands, and generally learning how to manipulate our pattern blocks to make any style of trouser we could find in the books Alice brought. This was super fun and led me to buy some lovely wool to make some nice wide legged trousers.

I was also intrigued by another book Alice brought along, by David Coffin, which had a tonne of illustrations.

Does anyone have it? Is it good?

Among books we also got to inspect many pairs of trousers our teacher had made using her block which was fascinating.

Really the world is your oyster if you can pattern cut using your own measurements. I’m so excited!

Question: Do you have a sewing block for part of your body?



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