by David Morris

Prior to embarking on drafting or adapting basic swimwear blocks it is helpful to develop an understanding of basic stretch pattern cutting principles which relate to swimwear. This is equally useful for designers who are used to working by developing new styles from established blocks, as a surprising number know how to adapt by a combination of fitting on the body, and trial and error – but without first understanding these principles. Being able to understand and apply these basic rules should help to aid in the creation of more successful patterns, whilst also beginning to create an ability to identify and correct pattern cutting problems faster.


A key way in which stretch patterns
are different from non-stretch, is that whereas with non-stretch you would add ease (i.e. essentially volume), known in this case as positive ease, into a pattern – for example on sleeve heads and the elbows of a twopiece tailored sleeve, with stretch patterns you are taking out ease.This is sometimes referred to as negative ease.


Using a grid marked onto the fabric to cut the swimwear from…

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