Book Review Plus Free Downloads: Pattern Drafting and Grading by M.Rohr

I know a whole of Nigerian sewers prefer to self-draft their patterns. Well, this post is for you if you like to draft your own sewing patterns. I am reviewing a vintage pattern making text book from the 1940s. I first came across a copy of this book about 12 years ago. It was my intro to drafting books and I have learnt immensely from it over the years.

At a time when I wished for current/popular texts, I thought it was ancient  and not relevant.  I have come to realise that this book remains one of the best. A number of modern authors have directly or indirectly referenced the book. Trends may change but the fundamental principles remain the same.
A blog I follow talks about it here. The author also penned a pattern drafting and grading book for Children’s wear and I think (not sure, I think I have come across it before) for Men’s wear too.

1.    The book layout is very well organised.
2.    The explanations are straight forward. Each style is explained step-by-step using clear diagrams and concise wordings. Explanations per style do not exceed a page.
3.    A wide variety of style from undergarments to coats is treated
4.    It is not word-heavy
5.    It shows different methods of arriving at the same/similar patterns.
6.    Page count of less than 200 pages, therefore not overwhelming.
7.    It includes “pattern grading”- a topic that is a rarity in pattern drafting books.

1.    It is much like a recipe book, it shows what to do, how to do it but not necessarily why you do it that way. This might not be a con for people who don’t want to be bothered with details but get down to business and achieve results quickly.
2.    Some of the basic blocks are really wonky e.g. the trouser draft. The bodice block works okay but I have never used the sleeve draft because it just doesn’t appear alright to me but I may be wrong. So one is advised to use the book mostly for pattern design and manipulation rather than to draft the basic blocks.

            The basic blocks are very essential in drafting your own patterns. You can learn to draft them from various classes online and offline or you can buy basic blocks in standard sizes such as ours.
All in all, I will recommend the M.Rohr. So where do you get it? Sorry it is out of print but the good news is that you can legally download it for free from the U.S Library of Congress Archives here.
The copyright has expired, not renewed and therefore in public domain. Oya go grab your copy now and thank me later.

For basic block patterns, you can buy our Bodice/Torso with Sleeve Block pattern in  sizes 6-14 all-in-one from the web store or you can download the Size 10 only for free  here.

You can also buy the Trouser Block pattern in Sizes 6-14 all-in-one on the webstore  or you can download the Size 8 only for free here .
Visit our webstore today at to buy and download instantly dress sewing patterns.
See more images from the M.Rohr book below:


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