Module 8 | Creating a Garment - Core Basics

Updated: Jul 16, 2020


What are Core Basics?


What are YOUR Core Basics in your wardrobe?


Everyone will have a different idea of what this means.


For this exercise we are going to place the focus solely on tops and dress shaped patterns. If you wanted to make a Core pattern for your Skirts then use your Skirt Working Template using the same concepts defined here, it is not recommended to cut off a skirt from a drafted dress and use that as it may not have the best fit for you, darts may be in different places and it has been tested differently as a dress, you might find that it is not the shortcut that you expected.


In my wardrobe my core basics in this category are a combination of shapes and styles for undergarments and tops and dresses.


  • Undergarments - I mostly wear dresses for day wear as I feel they are more flattering to my body shape so from time to time I need to wear an underneath skirt as we used to call it when I was a girl, I think most people now call this a slip. A slip will help to add a layer of protection for the dress in that if the dress is transparent it will stop the world from gaping in, also it protects the dress from bodily fluids in Queensland this helps as you can sweat in this heat. Obviously alternately a thicker slip can add warmth for a colder climate. Or you might just prefer to layer your clothing as part of your styling. A Slip could also be worn as a hot day dress if you made it in a cotton fabric, or as a nightgown if made from a lovely satin or silk or even cotton fabric, actually a satin fabric is good for a slip as it makes your outer clothes easier to slip on if it is to be worn under a dress. A short slip to the Waist would in my book be called a Camisole top and would be worn for the same reasons as above but to go under a top or blouse or to be worn on its own on a very hot day or for an evening look or layered with beach wear or on a colder day with a jacket. It could also be worn as a vest under clothing for extra warmth. Of course a slip can be worn from the waist down under a skirt but you would deal with this by using your Skirt Working Template as discussed above. Slips and Camisoles can be any style, tight or loose fit, pretty or simply functional and really any length you feel that you need. Therefore with all these choices for a slip it makes sense to have a Flexible Pattern to deal with a slip long or short.

  • My core Tops would be Camisole Close Fit Top (not too tight) to wear with skirts/shorts and jeans or as night wear or lazy days T-Shirt again to wear with skirts shorts and jeans or as night wear or lazy days Vest Top, ditto These are the tops I can throw on for housework/daily activities/walking/beach, to wear with jeans or a skirt or shorts or just for hanging about the house in.

  • I wear mostly dresses in this climate as I feel so much more comfortable and I think they are more complementary to my body shape. I have some preferred shapes, round neck, V-neck, and boat-neck. I liked fit at the bust with a flare as it goes down to say an A-line or straight skirt skimming over the belly and hips to hide a few sins.

It makes sense for me to have at least 2-3 go to Flexible Patterns ready to go for me to make up dresses when I need one as part of the core of my wardrobe.


I can then of course add in Skirts, trousers, shorts, cardi/jumpers and jackets etc.


The type and style of garments you choose for your core basics and the timeline in which you add them are down to you to define. The work you previously did in Modules 1 and 2 will have giving you some idea of what you need in your wardrobe right now and some designs and styles that you would like to have.


The purpose of this unit is to give you a starting point to get some Flexible Patterns drafted for tops, and dresses if you still need some help in progressing a way forward and start to make some simple Core Basic garments.


If you can identify the items that you would use or need the most then by focusing your design/drafting to create a core set of Flexible Patterns then you will always be able to create a Basic Core garment whenever you need one. A little investment in the patterns will give you a wealth of options to choose from at a later stage when you are in the mood to make a garment up.


This is a good base to start from for your capsule wardrobe.


To make starting out a little easier I thought we could start by looking at a selection of choices and from this identify the core elements that you feel that you are most likely to need. The list of choices is endless but I have put a stake in the ground and listed some important ones to me. Obviously you could create your own table listing what is important to you if you want to and focus your efforts for design and drafting.


For this exercise all tables and design templates are available from the Document Downloads page for you to print out or fill in or sketch on your own ideas.


The following Table – Basic Core Capsule Options Table looks at four different fit options Casual (very wide such as a tunic), T-Shirt (the fit of a very comfortable T-Shirt), Slim (close to the body but not tight), Fitted (a very close fit) listed down the side. The rest of the table shows some design choices such as Neckline Shape that you saw in the Style Sheets during Module 2. Of course there are other options not listed here such as Sleeves i.e. No Sleeves, Cap Sleeves, Short Sleeves, Three Quarter Sleeves, Long Sleeves etc.


This is meant as a starting point, of course you could create your own table with your own style options to choose from.


If you are happy with the options shown you can print of a copy from the downloads page and tick off the options you would pick for garments that you would wear regularly and therefore would benefit from Flexible Patterns for them. As you fill it in think of the type of clothing you where and what you are doing when you are wearing it as I detailed at the top of this Unit.

The following table shows you my personal preferences.


By filling in the table you can visually see where you need to focus your drafting time thereby giving you the core elements that you need whilst maximising your effort.

If you need a little help visualising the outfits draw them out. Have a look at these quick sketches which show how different a garment looks using 8 different lengths.