For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in draft-at-home systems and mostly intrigued with the Haslam System of Dresscutting. Each and every time I go into a vintage store or thrift shop, I’m always on the outlook for books.
A few years ago, I bought the ruler, foundation document and a booklet with patterns, with the plan to try to figure out how the Haslam system works. After reading through the documentation, I knew I was going to need to see a tutorial of some sort to figure out how it all worked… yet, I couldn’t find any. Recently, I have found a couple YouTube channels and a blog that has made efforts to explain how to use the system, but I feel that there is still information missing and this is why I’ve decided to create a four part series.
The four part series will include steps to use the system, resources and the sewing project I’ve chosen. Hopefully, it will help those also interested. If there is anything you think is missing from the series, please let me know.
Over the next four weeks, I will be posting one series part each week. This is the first one!
Once I am done this blog series, I will do an additional post for a blouse sew-a-long we will be hosting in our Discord Community.
What is Haslam System of Dresscutting
The Haslam System of Dresscutting is a draft-at-home system, that allows you to create your own sewing patterns using you own body measurements. You can also use the pattern to create different sizes as well as tailor the pattern to fit your body type. This is achieved by creating a sloper and pattern pieces. The system was devised by Miss Grace Haslam and was an original home business that eventually has Miss Haslam travelling all over the country teaching her method of dressmaking.
Here is an article about Miss Haslam and her Dresscutting System. https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/10772216.history-of-the-haslam-sewing-system/
What you will need to get started
Template and Foundation Tools
- You will need both of these tools to draft your patterns. https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/258854147/haslam-system-of-dresscutting-pattern?ref=shop_home_active_16&pro=1
- Paper for drafting – I recommend you get something a little more sturdy than tissue paper for this. Some sewists like to use a stronger paper like packing paper. It’s what I use when I draft my own patterns.
- Pencil and eraser
- Paper scissors
- Glue and bristol board (if you want to make a sturdy, reusable template/ruler
Where to buy patterns
- My Vintage Wish – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MyVintageWish?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=449246396§ion_id=16153240
- Couture Vintage France – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CoutureVintageFrance?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=1019110077
- Mrs. Depew – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Mrsdepew?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=97183195&search_query=haslam
- Fleureve Vintage https://www.etsy.com/fr/shop/fleurevevintage?section_id=33684410
- Laura Mae Designs – http://www.lauramaedesigns.com/2019/03/the-haslam-system-of-dresscutting.html
- Musings of a Craft Enthusiast – https://musingsofacraftenthusiast.com/category/haslam-dresscutting/
Atelier Limonova has a few videos on her Haslam System journey. I’ve been following along, you should too!
Nora Murrell is also going on a Haslam System journey on YouTube.
I haven’t had a chance to watch these videos yet, but this is Leoneza Nica’s journey.
Haslam Support Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/2350029785241188
In part 2 we will talk about how to draft your sloper and pattern pieces using the tools I’ve talked about above. If you aren’t already, please follow me on Instagram as I will be providing mini updates there as well.
2 thoughts on “Haslam System of Dresscutting: Part 1 – Getting Started and Resources”
Forgive my ignorance, but i am looking to sew 1920’s dresses (for my book tour); does this method also work with that kind of low waste clothes? The rulers (plastic) in your pictures are not part of the product sold on Etsy, correct?
Hi there! There are several sellers on Etsy that sell both Haslam patterns from the 1920s. My Vintage Wish is one of them. (https://www.etsy.com/listing/571239063/the-haslam-system-of-dresscutting-no-3). You would need to buy the ruler separately and all of the sellers have a link to a downloadable PDF that you can print and put together. I did that and then pasted it to poster board to give it a bit of stability. If you search Etsy and Ebay, you will likely find someone selling the plastic version. Cheers!