Read what owner and creator Katharina Co has to say about her pattern making process and the history of clothing patterns:
NB: Leggings Base’ leggings are locally manufactured in South Africa from start to finish.
“Making a pattern is a rewarding process. It makes me feel so calm and content to stand at the sun drenched work bench, creating lines and cutting out the freshly designed shapes.
When it all starts to look right I hand it over to the cutting and sewing department, namely Noleen Van Wyk, who applies her magic and brings the shapes to life.
Back comes a garment that tells me if the lines were right or if they need tweaking to properly imitate the human shape and sit in the sweet spot of maximum comfort and funky amazing looks.
It is an ancient art to make clothing – although for centuries it was mainly about covering the body with cloth, and not so much about whether it was a nice fit or not. The first know clothing patterns can be found in a Spanish book from 1589, called ‘Libro de Geometría, Práctica y Traça’ by Juaan de Alcega.
200 years later the book ‘Instructions for cutting out apparel for the poor’ was published in London. Instead of aiming at professional tailors, this book was, in its own words: “Principally intended for the Assistance of the patronesses of Sunday schools, and other charitable institutions, but useful in all families, […] whereby the most inexperienced may readily buy materials, cut out and value each Article of Cloathing [sic] of every Size, without the least Difficulty, and with the greatest Exactness”.
The first magazine with easy-to-use fashion patterns for pastime dressmakers was called ‘M’me Demorest’s Quarterly Mirror of Fashions’ and came out in 1860. Three years later The Butterick Company was founded which, for the first time in history, offered patterns for clothes with graded sizes.
Many magazines for fashion patterns followed in the next century, among them ‘Burda Moden’, which achieved great popularity in Germany and Europe and is today being published in 17 different languages in over 100 countries.
The commercial use of sewing patterns developed simultaneously, eventually making use of computer programs that help minimize fabric waste and standardize the clothing production process.
The patterns for our leggings are being made by hand though, and we test and try them over and over to bring you the best result and the most comfortable pants for every situation. From the morning gym session as part of your active lifestyle, to playing with the kids, popping to town for lunch with friends to being the shining attraction at the next music festival.
We believe leggings are the most universally wearable piece of clothing after the T-Shirt and I’m thrilled that we can now offer the next generation of leggings, right here in South Africa, using our brand new high-waisted pattern!”