Thursday, April 29, 2010

Metric Pattern Cutting

Ok. Seriously, this book rocks my world!!!!! Here is my story.

I decided a while back that I wanted to be able to design my own clothing patterns. I have several pattern drafting books and chose Design-It-Yourself-Clothes by Cal Patch as my beginner book.

Good things about this book:
  • Very clear definitions of terms.
  • Detailed instructions.
  • Simple clothing.
Not so good things about this book:
So, what does "not enough math" mean? It means that that I really wanted (in fact needed) more numbers, especially when it came to making the hip curves. And the waist curve. And the hem curve. (How far out/in should my curve be?) I made 7 (SEVEN) versions of my skirt, and each one was varying degrees of bad. Even when I got close, I was not close enough to wear the finished garment. I was getting so frustrated, I began to think that I just couldn't get it.

Then I thought, maybe I'll just try another book. I went through my sewing library and grabbed Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldrich. I had bought it used after reading a couple of good reviews on various blogs. This book rocks my word. I nailed the basic skirt block on one try. (I am still futzing around with the darts, but that is too be expected.) (This is not a very glamorous picture, but a basic straight skirt block made out of muslin is not so flashy.)

I am currently, taking this pattern, and turning it into an A-line skirt. Nothing revolutionary, but I am on my way to making my first self-designed garment and I am very happy about it. I took some pictures of my initial pattern, but they didn't turn out so well, so I scanned one page of the book to let you know what it looks like. (And mine looks pretty much like this.)

When I finish my first skirt, I will give a more detailed explanation of what I did, but I really recommend this book. I have the 1976 edition, but it looks there is a 5th edition from 2008 that is expanded. I'm gonna check it out to see if I need to upgrade.

Regarding the other book, I'm just gonna say that it had a lot of valuable things in it, but it just didn't work for me. Maybe it is because I am bigger. (I am a RTW size 16.) All of the clothes I have seen made from it (in the book and on flickr) were in smaller sizes. Maybe I just learn a different way. Oh well. I may try something else from it one day, but I am having a lot of fun with Metric Pattern Cutting right now.


The Slapdash Sewist said...

Looks like a very successful muslin! If I had any will to learn to draft I'd look for the book. But I like to do it the easy way, with patterns.

Angela said...

Very nice! I'm with Slapdash... I like to do it the easy way. Hmm.. but I have been thinking about doing some simple drafting. Thanks for the heads up about both books!

Faye Lewis said...

I am so ashamed of myself Pretty Sweet, but I finally got your pattern in the mail to you today. I put it in the envelope what seems like two weeks ago. I just couldn't get to the post office sooner. Enjoy! Add seam allowances!

Andrea said...

Awesome 1st draft. I'm definitely going to have to put this book on my list.