Monday, April 30, 2007

How to Make Sewing Patterns

Too often, I make things more difficult than they need to be. But, I usually learn something along the way, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. I discovered I could make a blouse using size 52 Burda Pattern and not do any adjustments or changes for fit (except to lengthen it, if I want). I have several Burda blouse patterns that only go up to size 50. In the past, I've pivoted and slid the bust to fit with no problem. Here's where I make things difficult -- I got the "Big Idea". Why not grade the whole pattern up to a 52 so it will fit as well as the 52's I'm now making? Because I don't know how to grade up, that's why! But I refused to let that stop me! I decided to get some information on making and grading patterns. I bought this book.

This book was originally published over 25 years ago and the artwork looks dated. The information is easy to understand, however. One of the most helpful sections has illustrations and instructions for measuring your own body. So far, I've only read the sections on drafting a straight skirt pattern. McCunn presents skirts first because they are the easiest to draft. Each step in the process is clearly illustrated and rationale explained. I appreciate knowing the reasons behind instructions rather than just being told what to do. I feel confident about drafting patterns with this book and my other pattern drafting book, Make Your Own Patterns by Rene Bergh. Both of these books are introductory and intended for the home sewer. My plan is to challenge myself and draft a pattern once school is out and I'm on vacation.

I guess I could continue to increase the bust by pivoting and sliding. It's an easy method and I've done it for years. But then, I wouldn't have learned half the things I know (about sewing and everything else) if I hadn't asked myself "Why not?" and gone off on these little "side trips".

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