My entrepreneurial nephew, who recently opened his own barber shop, wants me to make him some barber smocks using fabric with LA Lakers and Oakland Raiders logos. Finding the Lakers and Raiders fabric wasn't a problem thanks to the resourceful sewers at PR. Finding a pattern for a size 4x barber smock? No Way! Fuhgeddaboudit! The only thing left to do is make a pattern from one of his smocks. To make this possible, I bought Patterns from Finished Clothes by Tracy Doyle. Several years ago, I took classes at Philadelphia University (formally Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences). I was enrolled in the Industrial Fashion Methods certificate program. One of the classes covered learning to copy clothing. I had to drop out in the middle of that course, so I never learned to copy a garment. In the class, we laid tracing paper over the garment to trace the pieces. Doyle uses another method -- putting paper under the garment and using a needle point tracing wheel to trace components of the garment. This method seems much easier than the method taught at Philadelphia University. After perusing the first 2 or 3 chapters, I actually believe I can make these smocks! The book is very heavily illustrated. The first half of the book gives detailed, step-by-step instructions for copying a yoked blouse. The rest of the book covers pleats, darts and other details. I wish those details were covered as thoroughly as the yoked blouse. However, I feel confident enough to attempt the smocks. I'll learn more by working through the process than by reading the book.
N. B. This is the same nephew who suckered me into trying to buy "Transformers" during the height of the craze back in the 80's. I certainly hope I'm more successful this time. It's a good thing I love him so much.