A Review: How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns

Given the train wreck that has been life this last week, this weeks review is really a re-blog from a year ago. I’m editing some of it. As I’ve been blogging every day, the opening line of “It’s been awhile since I posted anything” no longer applies. But the balance of the review stands as originally posted.

Ok, so I deleted the first paragraph. I do know where I’m going with the blog and have hit a definite rhythm. Saturdays I post a review. Sunday I post an explanation of a type of weave. Monday I post a Baby Lock Blog. Tuesday is a cleaning blog. Wednesday is the latest lesson from the Women’s Institute Library of Dressmaking. Thursday is a straight throwback to an old post from the old site…although I’m starting to run out of those, so I’m starting to think of replacement topics to take over Thursdays. And Friday is pattern making….currently the Caftan project, but soon to expand in to actual pattern making. So, on to the throwback Saturday book review blog.

During my down time from blogging, I reorganized my sewing supplies, including all my books.  And decided to start reading and re-reading some of those books.  The book I started with was How to Use, Adapt, and Design Sewing Patterns: From store bought patterns to drafting your own: a complete guide to fashion sewing with confidence.  Whew!  That's a lengthy title.  

This is a pretty good beginner's guide to working with commercial patterns.  It is put out by Barron's, which is known to produce educational books, and is a pretty simple, straight forward read.  It does include a basic measurement chart, which is the one I used to get my new measurements.  There was one confusing paragraph regarding ease which I read four times before going to a Facebook sewing group for clarification.  The ladies of Facebooklandia were able to explain my confusion to my satisfaction; however, in the end it turns out I was grossly overthinking the point.

Additionally, the graphic for the measurement table was a little misleading, as the line drawing has the model wearing high heels while getting measured.  Which makes no earthly sense, as you don't need to know the length of your leg PLUS heel height.  Leg to floor then you can adjust individual patterns to allow for heel height if you wish.  Which could cause confusion to someone brand new to sewing who might then put on heels prior to taking measurements. But the rest of the directions for measurements were solid: wear comfortable clothes but not denim, snug shirt for close fit, fullest part of the body measurements, etc.

Overall, a good guide to get started with.  The line drawings were clear and directions were well illustrated.  It is an easy read and a quick reference for general pattern adjustments.  And if you want to follow along at home, here is video of the measuring process (barefooted, thank you!)

How to take measurements for sewing. Helps to have a helper and other useful off the cuff tips. See the whole post at http://damaskraven.com/new-measurements/