Pattern making made accessible

Are you intimidated by the very idea of making a pattern? Have you tried make a pattern and been disappointed in the results? The other day a student of mine was extolling the virtues of a book about pattern making she had checked out of  the library, so while she was stitching up a few seams on her blouse, I took a quick look at Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit

I already own quite a few pattern making and pattern alteration books.  Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Armstrong is the textbook used at Seattle Central Community College, and I have used it in patternmaking classes I have attended and also for my own personal patternmaking. It is very thorough, and a pretty technical book for what is honestly a pretty technical skill. I am a bit of nerd so I do enjoy patternmaking, but you definitely have to have enough caffeine in your system to plow through this baby.

I also own and have used Fitting and Pattern Alteration, Fit for Real People, Pants for Real People, and probably a few others lurking around my bookshelves. But what struck me immediately about Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit was how accessible it was to the beginning sewist. The author, Steffani Lincecum, shows you how to rub off a pattern from an existing garment, and she does it clearly and simply. The illustrations are clean and understandable. The projects are modern and look like garments you might actually wear outside your home where other people will actually see you. I was particularly intrigued by  her chapter on rubbing off purse patterns. Clever! Maybe obvious, but I had never thought about doing this. 

This book is not going to teach you everything about patternmaking. But it is will get you started using some simple techniques, clear explanations, and fun projects. It was intriguing enough for me to order my own copy for my personal library. Seems like the kind of book many of my students might enjoy.

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

2 Responses to Pattern making made accessible

  1. I got Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit out of the library a little while ago. But, for me, I LOVE the measuring and math and geometry of pattern-making, so it did not appeal as much. I did not delve that deeply into it though. I currently have Design It Yourself Clothes – Pattern Making Simplified. It allows you the joy of measuring and solving calculations, but in a very simplified way. I’ve not actually completed any of the projects in it, but plan to very soon. Have you seen this book? What do you think of it?

    • I agree with you Catja – but many sewists do not like the nerdy math stuff. That is part of the fun for me too! I haven’t seen Design It Yourself Clothes, and it looks like my library doesn’t have it either. Sounds interesting tho!

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