Sewing books

| 9 Comments

patternbook.jpgI really hate patterns. From the time in 8th grade when I was sewing letter-shaped pillows in Home Ec, I found all those tissue paper notches annoying. And the super-detailed instructions might be good for some people or when you're learning a new construction technique, but... Align reverse side to front side at notch, pin. Turn 1/2 inch. Sew to notch, reinforcing seam with double row of stitches. Yuck!

Here in Japan, none of the patterns are in my size, so I'm spared this trauma. I have experience drafting patterns, though it's been a long time and my skills are rusty. What I need is inspiration. What do current fashions look like?

Enter the fashion book. I've fallen in love with these and already own three of them.

skirtpage.jpgEach book has a front section with photos of the designs on models. Then each item has a one or two page spread that shows you how to place the pieces on the fabric, a numbered list of instructions, and details for any special construction points.

There are assumptions about your ability to sew. You must know how to cut a pattern, sew a seam, turn a hem, etc. These books are not really for true beginners, though they are not difficult things to sew if you have the basics under your belt. The instructions are sparse but there are illustrated sections to cover some techniques and I've learned a clever ironing tip from the "Men's Shirts" book.

The books also have pullout patterns--a single sheet with all of the pieces printed on top of one another. You are suppose to trace them out. Of course, they are not drafted for my shape, so I will have to redo them to fit my waist-hip ratio and my wide shoulders.

This page shows the skirt I made last week. It doesn't even have a pattern, just measurements for the various rectangles. The instructions include some detail on putting together the pocket, but other than that, it's 7 easy steps:

  1. Sew side seams
  2. Make the slit
  3. Assemble pockets, attach
  4. Create a tri-fold casing hem
  5. Sew the waisband casing
  6. Insert the waistband elsastic
  7. Insert the cord at the hem

It was so easy, I made two. Summer wardrode is sorted. Have I mentioned that I now know the kanji for "fusible interfacing" in Japanese?

9 Comments

WOO! You are great, Sawing is one of my poorest things.

Sawing is one of my strong points. Sewing however I was never really allowed to try much. I am really intrigued however with the idea of making my own clothes. I'm intrigues with about 5,000 ideas at the moment though, so I doubt I'll do it. Thanks for the site title, Johnny approved it and it went up. It is hilarious. If you don't see it when you first visit the page, just hit reload. (This will play hell with my page views count)

Keep on Truckin'

UltraBob

Thanks for the complements on my patterns Tracey, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to say no about the sewing circle.

;p

UltraBob

It's pretty great to have someone else replying to comments on my site. Saves me tons of time. Thanks, UB!

P.S. Sewing circle is on, even if UB is too busy to make his own clothes.

Does UB have too much time on his hands? Idle hands are the devil's work!!

Pretty sure she was talking to me Kristen.

UltraBob

I mean, when you see my patterns it's pretty obvious really.

UltraBob

Oooh, maybe you should write abook. I'm sure I'd buy "UltraBob's Fashion Sense for Women." Maybe I can do the cover design for you...

If you decide not to create your own patterns, you could buy a copy of Burda magazine. It comes in a few languages and has many patterns and sizes.

Of course, you still have to trace the patterns from the sheet in the middle, but.....!

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Recent Comments

  • Helen: If you decide not to create your own patterns, you read more
  • kristen: Oooh, maybe you should write abook. I'm sure I'd buy read more
  • UltraBob: I mean, when you see my patterns it's pretty obvious read more
  • UltraBob: Pretty sure she was talking to me Kristen. UltraBob read more
  • Tracey: Does UB have too much time on his hands? Idle read more
  • kristen: It's pretty great to have someone else replying to comments read more
  • UltraBob: Thanks for the complements on my patterns Tracey, but I'm read more
  • UltraBob: Sawing is one of my strong points. Sewing however I read more
  • http://www.ne.jp/asahi/hanz01/version01/: WOO! You are great, Sawing is one of my poorest read more

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