Pattern Review “Plus”
Since your fall pattern review, I’ve been waiting with great anticipation for LaFred’s Maia jacket to become available. Seeing the line drawings now that it is published makes me realize I’ll need some help with this pattern–help I know is buried in back pattern issues of Threads!
I really appreciate the way Threads occasionally refers readers to back issues for more details about a technique (as in the recent article on boutis). Along these lines, I’d like to suggest that occasionally you choose a reviewed pattern (or any other. for that matter) and guide readers through the construction process, showing how techniques from a few past Threads articles might be useful for that particular project.
I’m willing to bet that if I had time to review all my past issues, I could find at least a half dozen that would help me with this interesting jacket pattern (the article on choosing interfacing? something about making great buttonholes? special pocket techniques?) Perhaps, if you can’t spare the space for an entire article, you could add such references to your pattern reviews on occasion.
I’m sure these references might frustrate a few readers, but then again you might boost sales of your back issues and you would certainly reward those of us who treasure our Threads collections so highly that they are on our lists of “things to take in case of fire or earthquake”! Thanks for your great magazine.
How did you know I keep my Threads collection in the trunk of my car at all times?! Not really, but I do know where all the issues are at all times!
Thanks so much for your idea about articles showing how to apply techniques we've covered in the past to specific patterns or garment types. This is something we should think about here. I do this myself when I read pattern instructions--I know that Threads has shown a better way to do something than what's in the pattern guidesheet, so I go back and read up on it.
I'd like to see more on altering patterns for petites, and whether different pattern companies require different types of alterations. For example, I'm making a coat from a Burda pattern and they don't mark the bust point so I have no reference there. As a rule, I have to take something up in the armhole, but since Burda is a European company and cuts a shorter armhole, I'm stumped on whether to do this. I'd also like to see real petite people modeling clothes they've made and learn and how they altered their patterns. Just a suggestion. Seems the vertically challenged don't get much attention. Loved the article on dream machines - I own a D1 and a Pfaff 1540 for travel and they are both great, but my D1 is the best I've ever owned.
I'm with you on the need for help for petites! Because I am less than five feet tall (just a bit) purchased clothing usually doesn't fit without alteration, and it is easier to start from scratch.
Dear MargaretAnn and Bernie,
I'm a petite and I agree with you--it's very tricky business taking length out of patterns without changing the drape and design. One tool that has really helped me is a basic fitting shell pattern. I have a bodice with long sleeves, pants, and a skirt. I lay my pattern over the commercial one and can see exactly where to adjust lengths and still allow for my circumference measurements. Then it's an easy matter to pleat up the pattern and true the seamlines.
That's a very good suggestion. I once took a class on making a sloper but they never taught me how to use it. So I had this great sloper and no understanding of how to use it to alter a commercial pattern. I still don't know how to do it.
One book that might get you jumpstarted on using your sloper is
Kathy Illian's Bodymapping. (And I think ER Hamilton has it had it recently for a very reasonable price.) And don't forget Karen Howland's
articles on slopers from back issues of Threads. I use custom
slopers as the basis for making my personal patterns, because I
sew for folks who are hard to fit. I still have a fair "library"
of commercial patterns, though, as I love swiping details from them
for "my" patterns.
Kay Lancaster [email protected]
How does a basic fitting shell differ from a sloper? Also, I too have read your articles on using slopers and I still can't figure out out to use them!
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