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Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified Paperback – September 22, 2009
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About the Author
CAL PATCH was a clothing designer for Urban Outfitters and Free People before creating her own label, Hodge Podge. She teaches sewing and patternmaking throughout New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
1. I was tired of store bought patterns not keeping up with fashion trends.
2. I wanted to learn pattern making for a better fit.
This book goes into good detail without getting too technical and overwhelming. The book is organized into 3 parts with an additional section on Making Patterns from Existing Clothes.
An interesting fact about the author:
Cal Patch was a clothing designer for Urban Outfitters and Free People before creating her own label.
**I did a video review so others could get a better peak of "what's inside the book"**
I suppose we of this figure type will have to rely on Kathleen Cheethams' patterns (Petite Plus) and add lenth if we need it, or go to one of the more in depth tutorials on patternmaking.
I gave the book 4 stars because there is a wealth of information here on pattern variation that would work for anyone. Once you have a pattern that fits, there are so many things that can be done with it to construct other garments. So, though the patterns themselves won't work for me, the book is a keeper.
The simple designs on the cover are the sections in the book and each of those sections explains how to create and fit the pattern for that garment, making it (to me) more of a pattern book for those designs than an patternmaking instruction book. The instructions, photos and illustrations are good and easy to follow and it does show and give a brief description of how that information can be used to create a design that is slightly different. The garments are very simple and basic. Perhaps a nice starting point especially for a teen or young adult or someone with a little sewing experience looking to expand their horizons a bit, but to really get into patternmaking and design, look for a different book. This is more of a prequel. I will probably dontate this to my local library. A good book, but not the one I was looking for.
I found Joi Mahon's Create the Perfect Fit: Measuring and Pattern Fitting for Real Sewing Solutions a better resource for an experienced sewer.
Ms. Patch's modern, unfussy approach skips over a lot of the intimidating techniques involved in creating a conventional sloper, plunging you right into the fun and creativity of turning a few simple measurements into contemporary clothes you'll actually want to wear. Her technique is especially well suited to working with knits, which are more forgiving and easier to fit than woven fabrics.
The first project I attempted was the T-shirt, which I modified to be a flirty tunic. To her basic design, I added a wide neckline, an empire waist, and a flared bottom half. It was a shape I'd had in my head but could never find in stores or in pattern books. To my amazement, it came out even better than I'd hoped. I get lots of compliments on this shirt -- best is when people ask me where I bought it.
Having this taste of success with my first project absolutely hooked me. Now I'm borderline obsessed.
Much of the book's value comes from its relaxed approach. Just looking at the photos throughout, you can see that author's emphasis is not on perfection. The garments on the models look distinctly home-made, in fact. But perfection is a bore and a creativity killer. I found the DIY quality of the clothes charming, refreshing, contemporary -- and most of all LIBERATING. This is not international hostage negotiation: this is clothes, and it should be FUN.
One caution: The book assumes a certain amount of sewing experience. It is not a sewing instruction book, nor does it claim to be. But if you've made a simple skirt and a top or two from commercial patterns, you'll be fine.
And one criticism: The author does not adequately address the subject of wearing ease (the extra room that's built into a garment for comfort and ease of movement). In fact, the word "ease" doesn't even appear in the index (although it does make a brief appearance in a glossary near the end). She implies that you can plot your actual bust and waist measurements and end up with a T-shirt you'll be able to wear in public. This is misleading, as the T-shirts she shows in the photos have plenty of ease built into them. It's a puzzling oversight in an otherwise wonderful book.
I can see that I'll soon want to add more drafting skills to my arsenal so I can attempt more ambitious projects, and there are plenty of books out there for that. But this book provided precisely the inspiration, encouragement, and permission I needed to get started.
So glad I took a chance on this book. It's almost criminal how much fun I have alone in my apartment with my roll of butcher paper. Thank you, Cal Patch!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is an absolute delight!Read more