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Errors in Helen Joseph Armstrong books
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Dzynurbrian

Dzynurbrian
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Date: 3/2/10 1:16 AM

"Pattern Design for Fashion Design" by Helen Joseph Armstrong
"Draping for Apparel Design" by Helen Joseph Armstrong

I didn't see any other posts about this. Either everybody will know exactly what I'm talking about as it's old news, or it's going to be news to everybody and we can figure it out together. :)

I'll go into more details if necessary, but I've been informed that there are errors in the block making instructions in this book. Editions 3-5. Actually it's said that there are mistakes all throughout the book but I have no specifics as to what they are. Some people say block drafts, sleeve head ease, double ease throughout the book.

Anybody have the corrections or done a certain step repeatedly to get the wrong outcome?

I contacted my teacher in hopes of getting corrections to the text, however she's horrible about answering messages or even being online.
In addition the publisher is aware of the errors and have not released corrections.

HELP!!!!!!! I make all my patterns either flat or draped from Helen's books and all along have been wondering what I'm doing wrong when it could really just be faulty text.

I'm really interested to see what you all can share about this!
I appreciate it,
Brian

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~Dzynurbrian~

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Sewliz
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In reply to Dzynurbrian


Date: 3/2/10 8:38 AM

In the third edition I found some typos with the location points on the draft. It made me stop and say whaaaat? but it was easy to figure out the error. I don't have time today but if you need the exact typos I found I can look it up sometime.

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Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

GlButterfly

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In reply to Dzynurbrian


Date: 3/2/10 12:33 PM

This subject was discussed at least once within the last several months. I didn't pay that much attention so couldn't tell you where. Try another search and it may pop up for you.

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That's Gl = for Gloria, not G. I.

nancy2001
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Date: 3/2/10 2:15 PM

I'm not sure, but I think the errors might have been discussed in one of PR's reviews for the book.

By the way, this very morning I found a copy of the 4th edition on amazon for just $18. So naturally I snagged it.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

Dzynurbrian

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Date: 3/2/10 2:50 PM

Nancy, I have both the 3rd & 4th edition of the book.

Our teachers instructed out of the 2nd edition simply as to not spend more money on the same book, but suggested we purchase the most recent update.

I'm told 2nd edition is more "complete" when it comes to step by step instructions. Although you and I both have good pattern knowledge, I sometimes wonder if I had the 2nd edition if things would've been smoother for me. Apparently the 2nd edition doesn't have the errors which I find odd. This means all along the students were working from faulty text, while the teachers scored our accuracy based on correct instructions in the 2nd edition.

At any rate, I think you'll be really happy with the 4th edition. Especially at $18. I bought mine new and spent $75 I believe. I liked the option of it being ringbound so I can pull out pages and photo copy if necessary. The illustrations are a little more fashionable than the older versions, but it's pretty much the same exact book as the 3rd and 5th editions. I'm going to make it a priority to purchase the 2nd edition just for the sake of being able to compare instructions for accuracy.

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~Dzynurbrian~

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nancy2001
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Date: 3/2/10 4:36 PM

It's terrible that errors introduced after the 2nd edition haven't been corrrected. When I was in college 40 years ago, textbooks were carefully proofread and almost never had mistakes. But today high priced textbooks are pumped out as quickly as possible, and they're filled with sloppy errors.

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Dzynurbrian

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Date: 3/2/10 5:06 PM

I agree. Out of ALL the books published in the world, why is it a TEXTBOOK with important measurements that is the one the publisher decided not to correct. I would've thought at the very least, the publisher would've insisted that the sloper drafting be tested by somebody other than the author.

In a way, the book is a waste if you don't have a functioning sloper. Luckily like many other situations, most of us are resilient enough to find a way around it.

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~Dzynurbrian~

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nancy2001
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In reply to Dzynurbrian


Date: 3/2/10 5:31 PM

Brian, textbook publishers today don't care about students. They care about only one thing -- money.

I already have my basic TNT patterns (sloper) for all the clothes I wear -- tailored and casual jackets, knit tops and pants. For the past year, I've been modifying jacket collars and lapels by trial and error, which works well enough but usually takes me half a dozen tries to get it right.

Yesterday, one of my buddies on PR suggested I get the Armstrong book so I could learn to draft these collars and lapels more efficiently. I'm too cheap to pay $85 for a sewing book. But as soon as I saw the $18 price on amazon, I snagged the book.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

Rita K
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Date: 3/2/10 6:28 PM

I have the 1987 Pattern Making for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong. I actually audited a college class in 1988 for fashion merchandising majors who were required to take this class They had no interest in sewing. The instructor was excellent. They were a number of the patterns we were assigned to do which had errors. If I had not been in a class with a knowledgeable instructor it would have truly been crazy-making. As it was it was supremely frustrating. The instructor said "I am not going to spoon-feed you" but in the end she had to because of the errors. I was taking the class because I was truly interested in sewing & we could have done & learned so much more.

Surely the errors have been corrected in newer editions!! At least the word is out there on this site!

Edited to correct author's name.
-- Edited on 3/2/10 6:30 PM --

frankieolives
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In reply to Dzynurbrian


Date: 3/3/10 3:02 PM

i went to a small school in san francisco where a woman there just wrote a book. it was published last year. we used her text, and it was brilliant. the thing is, there is NOT a lot of explanation about 'why' you do something (i.e., HJA writes out what we add for crotch length and why, where Suzy Furrer does not, and she does not share what to do if something goes wrong given an unusual body type, for instance, i am very short crotched, and there is really no provision to rectify this, so, i have sat flabbergasted for a week trying to figure out how to fix it, so, you better know how to fix a pattern). i would use a combination of both.

can you tell me which blocks are wrong? im dying to know.

Suzys slopers and blocks are SPOT ON. if for that alone you should get her book. no issues with any errors in text. we actually got to make any corrections that were necessary in class, because she was writing the book while i attended school, so it was really awesome to have first-hand info, and Suzy is a meticulous stickler. i actually still have a dozen binders from the class. we would get a binder when we started a new subject, and i have the swapped out pages in there if there was an error! and i have to say, Suzy's errors were miniscule. NOTHING like a sloper being wrong.

I would be SHOCKED if there was even one error in her book. but again, just be aware, its for pattern draughters who know what they are doing. the patterns are spot on, but if you need to make an alteration, you are on your own.

http://www.amazon.com/Building-Patterns-Architecture-Womens-Clothing/dp/1424343534/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267646215&sr=8-1

in closing i would say this. pattern work is something that you will never 'master' in the sense that the possibilities are endless. you will always be learning and teaching yourself new things in draughting. when you feel in your gut that something is wrong, then it probably is. and when you get stumped by something, as i have, override the book, dont get stuck on someone elses instruction. make it up as you go along. most draughters do. there ARE rules, but YOU are in control of your pattern. and just because it says x in the book, doesnt mean that you cant do y. in fact you SHOULD do why. think of all of the astonishing designers out there. they are not following books and instructions. they are trailblazers who do what they want. thats why they are where they are. they make their own patterns based on their needs and intuition. NOT on what a book tells them to do. imagine how boring our wardrobes would be if we all walked around wearing a syllabus?

so, use the book, and then burn it. you are in school to learn the rules and then break them all. dont be nervous if something does not work. improvise and call it yours! but first, get Suzy's book. you will have your slopers done in a week, and on your way!
-- Edited on 3/3/10 3:04 PM --
-- Edited on 3/3/10 3:06 PM --

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