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Estelle in Aus
Estelle in Aus
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/15/06
Posts: 24
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Date: 12/30/07 7:32 AM

I am wondering if anyone has a favourite pattern company, ie one that gives clear instructions, is generally a reliable fit, always give finished garment measurements, etc.
Is there one major pattern co that stands out above the rest, that always delivers??
So far, what I've done is find a general purpose pattern, not too fitting or detailed, and just keep re-using that. I would like to expand my experience some.

Karla Kizer
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Karla Kizer  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/30/07 8:05 AM

Quote:
Is there one major pattern co that stands out above the rest,
Ummmm - no, IMHO. I think Burda has the most predictable fit, while KwikSew provides the simplest, most effective sewing methods.

If you are trying to expand your sewing expertise and confidence, then Burda's easy-to-sew patterns might be the best of both worlds.

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“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



greco
greco
Expert/Couture
Alabama USA
Member since 8/7/07
Posts: 371
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Date: 12/30/07 8:12 AM

Estelle,
I was fortunate that when I was born, my environment was that of a room full of family members pinning, draping, making patterns and creating beautiful couture garments 24/7 while chattering in Italian and often breaking into song, bringing either smiles, laughter, and sometimes tears, but always positive appreciaton and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to be able to join that group of esteemed matriachs and be allowed to touch more than the cleaning up process or the seemingly lowly tasks.
It was much later in life that I realized how blessed I was that I had been surrounde by my passion from the start.
And that moment of epiphany came went I went to college (Iwas 16)and someone asked me the same question that you posted and innocently I asked them why they didn't just make their own? When I got the "deer in the headlight" look which turned into a sneer, because the young lady thought I was being a snob about knowing how to do so already, It hit me then that all people who loved garment design and construction didn't have the same opportunity as I did, and I realized how truly fortunate I was. But more so I realized that the one thing that allowed me to move so fluidly through most construction situations was my hands on knowledge of darping and pattern making albeit it was an old, family method and usually in dialect Sicilian vocabulary. So when I moved to Italy to raise my own daughters I immediately sought out a private instructor to take pattern making to learn more technical verbage and updated techniques and products used. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. Although I still have a huge archive of thousands of patterns. I actually use them more for dating/time lining purposes for a project than anything else because most vintage patterns have to be adapted to todays womans figures and or version of fashion. So, in closing, I can honestly say to you that it may seem like a huge time consuming effort to seek out someone to take private pattern making instruction (usually consists of small classes of under 10 people). But once you make that investment in your knowledge base, you will find that for the most part, the sky is the limit in a manner of speaking in anything you choose to do, whether you use existing patterns or not. They will never be a challenge in any respect

greco
greco
Expert/Couture
Alabama USA
Member since 8/7/07
Posts: 371
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Date: 12/30/07 8:26 AM

Sorry, my cat jumped up and stepped on the send button before I could finish.
And this is important. Taking instruction classes from someone should be approached the same way you might choose a church in a new community. Your mission/goals are going to be the same of course, but not all clergy have the same manner of eloquent speech, ability to draw you into the moment or truely lay out the message clearly where you leave feeling like you take something away with you. And oft times you must go from one church to another until you find your place of comfort. The same goes for taking instruction in something important to you in any arena.
Interview the instructor first. Even ask if you can sit in on one class before commiting so you can decide whether that person is someone who instructs as well as they make patterns. Some people can teach and others can glow in the actual execution. Very few can do both well AND make a class enjoyable to attend. But I promise you once you get all the elements together, you will be the happiest of sewing divas! Sorry I couldn't give a definitive answer, but I hope this helps plant a seed of inspiration. JF

Irene Q
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Irene Q  Friend of PR
Intermediate
New Hampshire USA
Member since 3/19/04
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Date: 12/30/07 11:35 AM

I love the Cutting Line Designs patterns, although they're not a major pattern company. Louis Cutting's directions are the best you'll ever find and she always gives finished pattern measurements on the pattern envelope. The fit is reliable, but here's the catch - it's reliable because they're all fairly unfitted. You can size down somewhat to make them semi-fitted, but they're just not drafted to be truly fitted. But if you like a loose fitting shirt now and again, give these these a try!

I agree with Karla about Burda and Kwik Sew. Vogue is very good bout giving the finished garment measurements on the pattern tissue for bust, waist, hip and bicep, and back waist and length on the pattern envelope.

Everyday Sewist
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Everyday Sewist
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Date: 12/30/07 11:46 AM

If you're looking for "reliable" then I think Burda is your best bet. They are a quality product, meaning that they tend to be free of errors, the size charts are accurate and thorough, and the instructions produce good results. But depending on your body type and skill level, you may have to do some fitting and/or learning to get the best result.

If what you're really looking for is "easy" then Kwik Sew are simple to fit, and their instructions are excellent and easy to follow.

[A note about Vogue printing the finished garment measurements on the pattern tissue: I just finished my second Vogue pattern in a row where the finished measurement printed on the tissue was WRONG. So while I still like this feature, I don't completely trust it anymore. I always measure the flat pattern.]

GorgeousFabrics
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GorgeousFabrics
Expert/Couture
USA
Member since 8/12/02
Posts: 2934
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In reply to Everyday Sewist


Date: 12/30/07 11:49 AM

Quote: Betty
[A note about Vogue printing the finished garment measurements on the pattern tissue: I just finished my second Vogue pattern in a row where the finished measurement printed on the tissue was WRONG. So while I still like this feature, I don't completely trust it anymore. I always measure the flat pattern.]

Betty, I have had the same problem with Simplicity patterns and the other McCalls company patterns. I agree that measuring the flat pattern is the most foolproof way to make sure.
greco
greco
Expert/Couture
Alabama USA
Member since 8/7/07
Posts: 371
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Date: 12/30/07 12:40 PM

Vogue, Butterick and McCalls are all owned under the same umbrella so one would expect that the problems are going to be a consistant thread within all of them.

EveS
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EveS
Intermediate
Michigan USA
Member since 11/26/06
Posts: 2701
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In reply to Estelle in Aus


Date: 12/30/07 1:25 PM

Have you considered Ottobre Woman magazine? I haven't sewn any of their adult patterns yet, but they get pretty good reviews here and the children's patterns are awesome. Great drafting, great finished product, clear (but brief) instructions, which, IMO, is a good thing...

If you're interested, perhaps you could buy a single issue and give them a test run before you subscribe. Sewzanne's Fabrics sells them on their site and there are a couple of otherdomestic companies that I can never remember. You can also order them off Ottobre's website, I believe, plus you can peruse previous mags there to see if you might like their styles. They are European, so similar to Burda WOF in fit, the need to trace the patterns, etc., but I think their instructions are easier to understand.

Eve

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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it - Chinese proverb

nancy2001
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nancy2001  Friend of PR
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Alabama USA
Member since 12/3/05
Posts: 6432
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Date: 12/30/07 1:30 PM

I completely agree with Karla, Irene and Betty about the strengths of Burda and Kwik Sew.

About a month ago, I discovered the Burda World of Fashion magazine patterns, and so far I've only made one one item, a simple, fitted warm up jacket. But this pattern is so stylish, so beautifully drafted, so unlike the other patterns available today, I've become helplessly addicted to BWOF. Now I'm trying to obtain the "must have" issues from the archives on their website. And I've identified a few "must have" patterns from Burda's regular line of patterns available at Joann.

As far as Kwik Sew goes, you can't beat their instructions. Their patterns are simple and basic, and their sizing and drafting are primitive -- one of their sleeves must have been designed for Quasimodo. But boy oh boy do they know how to teach you how to make something.

I hope Karla doesn't mind if I modify her helpful recommendation -- if you're going to sew something you've never made before (your first turtleneck, zip up pants, or collared jacket), buy a simple Burda pattern that you like for the style and the drafting, and the closet Kwik Sew pattern you can find for the clearly written, well-illustrated, and easy to understand instructions. In fact, I bought several Kwik Sew patterns just for their directions.

I've also found it's extremely helpful to reverse engineer RTW clothes. In the past few weeks, I've taken apart two expensive but no longer worn garments, a light sweater, and a pair of plan front pants, both of which had fit me perfectly. I then cloned copies of the original garments in new fabrics. I also have also used parts of these patterns -- the sleeve, armhole, and crotch curve in other garments. After all, why reinvent the wheel?



-- Edited on 12/30/07 1:33 PM --

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