Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Resources for Patternmaking- Recommendations?

Those of you who have been reading my posts for a while may know that Cal Patch's book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified, was what first got me interested in patternmaking. After racking up late fees at my local library, I bought my own copy, which has been a great resource for drafting several basic skirts and shirts this past year. I haven't yet ventured into the trouser drafting section, but I look forward to getting there eventually. Now, I'm looking for a book to supplement the Cal Patch book. I'd like a book that demystifies the bodice-making process and shows how to use a basic sloper as the basis for constructing other designs.

Here are some contenders I've recently checked out of the library:

Patternmaking for Fashion Design (4th ed.)
by Helen Joseph-Armstrong

This hefty volume looks like it is the most comprehensive of the three. It shows you how to make a sloper from measurements and provides 800 pages worth of instruction on manipulating the sloper to create a seemingly infinite array of design possibilities. There is even a section on creating swimsuits.

 Cons: Very pricey! Used copies start at $109.95. Also, a few reviews point out some errors.

Principles of Flat Pattern Design by Nora MacDonald - Looks similar to the Joseph-Armstrong book, but less comprehensive. The illustrations are plentiful and clear, but it doesn't seem to cover coats and jackets or other garments outside the basics. Nevertheless, it's gotten some good reviews and is significantly less expensive than the Joseph-Armstrong book.

Professional Patternmaking for Designers by Jack Handford - This one also covers the basics of sloper construction and manipulation, but at first glance the instructions don't seem to be as clear as the other two books. The book does cover pattern grading, though, which is on my long list of skill to acquire.

What are your favorite sewing books? Do you have any patternmaking books you can recommend?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Would you pay $1,600 a yard for this fabric?

Photo Credit: NYTimes

A couple of weeks ago, The New York Times ran a story about Medel Goldberg Fabrics, a fabric store on the lower east side that has been  run by the same family for four generations. The store specializes in luxury fabrics, such as the pearl beaded lace pictured above, that can cost as much as $1,600 a yard. The article is accompanied by a slide show of lovely photographs that left me momentarily daydreaming about being a long lost Goldberg and dividing my time between fabric finding missions abroad and sewing in a cramped corner of my great-great-great grandfather's shop. Honestly, I think that is the only way I would ever slice into a $1,600/yd piece of fabric.

Actually, even if I were to acquire such a valuable piece of material, I could see myself being so obsessed with finding the "perfect" project for it that I never actually use it! How about you? Do you have any fabric that you are hesitant to cut into?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Swing Dress

Yay for daylight savings. I finally had enough daylight (and help from my trusty assistant) after work to get a couple more shots of my swing dress:

Now that that's done, think I'll be able to sew up that blue wool before the end of the season? Tick tock!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Finished Project: Swing Dress

Here's a shot of my newly completed swing dress! Kind of a dark shot, I know. I'll try to get another one in the daylight. Here's a close up of the fabric:

This was part of Casey's sew-along, in case you weren't sure. A good time had by all, I think. I especially enjoyed learning how to sew a neck yoke.