Monday, June 25, 2012

on sewing

 since i have not sewn in ages and i am in the process of starting the sewing production i have been visiting sewing blogs. my beloved vogue patterns are unfortunately too small and i needed to learn ways of altering them to add those extra centimeters. useful digression- if you find yourself in that situation i recommend this  place full of useful tutorials. they cover almost all needs and then some more like taking good photos of your garments!

back to me, me,me : i was u.s. size 10 blindly, i would open the envelope , lay the pattern and cut away.the only alteration needed was shortening the patterns. now that my figure has changed i am in the middle of two sizes,but i have also noticed that patter sizing has also changed. me size 16??? NAH.
faced with having to choose between the current rtw which is  poorly made has minimum if not any styling and the fabrics used are cheap and awful 90% of the times, the diy alternative makes much more sense.especially now that i am in a yarn stash busting scenario weaving my own fabrics.

considering that i still have to alter whatever pattern i buy why not start from scratch and learn the basics of pattern drafting?  i found lots of very good but scattered information on line and  there was  a recurring mention of the book  modern pattern design by harriett pepin.everyone who mentioned it sang all the possible praises in praiseland . the book was first published in 1945 with 2 later reprints. it is a course book with simple, clear instructions and problems that serve as guidework for drafting your own patterns.

i tied locating it on line and was appalled by the prices ranging from $95 to $300! 
some people had even scanned it and are selling it as an e- book  making money on a book whose copyright has probably expired and should be now in public domain. sorry, no, i was not going to go that route.
but since i believe in fairies i do, i do (as you all peter pan readers will recognise) oh bliss! oh glory!! after much research i located these two sites that have the book on line.

  •  scribd on line downloadable e- books. you have to register, but it's a free 7 day trial and you can download the book as pdf.caveat: the last three chapters on lingerie, coats and children's clothing are missing.don't forget to cancel the subscription or you'll get billed!
  •  way back machine web archive the whole book is there.caveat: on line reading only. but you can do a screen capture and save it. the book is part of the vintage sewing info web a treasure trove of vintage sewing design resources.

 what can i say, i am absolutely taken by the book. it is full of charming styling; cowl necklines, katherine hepburn type trousers,  all sorts of  pleats, hollywood style gowns etc. 
it even instructs how to create patterns for those bulging, and drapey skirts that are so popular now.seems that the latest guru did not invent anything new after all  ;-)

"It has always been true: costumes individually created have that indefinable quality of charm that never fails to win interest and approval." 

neki desu
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  1. Thanks for reminding me about that book! I've been meaning to study it (for a little light reading!) but misplaced the link.

    I've been drawn back to sewing garments for the same reason as you - lack of fit, style and quality in the shops. Also a large stash of fabrics and yarns just waiting for me to use them.

  2. i am in no pattern zone.

  3. Anche io trovo che rtw = cattiva qualità.
    Mi piace cucire, anche se i miei modelli sono meno ambiziosi dei tuoi (e ancora non sono arrivata a tessere i miei tessuti!).


interaction appreciated!


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