Your opinion

Share your thoughts about patterns you have tried. Like 'em? Hate 'em? Or maybe you want information on a pattern before you buy.

Your opinion

Postby nonie » February 7th, 2011, 12:00 pm

How do you feel about the pattern instruction sheets that are tucked in with patterns? Do you feel that if you were learning to sew these sheets would be of value? Do you follow them or just use them for a general idea of how the garment should go together?
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Postby Rosieq » February 7th, 2011, 4:52 pm

I use the pattern instructions...not verbatim. I usually read the directions (or at least give them a good look) and then determne the directions I would like to change. I don't follow them step-by-step...but if there is an unusual technique I will follow along there.

I don't think the pattern directions are actually wrote for new sewers any longer..and I even get stumped on some techniques. I'm not sure their directions have been proofed well. Pictures sometimes do not match written words. And, this may all be a cost cutting thing not to have quality editing any longer. I have noticed on more than one pattern, that they reverse their right and wrong side fabric shadings. Causing real problems.

There are some good books written that each new sewer should select one from to use as thier Bible. At this moment, I'm not sure which one to suggest (I have my favorite quilt Bible).


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Re: Your opinion

Postby Sara » February 7th, 2011, 5:02 pm

Hi Nonie
Im glad you raised this, I was talking to my Mum about them the other day and how bad some of the instructions are.

Having said that, if Im making a pattern for the first time I will follow the instructions, but second or third Ill generally change things around and will probably amend the pattern anyway.

I did pick up one superb tip, some years ago, from instructions that I had not thought of. When making a lined sleeveless shift dress, sew the lining and dress neck and arm edges together first, then turn, press, join the dress shoulders then hand sew the lining shoulders in place. This saves having to use those irritating facings and gives a wonderful finish. (That was a Vogue Pattern)

The brand of pattern makes a difference as well. I made a Macall dress yesterday for the first time and it was such a well thought out pattern I was really impressed. It was unlined and I wanted a lining so I could not follow the instructions to the letter, but they were good. Yet the collar instructions on a Butterick toddler shirt were cumbersome, fiddly and difficult. I shant read them ever again!

My main bug bear with patterns is the sizing. You look at the body measurements, but if I make the size that corresponds with my measurements the garment is ALWAYS too big. The only sure way is to compare actual pattern measurements to body measurements. The Macall pattern I just mentioned is a case in point - the size they say I should make is two larger than the size I actually need to make. All I can think is that people kid themselves about their weight and the manufacturers put extra room in the designs to compensate.

One other thing, the cutting layouts are incredibly wasteful and I never follow these.

Phew! I did'nt know I had so much to say about paper patterns but now I've started I'm finding it difficult to stop!!!!

Having said all that, when I was learning I found the sheets a very useful security blanket to cling on to.

Be interested in other peoples views.
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Re: Your opinion

Postby KathyD » February 7th, 2011, 8:01 pm

I hate the instructions! When I would teach classes, I instructed the students to either throw the instructions away or leave them in the envelope! :rotflo: :rotflo: :rotflo: Seriously - some were/are just that bad! If the pattern is a different style than I normally make, I give the instructions a quick look and then proceed. If there's a technique or detail that is very different, I do read and most often follow the instructions - at least for the first time that I make the outfit. However, most of the time I don't give that sheet as much as a glance.

That said, when I was a newer seamstress, I would follow the instructions religiously. I benefited more from the pictures than from the written word - I think I'm a visual learner. Pictures are a great help to me! I would have never tried anything that wasn't explicitly written in the instructions. Thank goodness for experience and a willingness to attempt new things!!!

Now that I've had to work on writing up instructions, I can see the difficulty in writing clear and concise instructions. :P Writing isn't my forte! However, after hearing and seeing so many e-patterns that are so poorly written and readily available (as well as all the free tutorials out there), I have an even stronger appreciation for pattern instructions that are well written. I have a friend that purchased someone's e-pattern line and was mortified when she got all the patterns and started reading through them. She is an accomplished seamstress - she had to re-write every one of the pattern instructions. :shock: The previous owner had great sales - probably due to great photography and a wonderful eye for fabric combinations. Her sales were great, however, her pattern instructions were tragic. Makes you wonder how many disappointed buyers she had, right?

I have to agree with Sara on the waste that is in the layout on the patterns. Well - I guess it helps out those that sell the fabrics! :rotflo: As you can see - I'm also very opinionated! LOL!

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Re: Your opinion

Postby gasew7 » February 7th, 2011, 8:46 pm

Well, since you asked "if you were learning to sew", I will throw in my 2 cents FWIW. I have been kind of teaching myself to sew over the last 6 months, or rather you ladies are teaching me :D. I follow those directions step-by-step, because I don't really know how to do anything yet. Every pattern I have made has been completely foreign to me. I have only used 3 patterns (working on 4th), but I made the apron pattern 6 times for my employees christmas presents. I agree, they are not written well, and I almost gave up on the first little dress I made when I got to the zipper! I did end up doing the zipper completely different than the pattern because I could not figure it out. I ended up using a method from one of the books I have.

I wish the pattern instructions were written for beginners like me!

(Quietly and prayerfully): Um... Kathy... did I read that you taught classes... do you still teach classes? I would be willing to drive to NC! That way I could ignore the pattern instructions, too! :rotflo:
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Re: Your opinion

Postby SDanburg » February 8th, 2011, 10:02 am

Well, this is a timely topic, let me tell you. I'm just hopping MAD about that fleece jacket I was (and I mean WAS) making. :ranting: The instructions? Might as well toss them! No pictures, vague wording AT BEST. It was terrible. THEN there's the pattern itself - HONEY, let me tell you - the lines drawn on the pattern pieces for the tucks (there are vertical ones and horizontal tucks) and they don't even line up from the back to the two fronts! Ohhhh....THAT's not all! The tucks on the small size ends at the armscythe (ya'll taught me that word - aren't ya proud?) but on the large size? They disappear at the size small.

And there's a kickpleat on this jacket. But - the jacket comes up to about 6" above my knees - why is there a kickpleat?

Then - after you get the sleeves and the cuffs put on - the cuffs end about 3 inches above the wrist.

Bunny - I know what you're going to say, that I should have made a muslin before, and I'm going to agree that YOU ARE RIGHT. I'll do better in the future.

But I'm still mad about it.

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Re: Your opinion

Postby HoltsSadie » February 9th, 2011, 10:11 am

I rarely use instructions anymore, unless it is something with a little more detail or a new style I haven't made before, then I follow them or at least read through.
I certainly hope the patterns I have published are understandable!!! It helps when buyers of YCMT patterns post a testimonial, that way it gives you some idea of what you are getting. I have only had one testimonial posted there!!
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