Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dirty tricks patterns play... (or, Things to know #10)

This is the tenth entry of the Things to know series...

I call these things "dirty tricks", because they are potential deal-breakers when it comes to getting the desired result when sewing...

Multi-part pieces...

When using a pattern from one of the major pattern companies, please note that, due to the size limits of the pattern tissue, the printers of your pattern might find it necessary to divide some pattern pieces into two (or more) parts. So, you may occasionally find a pattern piece that is numbered, let's use #1, as an example... but it actually needs another part(s) to complete it. Both piece 1 and piece #1A (its extension), must be taped together to make a complete piece. This spells disaster for the hasty, artistic mind that sees only piece #1, is not following the cutting instructions as written, and goes straight to pinning and cutting just that piece #1, without noticing that it is incomplete.

Sometimes, the piece has an extension to create another view, when there are different versions of one design.

This Miyake coat has an extension piece for #4, to create View B, which is longer than View A.

On strapless designs...

Strapless garments often measure less than your body measurement at the bustline. This is especially true if the garment does not have significant structural support (boning, etc.). Although the real key to keeping a strapless garment up is the boning and proper, snug waist fit, it needs to hug your bosom tight to keep "the girls" in there.

No provision for above waist adjustments...

This should be read as "Women who are ample-bosomed, or have other major upper-body fit issues need not apply". If you know a bit about design, and can adjust both the fit and design details to accommodate your shape, go ahead and do it! Otherwise, you will be left to wonder why the features are no longer aligned the way the designer intended.

Did you know...Maternity patterns are based on pre-pregnancy measurements (and a B cup)...?

I ask you, who the heck is a B cup when they're pregnant enough to wear maternity garb? Who the heck remembers their pre-pregnancy measurements when buying maternity patterns? Well, I don't know of a better system, but what a pain...

Ever experienced this one? You followed the directions, made the garment, looks great... but you can't move.
Some designs, especially for sleeves, are flawed when it comes to allowing for movement. If the fabric doesn't stretch, and the design looks like this... know that the "funky chicken" cannot be part of the plan for that night.

Also, beware close-fitting sleeves that only have a partial armhole seam. You know the kind... a tiny cap sleeve (usually found in formal wear) that looks like a wing" attached to the bodice? Looks like you'll have to find a waltz partner shorter than you are...

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  1. Hah! You got those right alright! However let us not forget my favorite two:
    the "easy one-hour" pattern (i.e. paper bag
    the costume photographed with the best fabrics available in NYC and containing at least 6 million pattern pieces!

  2. So funny! I thought about adding "Fast and easy" to these, but I decided against it, since, relatively speaking, one could say if you weren't picky about your results or supplies, it would indeed be fast and easy. The big lie is the "2 hour pattern". How do they come up with that?

  3. I love these! And you know, it's a 2-hour PATTERN, not a 2-hour GARMENT. (They didn't say you'd be caought dead in it, either.) :)

  4. About maternity patterns... I WAS a size B until my milk came in after the baby was born, but that was last pregnancy. I'm not sure I'll be that lucky this time...

    Also, maternity patterns don't take into account that many women put on weight in places other than their middle... I'm just hoping the outfits I'm making still fit by the time the baby comes!