Nancy and Vogue 8969

Thinking about whipping up the VERY Easy Vogue 8969? Think it might just fit perfectly right out of the envelope and you can just cut your regular size and have a frock to wear to dinner tonight? Guess again!

I know some/most of you don’t measure the paper pattern against your own measurements and assume the designers are magical wizards who know how to make clothes fit your shape…but let’s do some investigating…humor me, please.

This is the size 16-24 and yet the bust points (nipple spread) are 4 inches apart …really?Ā  And why is there a dart on the center panel when 99% of this famous 60’s design feature was always on the side panel? Darts release fabric where it is needed so why is the dart pointing away from the actual bust point of 10 inches? Very Easy Vogue patterns…translation: easy for them, not us.

1-measure-fronts

Let’s measure our circumferences…if you normally cut a size 16 on top, like Nancy…today you will cut a 20. Why don’t Vogue patterns make their sizes consistent?Ā 

2-measure-backs3-compare-with-client

measure-final-pattern So we have enough to clear the bust and hips and after narrowing the flared hem to half its original width it is still 104 inches. The back of the envelope says the hips will finish with 88 inches…WOW! Let’s see the muslin for the real reveal:4-last-muslin I used some Nancy’s last muslin to cut out the new one…recycle people!

5-side-front6-front I draw my grainlines up and down and across since I have not altered the paper first and the lines tell a story/show us all the ugly. Here is what we got in a short version which Nancy says will make a dandy blouse:7-muslin-front Can you see already that those 8 panels need narrowing and flattening to be flattering? What is going on with the bust…can those darts be any weirder or more useless?

If you cut this in a solid you will look like this:

8-muslin-side9-muslin-backDo not go out in public!

Not too bad so far but there will be a swayback tuck and a front slash…love those!

On my duct tape mannequin something else shows up:10-front-grainline See the grainline rising up in the center? Does that bother you? It makes me nuts and I know what can fix it and get rid of that pesky dart…scissors ready?11-slash-and-spread12-slash-line13-close-dart16-patchClose the dart by overlapping and let the slash open.

Problem solved with one more tuck needed:15-pinch-out-gap Let’s pinch out some of the princess seam while we are at it. OK…want to ask me now why I do all this fussing? For you, of course, to give you the power to tweak these shitty patterns and make nicer clothes!

14-layout Let’s get cutting…see the flaps folded under on the skirt…wow…and it will still be too wide later. The piece with the white paper is the center front with the slash filled in and flipped to the wrong side. Below is the pinning and sewing sequence…yes, yes…I know all the home sewing gurus say to stitch side seams down and shoulders toward the center but in the factory it is sewn “in the round” starting at the hem, working up one side, across one shoulder to the next and down the other side to the hem without cutting any threads or stopping. The sewing police will not be banging on your door if you start trying this…really.

20 sewing circle

The try-on….21-back-wedge-pinned

23-front22-side-view

Poor Nancy has a 6 inch wide dragon tail down the back and an equally nasty extra wedge down the front that is pinned out and will be removed to make things hang flatter and flatter her shape. Plenty of volume in the skirt with those wide triangular pieces. The bodice will have a partial lining/facing and the shoulders narrowed a little and a one inch hem. These modifications will be done to the paper pattern as we will make this again as a dress and a blouse. This is the shorter version with 3 inches added to the length to be more tea length. The neckline front and back was extended 5/8 inch for more coverage.

Once the dress is completely finished and Nancy has her shoes on I’ll show you this lovely thick cotton Fall dress. In the meantime…a nice crookneck squash from the garden:crookneck-2014

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64 Responses to Nancy and Vogue 8969

  1. sewbussted says:

    Such a great fit. Can’t wait to see it finished.
    Oh, that squash looks so good! I love them steamed, in casseroles, stir frys…I need to eat my breakfast!!

  2. ParisGrrl says:

    Why you don’t have a book deal already is beyond me.

    • mrsmole says:

      Well ParisGrrl…to make it in that elite club you need wild colored hair (I have only a purple streak) and lots of tattoos (I have none, just battle scars), have a famous parent (mine are both alive in their 90’s and never going to be famous) and/or claim to be self taught from day one and lack any good sewing skills or finishing techniques ( I have a degree in Fashion Design and over 40 years fitting bodies). So you see I am not really qualified to write books or have my own section of the Big 4 pattern line. All I can do is write a anonymous blog and have a real website for my local clients. What I would really like to do is have an additional blog called “Shit Sewing” and feature some of these sewing divas and highlight all the rubbish and patterns that they turn out and somehow make lots of money and have lame endorsements with. But that would really make lots of folks mad.

      • lisa D says:

        Please send me a subscription to your Shit Sewing blog–this will be a money maker for you and a sanity saver for the rest of us.

      • Amen to that. (And sign me up for ‘Shit Sewing’ too. I could do with a giggle)

      • mrsmole says:

        Want to be the first to submit a garment, Kim? If only I could just capture photos from some of the divas/sewing stars and feature them…but we all have our faulty favorites…right?

      • Oh, where do I start….apart from my own snaffus….. there are a couple of bloggers who are now ‘teaching’ (WHAT!!!!!!!) and have released patterns. Now, some may just have massive natural ability but I didn’t want to do a teaching certificate (over 20 years ago) until I had more experience. I admire their chutzpah. I wouldn’t want to see how they coped if we turned up to ‘learn’ something from them.

      • mrsmole says:

        And some are on TV programs in the UK and US…frustrating…sort of like the Pippa Middleton phenomenon…less talent more sponsors and opportunities…girls with balls…
        Indie patterns…so many are copies of clothes we wore in the 60’s and 70’s. I bet you, like me, still have those patterns stashed away and can verify their sources…some days I just want to scream…Vintage-vibe my ass! Call it what it is…stolen, copied, “inspired?”…I think not. How many new A-line skirt patterns do we need and then let’s not even start with the “new innovative” maxi skirts…have these girls never seen the 70’s fashion?

      • prttynpnk says:

        Ok, but I want the pictures to make me look thin, ok?

  3. lisa D says:

    I just love you!!!! Don’t ever leave us (your loyal readers and desperate-to=learn-to-fit sewers)!!!
    And Nancy,too–she is a great pal to all of us. Please tell her how much we appreciate her and her torso:)

    • mrsmole says:

      I will let Nancy know how valuable she is…as far as the Shit Sewing blog…I’d be in for a whole lot of hurt and libel unless the garments were submitted freely…who’s first?
      Money maker? What would I be selling?

      • lisa D says:

        OMG–we’ll make it a secret subscription for us malcontents. I just made a muslin of Vogue 1401 in a cheapo plaid seersucker. No where on the pattern does it say not to use stripes and a plaid has both horizontal and vertical stripes…so…. .the 2 tiers below the bodice are cut on the bias and there are center front and center back seams…..oh yes, you get a lovely bulls-eye effect in the center front at the crotch and at the back at “you-know-where” where the lines of the plaid come together in a nice concentric diamond shape.
        I have a few other issues with the design of the pattern well, including the miles of fabric that I had to take out to bring it down to a smallish tent size ,but that one is a bit hard to disguise! Maybe no one else would have made it in a stripe or a solid with a stripe-like weave?

    • mrsmole says:

      LisaD please send me some photos to surroundedbywhite@gmail.com of Vogue 1401 and we can have a chat. In fact anyone can do that if you want some advice or snark…freely given!

      • lisa D says:

        “Will do. It\’s in the wash . I omitted the sleeves, raised the armholes when I took a good 4 \” in on the sides and bias bound the armholes and now I have an odd but extremely comfortable mu mu (is it mooooo mooo?) for our heat waves. I will wash it and take some photos for you. All the pieces for the 2 lower tiers were cut singly on the bias and it was damn near impossible to tell how much fabric you would really need. I bought 7 yds and had about a yard left over.

  4. jen (NY) says:

    Nice fitting on the bodice. Apparently those little center darts are Dior darts (http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.com/2012/07/dior-dart.html). I’ve admired the look, but wondered how they would work for a larger bust. Clearly, they are unlikely to work in unedited form!

    • mrsmole says:

      Jen, thank you so much for the lovely link to the Dior dart…great when they actually end at the bust points…this poor pattern designer imagined that our client had her nipples 4 inches apart…really? So from the get-go this poor Dior dart was doomed! Wouldn’t you love to ask Vogue…”hey Vogue…did anyone test this pattern out on a real body like from a 6 to a 24???? Do all of us have 4 inch nipple spreads?” INSANE!!!!

  5. yep those tiny bust darts always make me so mad. they look good on Nobody!

  6. Sandra says:

    The print fabric is lovely. If I may ask a question (to answer at your *leisure*), do you have a basic process of altering patterns? By that I mean do you, for instance, always start at the top (shoulders) and work your way down? Or take care of bust first? Or (my guess) it depends. BTW, those bust darts were weird; I’m glad that you found a great way to get rid of them. Nancy is so blessed to have you sew for her!

    • mrsmole says:

      Like with a new muslin try-on…start at the top, shoulders (width and angle), back (hump or no hump), back (swayback or narrow), front (bust points narrow or too high), front waist (too high or droopy), side seams (tight or too loose), then the hips (tight too loose) Side seams (take in or let out and pocket placement), them hem marking. If there are sleeves they get messed with as well if the shoulders are brought in or rotated at all. I start with the back because it can change the front drastically especially if we have a huge upper back slash that throws the shoulder seams forward plus there are no boobs to work around…ha ha. Somewhere along the line the neckline is made to be flat against the body…then the pattern is altered with all the pinned out parts and photographed for the blog…and then I rush back to work on brides…it is that stress-free environment that the clients tell me about…ha ha.

  7. Andrea says:

    Shaping up quite well. Nancy is such a willing subject of study! Love these ‘case studies’. I never trust pattern company measurements, always do my own.
    Thought of you last week. Made another of my favorite pair of Ponte pants and had to scoop the hell of the back crotch. Something has fallen… Better get some squats in! I don’t know what your voice sounds like, but I hear you in my head anyway, saying, “Scoop out that crotch!”
    Love your sewing in the round demo. I feel like such a rebel when I sew that way. When do you trim your threads? All at the end? I admit I am a constant thread trimmer.

    • mrsmole says:

      Once the circle has been sewn then the thread snippers go in and clip the 3 junctions…and guess what…no long thread tails! Forgot to add you can back stitch at each junction before and after each raw edge so when you snip you don’t have any seams opening up. My mantra is “Drop the crotch”..scooping though is more accurate isn’t it??? Brava Andrea!

      • Andrea says:

        Yes, ‘drop that crotch’! I was honestly amazed – no, disillusioned perhaps is a better word – at how much I had to drop that damn crotch.

      • mrsmole says:

        If you compare the length of zippers in jeans (some are 3-4 inches only) to zippers in proper waist hugging pants (7-8 inches) you can see the problem. As manufacturers and designers keep dropping the waist or eliminating it altogether for the sake of fashion or to save material costs we end up with no one knowing their true crotch measurements. Like the nipple distance…so crucial these days is the crotch length both front and back. Like with busts…if you measure 40…it means nothing unless you break it down with front and back measured separately. With crotches two women can have the same measurement say 31 inches total. Some need 13 inches in front to va-jay-jay junction and 18 in the back. For some their 31 inches are more in front for a tummy and less in back for a drooping or flat butt. How can designers making patterns on a perky sawdust filled mannequin accommodate all of us? Dropping the crotch is lengthening the total crotch length and thus raising the waist to where it belongs but that is hard to fathom sometimes until you do a few.

  8. Angela says:

    Wow… a wonderful article for those of us still in the process of learning to fit and adjust…. I used to get my at my body, not realizing that some patterns are simply very poorly drafted!

  9. sewruth says:

    It really is a lovely dress shape and would be flattering for almost every shape. Have you not thought of just draping or drafting your own patterns and then you wouldn’t have to move darts etc? Lucky Nancy

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Ruth, if I had any extra time at all I would be making my own patterns but the brides take over and Nancy likes seeing the pattern envelopes and matching her fabrics with the pictures…the rest is up to me and I love being the detective. They make good blog posts and others can benefit and know that darts can be moved or eliminated on a commercial pattern without the fashion police knocking on the door.

  10. Ines says:

    This is so helpful!! Im a new sewist And After taking a look at the fit right out of the envelope I thought it was all my fault!!! Phew ! Good to know and how to fix it! Thank you!!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      The only fault, Ines, is in buying a new pattern and actually thinking some thought went into the final garment…which as I like to uncover with my detective hat on…there was none! Patterns are rehashed and bad fit is repeated over and over and we are made to think it is our cutting and stitching techniques or a bad machine when the issue starts with a bad pattern…most likely one labeled “VERY EASY”.

  11. JustGail says:

    I love reading your changes on patterns, I won’t say how long it was before I realized “it’s NOT me that’s the problem with patterns!” (Thank You internet bloggers and forums). That link to Dior darts as they should be was good. This pattern makes it look like they had no clue how to draft that princess seam, so they just threw a dart in to get seam lines to match up.

    Based on your blog, I’d buy the book. I’d read that blog too, I’d love to know when they’re bluffing on their knowledge. I have a suspicion on who a few of those divas are.

  12. Yup, it’s faster to draft from scratch than try to fit a bad pattern!

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, Lena, I agree with drafting a pattern that has 4 basic sections but the next two I will be working on have 18 and 23 pieces…Vogue 1412 and Butterick 6106….no way I have time or desire to produce such complicated and extensive patterns with 14 brides still to be finished in the next 8 weeks… I’m letting Rebecca Taylor and Katherine Tilton do the hard work…I’ll make the muslins….ha ha

  13. Bunny says:

    Ms. Mole, I will be the first in line at your book signing, promise! Can I write the forward? Hmmmm,,,, a blog called Shit Sewing….I’m in! It will need a lot of editing because there is a lot to be said about this subject. Just the existence of an entire forum of “fed up with sewing bloggers” sewists proves that. They will all buy your book, I’m sure!

    Props to dear Nancy for her part in our education! This was a great post, dearest.

  14. mrsmole says:

    Oh Bunny, you sweetheart, no one would be more qualified than you to write it! You blog is beyond inspiring and innovative with superb photos and directions…I have saved so many of your tutorials for a day when I can really cut loose and sew for myself! Thank you!

  15. BeaJay says:

    Oh you make me laugh.

    All your hard work has paid off and the fit of that dress is lovely in the end.

  16. Fashionista says:

    Thank you to you and Nancy for your excellent collaboration. I really enjoy reading your stories.

    My two cents worth with patterns. They are made to a cookie cutter fantasy size that is never going to fit a real person. And of course the samples you see made up have absolutely had a fitting process to get them to look good on the models. Otherwise the patterns would never sell!

    New pattern releases, whether independent or Big 4, I don’t believe there is anything new. I have a pattern collection that covers almost 70 years (1930s to 2000s, thank you Grandmothers) and have not purchased a new pattern for at least a decade. Because when I peruse the new season’s offerings (because who doesn’t like pretty pictures), there is always an existing one that is so very similar. And if I’ve sewn it for myself before, it already has the tweaks. Bonus.

    Mmmm… that was probably four cents worth šŸ˜‰

    • mrsmole says:

      Fashionista…your words are priceless! If people knew how many clamps were attached to the back of models to make the clothes look good, they would revolt in the streets! Thanks for your cool comments on pattern history and current events…delicious!

  17. jay says:

    Oh, please do have a shit sewing blog. I always enjoy a good take down of a Vogue pattern too. That said, I recently looked at a dress on their site and saw finished mesurements listed. I think this is new, and that they used to only put them on the pattern. Its welcome, and if they are accurate finished measurements even more welcome.

  18. mrsmole says:

    Yes, it would be good! Wonder if they feel the pinch of so many “original and innovative” designs/copies from Indie pattern makers?

    • Bunny says:

      Vogue seems to really be upping is customer support lately. They have a wonderful new blog and a pinterest board where you can post your garments made from any of their patterns. They are becoming quite responsive to their customers. I love it. I don’t think any of the faux designers are giving them a run for their money but it is more a matter of blogs talking about what they need in fit and support in their patterns. I don’t think they have to worry about people selling pillowcase dresses and the same ole same ole bodice and gathered skirt idea excuses for new and innovative designs.

      • mrsmole says:

        If sewers really want more skater dresses and sacks to wear with their frilly socks and Mary Janes…there are plenty of designers out there cranking those clothes out for purchase. I’ll have to check out the new Vogue features and photos…that sounds great! Anything that gets the art of sewing moving with better fitting is wonderful!

  19. jlundy6116 says:

    Ditto what the others here have said, your pictures and pattern fitting tips are very helpful. As much as I love my Vogue patterns, I’m always leery of the patterns with the sketches for pictures. Even the sketched model looked like she was swimming in that “balloon-ey” skirt (my made-up word:). Tell your model “thanks” for sharing her fitting adventures with us!! I’m working on a HotPatterns jacket right now that’s giving me my own personal “adventure”. Have a great weekend!

    • mrsmole says:

      Balloon-ey fashions and layering is really popular with some communities here in the West. Toss in yards and yards of organic cotton and linen and bad saggy fit and it seems to get raves and accolades and promoted as “comfortable”. Yes, so is my bathrobe but I don’t wear it out past my front door. Workroom sketching was a full 2 year course when I was in college. We were told our sketches had to be precise enough that an in-house patternmaker could look at our scale and form and know exactly what was intended. So sketches are the starting point of design and the photos are the last but the photos sell the patterns unfortunately.

      • Bunny says:

        While some can carry off those baloooney, artsy vibe fashions, this little petite looks totally overhwelmed in that style. Vogue calls it Art Teacher chic. I think that may be apt and why it appeals to me but few can wear it and have it flatter. I do sometimes wonder if it is made for those who want to hide their bodies. Nobody should want to hide their “temple”. We are what we are and I still say a well fitted garment, no matter the size, is the most flattering.

      • mrsmole says:

        Maybe like in olden times having more fabric and volume elevated your status…more layers of linen…more art teacher chic…”I’m not old, I’m hip”? Same reason women join the EFG Eileen Fisher gang…. “I wear expensive wrinkled linen…I am hip”? Who knows what motivates women to dress that way when under all the folds of fabric is a small woman trying to climb her way out…ha ha!

  20. Monique says:

    Not so long ago, the pattern was gospel to me (with, of course, not-so-good results). In recent years, sewing blogs have set me on a path to liberation and experimentation – and the freedom of knowing there is no sewing police force. So even though I look at the blogs and their “quality” as compared to their popularity, differently nowadays, I’m grateful they were there, just as I am for the Craftsy courses I’ve taken. I suppose the most important aspect is that these and you have whetted my appetite for better sewing, better fitting and doing what works for ME. No way will I ever reach your level of expertise, Mrs Mole, but it sure is fun creeping up to it and knowing there’s always more to learn! I will always see myself as an amateur and agree with the surprise of themateriallady a.o.
    In my line of work, it’s the beginners and superficial amateurs too who usually get the limelight, the bookdeals and the big bucks, just as stated in the complaints on the GOMI site, so I sympathize with the ones who bring quality without the big mouth (where you’ll no doubt usually find a foot or two). Anyway, when I started reading the comments here, I got stuck at GOMI site for a while and felt even better about my own efforts and ideas. For bloggers are no gospel either, no matter how sure of themselves they are. And I don’t think I’ll be buying any more patterns for a long while, because there’s really nothing new as far as I can tell. Though, who knows, maybe dragon tails will become fashionable?
    Bring on the “sh*t sewing” blog! I’m sure it will be just as educational and entertaining as this one, for which many thanks!

    • mrsmole says:

      Many thanks for all your insights into modern patterns and bloggers, Monique! I have mentioned this before but when I was in college, we were told that the best students and good designers went to design houses and the bad ones could always get a job working for a pattern company…yes, makes you wonder doesn’t it? Craftsy courses are just great…like having that teacher in your craft room whenever you want! Even in the middle of the night…there they are just waiting for you! That GOMI site is pretty tough on phoneys and less than talented gals who have somehow elevated themselves to sainthood with good connections. But they do let it rip when they smell blood…people winging techniques and pretending they know more than they really do. Photos can really show the flaws in their work! The audacity of some to think that their designs will produce great garments when they cannot make the pattern even work on their own bodies…mind-boggling! Lord only knows what their directions are like! Some like Lena Merrin (http://iconicpatterns.com/) work out the kinks and make patterns with thought and style and good sew-a-longs to help.

      • Monique says:

        Thanks for the link, Mrs Mole. It just always comes down to common sense, (self) knowledge, practice and some self-control, doesn’t it? My making the pattern as is, came from being self-taught beyond the basics, and learning the hard way. Glad I now know better šŸ™‚ .
        It appears to me that some of the girls buying weekly at those throw-away fashion stores, have turned their attentions to sewing, but with still the same attitude of wanting it all fast and thinking they can get by, just by believing it. They take their attitude with them everywhere, so, fast-fashion becomes fast-sewing, with too little eye for quality etc. And in a city like Rotterdam, there is a lot available.
        Not saying that all bloggers are this way or all teenage girls, but I remember being shocked at hearing my daughters’ friends clothes buying habits (= also clothes chucking habits) and thinking how wasteful it all was, and how much the same they all seemed to look, even though they said they wanted to look unique (who doesn’t?).
        But in my view, there’s nothing better than a good education to prop up the creativity. And for a lot of this generation, the training is less fun and takes too long, I suppose.
        It’s the “get real” attitude at GOMI that I can appreciate. I have not yet encountered the sort of lynch mob approach you see so often on social media.
        Maybe the colour-blocking trend is the newest pattern-thing I’ve noticed in recent years. I suppose you have to be older to see “oh, had that before”.
        All you critical, trained/experienced and fair sewing people have helped open my eyes, thank you!

  21. fabrickated says:

    Mrs Mole – this is a great post. And the comments are very funny and apt too. I always laugh when someone says they made a pattern “straight out of the packet” – I don’t think I have ever done that although my issue isn’t often “nipple distance” (excuse me!). The basic advice of measuring the pattern and comparing this to your own dimensions is so elementary and essential I have been shocked how often it is ignored. In my experience there is usually way too much ease in patterns. Also why not read and take note of the advice that a garment is loose-fitting, semi-fitted etc. I haven’t tried “Indie” patterns for the simple reason that you can get more or less what you want in a genuinely vintage look on eBay for 99p, and it’s a proper pattern that doesn’t need to be downloaded, stuck together etc. Also I like those complicated and genuinely vintage designer patterns – created for when women wore properly tailored clothes where fit mattered. I enjoy the challenge of getting a good fit as I don’t really like making or wearing a jersey sack. Anyway just to say thank you for a blog that really is interesting and informative to read, and inspirational too. And you grow tremendous courgettes too!

    • mrsmole says:

      Thank you, Kate for adding to the value of measuring yourself and the paper pattern! It is like buying a new car and not knowing how long the garage is or whether it will fit in. There are people out there who say…”I wear an 8 so I’ll cut an 8″…that’s when the bad stuff happens! Measure yourself and know your dimensions before you cut!!!! I only water the squashes/courgettes…the Lord does the rest…and the red worms of course!

  22. CarmencitaB says:

    Thank you for the edification Mrs Mole, I love your fitting posts.
    I am on the fence on indy pattern makers. As much as I don’t support a lot of them for lack of good interesting design ideas, enlightening instructions and shoddy pattern making, they are very encouraging and motivating and some of them are even getting better at it.
    What I root for is more people sewing. They do that well and the girls who are sewing now and keep at it, will get better eventually because of people like you. So thanks.
    Where is that secret website? Can I get membership? Do I even qualify?

  23. mrsmole says:

    I root for new designers too who put thought into their creations and not just copy ones from the 60’s and 70’s. I cringe when I see a “new release” with a clever place name on them when I have the same paper pattern from 1972 in my stash. My secret blog will be out soon as long as people are willing to send photos and descriptions of what went wrong and gripe freely. The name has to be toned down a bit as I have been told it offends “church-goers” in Europe…so I will make it more acceptable to all.

  24. Valerie says:

    Dear Mrs Mole, You have inadvertently made me like this Vogue pattern even though the grading does have glaring faults when it comes to the larger sizes, as you pointed out. It looks like they applied a basic grading formula without taking into account the effect at the nipple/dart area or possibly did not know how to do it or were constrained by time and the factor that they would really need a slightly different pattern for this size range. I remember a time when that is what they actually did, real grading instead of cookie cutter expansion. I am glad your post highlighted this and how to fix it. I am sure Vogue will sit up and take notice.
    Having said that I am very reluctant to put the boot into any Indie pattern entrepreneur. If I like the design of a pattern I will simply try to point out what worked on my body and what didn’t but as objectively as I can. Being cruel to people that have breathed new life into the pattern industry hurts the small business person more than a ‘hey pull you sox up’ to a large corporation.

    • mrsmole says:

      Well Valerie, so far I have not had the pleasure of altering any Indie patterns on my blog and most have been the Big 4. I see no harm in pointing out missing notches, poor nipple spread and outrageous extra fabric and weird shapes. While many people think that all Indie designers work on their own patterns and do perfect grading etc, I can tell you that some out-source and never touch the pattern themselves.This is apparent when a customer runs into a problem with the fit or asks how to adjust the bust etc and they have no idea as they themselves have not even constructed the pattern, they just sell them.
      It is like some bridal salons that contract out for their labor…while you think your dress never leaves the back room…guess again…some poor woman is driving your dress around town, taking it home where she has kids and dogs to work on it overnight and hopefully bring it back stain-free and pet-hair free.
      Writing a book with tried and tested sewing methods borrowed from many other sources or downright copying of vintage patterns really makes me sad that so many women are being duped. There are plenty of good pattern makers who have been to college and design schools for years and know their stuff and they should be patronized…the rest should quit ripping off people with $20 patterns that have little behind them and claim to be “self taught”. With the new blog maybe some of these will be uncovered, not by me but all of you who pay dearly for the privilege of trying them. Real grading and real draping is an art which I hope will always be with us and not just with us “oldtimers”.

  25. Valerie says:

    I hear you about the pattern plagiarism. I have seen one very popular but exceedingly simple knit dress that is also in the Kwik Sew catalogue ..done better! Some Inide’s are better sales people than drafters. I did not know that some of them outsource the drafting. To my mind that is the smart thing to do unless the person has the proper training but I do hear you. Faults should be picked up on, noted and corrected. Any professionally sold pattern should be made to a professional standard. No argument. I would just be reluctant to see a snowball effect where it just all gets nasty.

  26. mrsmole says:

    I don’t anticipate a snowball effect although after a summer like we have had a little snow made into a snow cone would be welcomed! It will be interesting to see what problems my readers encounter with all the patterns…some place to be honest instead of looking for applause. The sooner we realize that a bad garment starts with a bad pattern and not because we have a bigger bust or thicker waist. It may even get folks thinking about their own shape in relation to others who have tried an inappropriate pattern shape and save their money, but most of all I beg them…Measure yourself, measure the paper pattern and write it down before you cut! My only intention is to inform not to harm…I want to empower women with moving darts and making slashes and taking ownership…I’m always optimistic a few can take away some good techniques. Thanks for your comments, Valerie, they are very helpful!

  27. Pingback: Home Dressmaking by Agnes M. Miall | Fit and Flare

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