Sunday, 2 May 2010

Understanding Patterns Envelopes

In previous blog entries you may of read about me starting a dress in college which never got finished. I can proudly say that finally after nearly 2 years this dress is complete and is wearable.  The stitching isn’t perfect, it is very wonky at the top of the dress, but aside from the ribbon I am very pleased with the dress. It is a good fit and looks nice - I can always cover up the top half with a jacket.

Pattern Shopping

Buying patterns can be confusing when you’re a sewing novice, there are many commercial patterns including, Simplicity, Burda, and Vogue on the market, as well as the option of buying vintage patterns through sites like eBay.  When I chose to make this dress I was not given any guidance from the college on how to shop for patterns. I went online, found a good website which was offering a discount. I rushed out and bought 5 patterns but I feel that most of them are still too difficult to attempt at this stage in my development.

Understanding the Envelope

The pattern I used was from the New Look Range, No. 6369, bin 30. I chose the main design on the model, which is dress E.

Most of the different brands will include ‘Very Easy’ and ‘Easy’ categories on the cover of the envelope, which explains how complicated the pattern will be.

Also look out for the amount of pattern pieces listed on the back of the envelope as this will also be a guide to the level of difficulty.

This pattern is from the Cool Juniors range and my measurements matched that of a 7/8 year old. When choosing the correct size do not go by shop sizes as these are completely different to pattern sizes. Normally patterns are based on catwalk sizes and not highstreet sizes. Measure yourself correctly, see which size on the envelope matches your nearest measurements and cut the pattern pieces to that size.

Another thing to look out for is the Suggested Fabrics and Requirements section, on the New Look Patterns this is placed at the bottom of the envelope. This too aids as a guide to see if the requirements needed are suitable for your level of  skill. Looking at this pattern I knew I would have to learn to use zips.


Also on the back of the envelope is a guide to the amount of fabric you will need for each size and all patterns will come with instructions on constructing the garment.
I hope these simple guidelines will help you in buying the correct patterns. If you have any thoughts or questions please write them down in the comments section, I would love to read your views.

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