Sunday, October 22, 2017

Instructions are the hardest part

The pattern is easy. 

Think about it: telling someone how to do something and assuming they have no prior knowledge of a thing is tough. It's very hard to assume they don't know what you already know.

This is a video from the reboot of the PBS kids show 'Zoom', where one kid tells another how to make a peanut butter sandwich, and the maker has to follow the instructions literally. They repeat this exercise several times.

How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
(once you get past the obligatory YouTube ad, the video cues up to the beginning of the skit)

Assume nothing.

I think the dean of instructions is still Ruth Wyeth Spears.
Her work may look familiar


Very familiar


She's not complaining about this, either.

Yes, I put this right in the middle on the back.

I've spent enough time with Japanese pattern books to know that you can get a lot done with a clear illustration. I have virtually no knowledge of Japanese kanji (I know the word 'kanji' though!) but I've made enough clothes to get what the diagrams are supposed to show me and in roughly what order.

Okay, so they're doing an one piece facing above, and separate facings below.
The instructions below are from 4411, identified as 
"Simplicity Primer - Guide for cutting - sewing - detailed dressmaking"
Yes, the words are useful, but do you even read these instructions anymore?

I'll admit it, I buy patterns for instructions. I can figure out most stuff, and I have to redraft so heavily to fit me, it's barely worth the tissue and tape to cut out a new one. More often than not, I graft details from one item to a TNT.


Love that shoulder pleat!

Literally, the trick is a pleat at the shoulder line on the front piece. Nothing more than that.

Unlike this classic, just reissued, that gave everyone fits a couple of years ago. 
Hint: must use knit fabric with loads of lengthwise stretch.
The Vintage Primer is pretty short. There isn't much to this pattern.


The pattern line is perfect, dammit. Stop screwing around with it! I can SEE you....


And then they show you how to mark your fabric. I don't think my mother ...ooh. She did. I just didn't listen.

Although I've heard a big brooch works best.


See, even how to put the damn thing on! This is what I'm talking about!


And then we get into Miyake terrritory.


How does this blouse go? It's all in the diagrams in the instructions.


Just try this without the instructions. Double dog dare you.
And to be honest, the instructions are "match marks and sew". The key is marking those marks properly the first time.




This is a working muslin (bedsheet)
I still haven't gotten it to fit me, too tight in one place and too loose in another.

Yes, I know: I'm as white as a blank piece of paper. It really does look good in person on me. Really.

image from Pattern Review

Now this Miyake 1309 needed instructions. The pattern pieces are a set of rectangles and squares.
The fabric was a handpainted muslin bolt someone gave me. It took about ten years to listen to what it wanted to be. And these are the pattern pieces.
Hint: label all the marks on the pieces with tape and a sharpie. I serged the edges first. I love this dress to bits, but I still have trouble recognizing which way is front, and that's with a tag marking which shoulder is the left one. I need a diagram, like S8452!

click on this to enlarge for the life instruction you should have been given years ago.
Never stop being careful! Keep hands clear of the blade!
Dress properly!
This is the manual for the table saw in my workshop. It's older than I am!


Friday, October 13, 2017

Miyake 2315 sleeve really has a dart

This one is for Pao.
Pattern just got here from Canada.

Yes, there's a dart in the middle of the top. Assuming it's to get the sleeve to not slide off the shoulder. Dart made, and then top folded for that fat seam effect.

And to locate this: the piece is at 0

And the dart is that wide centered at 13".
Or 33cm, for you metric folks

And that's the whole picture.


And there is is, not on a grid.
No cheating kids!