Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finished Reading My Copy Of Pattern Cutting For Lingerie, Beachwear And Leisurewear

This book was a great read and although it's true that it's best you have a working knowledge of pattern making already to really get the most use out of this book, it's a terrific reference to have on hand as a designer/patternmaker when ever you're working on a tight fitting,  or delicately designed cut of a garment that requires different seaming and  finishing (evening wear,  special occasion and bridal wear) and not just the types of garments indicated in the book's title.

Some important points I have to make about this book and I'm talking from experience because I've worked on some of the basic lingerie blocks in this book (and these aren't the same as the ones I did from Connie Amaden Crawford's book "Patternmaking Made Easy") as well as having constructed the blocks for both a bra and a corset, and here's what I found during my read of this book:

- it has some great tips on which exact lingerie pattern blocks can be used for other types of garments. In addition to this Ann Hagar also gives detailed instructions on how to develop a complete set of stretch knit blocks from the non-stretch blocks.

- it contains a very detailed set of measurements from sizes 8 to 18,  and although it doesn't have size 6 it's easy enough to calculate from the differences between the other sizes ( I had to do this myself for the patterns I was working on),  some of these details include measurements for ankle,  thigh, bust separation and other types of measurements that weren't provided in the other books I've read or websites I've visited.

- good book to keep at your side when pattern drafting as a reference manual for sizing information, fabric usage and garment/block choices regarding fit as well as important block development.

So glad I got this book,  because I've got to work on quite a few knit garment patterns, I'm going to try and get that set of knit blocks made and finish drafting a complete set of lingerie blocks as well so I've got them ready when I need them... Now I've got to finish reading Kathleen Fasanella's book on Sewn Product Manufacturing.  I'll write you a review of that one too once I'm done.

Have a garment design or collection you need patterns for?  Find out about my discount digital pattern cutting or digitization service on my Facebook page or email me your questions and comments at .

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Two Great Fashion Industry and Pattern Making Books I'm Reading

 Okay,  it's been a while since I last posted but I wanted to have something great to write to you all about and here it is.  Just this month I've received two very important book orders (the books pictured below) and I've just got to tell you about them even before I'm finished reading them.

Because I'm trying to professionalize my pattern making as much as possible the term "production patterns" that I read a while back made me realize that I had to learn how to make patterns that were worthy of the factory floor and if I didn't seek out the specifics on making patterns for production purposes, then maybe I wouldn't be ready to work for larger,  or more well known design entities.  I mean,  I want to know that beyond a shadow of a doubt I'm giving my current designers the very best work I can give them as well. So I got this book by Kathleen Fasenella finally,  entitled "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing" .  I went straight to the pattern area of the book and learned a few important things I had not yet known and realized why I never heard back from one of my prospective clients.  eeeck!  This previous client required a complex pleat and tuck design for her pattern and I was completely clueless as how to notch and mark the thing for manufacturing.  Now I do though...if only I had this book sooner.

The other totally awesome thing about this book so far,  is from just reading the very first chapter,  I've already learnt about the unexpected places a pattern maker should be looking to find work,  I was like whoa,  I would have never thought of those people!   Also what I'm learning is about who to trust your designs with in the fashion industry and who you may not be able to trust so much.  But I don't want to spoil it for you.  Just the way Kathleen writes the book gives you some insight on the attitudes in the industry,  also very important to get acquainted with,  right down to a matter of being the difference between getting and keeping your dream job...and loosing it the same day.  If you'd like to get your hands on this book just click on it's title below the images.

As for the second book, "Pattern Cutting for Lingerie, Beachwear and Leisurewear"  I actually wanted to get a book on advanced grading first,  but one of my clients needs me to do a dress that requires me to construct a open back, strapless evening gown that's going to require me to draft a corset like support garment so I needed this one first.  Now the truth is I was a little nervous about this book because I'd read a review on someone who was disappointed in the instructions as not being clear enough or something,  I've got to say,  it's a good thing that I now pattern making already because if I didn't the description of how to draft a basic bodice would have probably chased me away.  However,  because I already learning how to draft and grade bodice patterns I was able to learn, just this morning,  how to draft a bra block!  This is some way in the book,  page 60 where Ann Haggar starts to describe how to draft the very close fitting lingerie garments (bras and corsets and similar types).   I can't wait to try that out!  I'll have to post the results on my blog for sure,  that will be so fun.   For now though,  I've got to read through to the instructions for the corsets so I can do a great job on this dress pattern coming up.  If you'd like to get this book yourself just click on it's title below the images.

On top of all this,  I've been putting together a foundation for a 'free' online fashion design course.  This foundation is actually a book list.  While an aspiring fashion designer or pattern maker will have to decide which books to buy,  the 'free' part of this online fashion design course comes in with information on how to use these books to educate themselves in preparation to provide professional design or pattern making services.  I'll also be putting together articles on which books are best to start with,  what each covers and why certain information they contain is so crucial to the success to the budding design or pattern maker.  And what a person should do to develop the necessary skills to compete in the industry.  While this project is one I've been working on for a few years now, it's still going to take me at least another year or two to complete.  I'll be posting links to book reviews as I read these books and articles that I write as I get a chance to write them.  This project will take a while though because my clients must always come first.

If you'd like to check out my book list on Pinterest so far here's the link: (mind you I haven't mentioned the two books I've wrote about here yet,  because I haven't finished reading them yet,  all in due time though.)

If you are interested in my discount digital pattern cutting or digitization service however,  or you have any questions,  please email me for more information at or visit my Facebook page to learn more.