Okay, I've read the best book on patternmaking by Connie Amaden Crawford, and it's a good one, better than the first one I bought. However, once you're "in the field" and dealing with clients, you learn something real fast...you didn't learn everything you need to know. Not by a long shot. Clients will always ask you for something that will be undiscovered territory for you, be it a bra, or tailored suit or, oh horrors (just kidding) an unusual size. Okay so here's what you do.
1. first of all get real practice in, you'll learn soon enough that you want more educational resources
2. even though pattern grading and alterations are actually different job descriptions, as in people get paid to these things, like only those things, as a patternmaker, it would seriously behove you to learn them, and quickly
3. think specialization and seek out the available resources, I'll get specific here
(a) there's a chance someone will want a tailored suit, find books on patterncutting, patternmaking for tailored suites, you need to do lingerie patterns for another client, hurry up and find a book on patternmaking for lingerie, not sewing lingerie, patternmaking for lingerie, this will have more info on what you need where as the sewing type instruction book will have those less fitted designs you could have drafted on your own any way, that's not what your clients are asking for
(b) clients sometimes ask for their own size, they're fashionista designers and they fit into tiny clothes but they aren't the exact size of industry fit models so you need to learn pattern alterations, another reason for this, if a client is in a niche size market, say for a really big cup size and shape, then you'll definitely need pattern alteration skills, go to Amazon and look up pattern alteration books and dvds. Also do a google search for pattern alterations, you'll find ideas on people's blogs, there are a lot of them, as well as books, classes, dvds, see what people are saying before you spend your money though.
(c) definietly get a book on grading, clients don't ask for one little size, your clients will ask for all kind of sizes and the reason you want to know how to grade corrrectly is because you'll need and want to know how to take the basic bodice you know is a perfect fit and grade it into a perfect bodice of another size without serious fitting issues for your new clients.
Speaking of which, I've just ordered Connie Amaden Crawford's Pattern Grading workbook and can't wait to get it, to be sure. I've looked up grading info online and learnt some great stuff, but I don't really have the confidence I need to know, that I know what I'm doing for sure, I just have the courage to keep going. There's a difference, believe me.
Okay, I hope all you fellow aspiring patternmakers out there have found this at least somewhat enlightning. Also, as I collect more educational resources, books and dvds, I'll post the reviews of them here on my blog too. So be sure to come back again.
Good news is too, I was finally able to get through the Squidoo so that I can start editing and publishing changes on my lenses again, so hopefully between my current patternmaking client and article client I'll find a few moments here and there to update my two fashion lenses. Or I might leave it for a few weeks still. I'll make it easy and post announcements here for you guys.
If you'd like to read more about fashion, information on the industry and online schools check out my site at:
Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources
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The Eco-Friendly Fashion Designer's Resource Page