I hafta say: it's really hard to get back to real life after Christmas. You know, where real life = treadmilling, lap-swimming, blogging, cooking meals, grocery shopping, checking email, sorting out tech issues for pattern buyers, laundry, actually getting out of bed in the mornings ....
Anyway, today I thought I'd log in and say hello, and share with you this magazine.
The husband got a subscription for me this year after I browsed a copy in our library and found it interesting. It has a lot of stuff in it that I like, at least in garment-sewing. Last month's issue contained an article on 10 sewing tips, of which my grandma and mother had already taught me 7 or 8 (when they'd never read an issue of this magazine, so hurrah for them).
This month's issue (cover pictured above) has an article on drafting. For women! So I thought I'd plug it here and encourage you to go buy it if that's your thing. I know many of you have written to ask if I'd ever do a tutorial series on drafting basic blocks for women (i.e. with darts) and I haven't been bothered to bring myself to say yes. And I haven't been able to recommend many good drafting books that draft the way I think will help beginners really "get it" (the exception is this one here). By that I mean that while there are many available pattern drafting books, there aren't many block/foundation drafting books. Or at least, there aren't many foundation drafting books that comprehensively cover the drafting of the basic block from one's measurements - most of them spend a chapter on that, and 26 chapters on adapting the block for various garment patterns. All well and good, if you are already an expert at drafting your own foundation block. Many beginners, unless they are superb visualizers, could find themselves unable to even proceed beyond drafting the shoulder slope, let alone bust darts, and may never complete their foundation block, rendering the later 26 application chapters somewhat impotent. Does this scenario sound familiar - you buy a recommended drafting book with the intention of drafting a perfect-fit sloper from your measurements, you get your husband/sewing buddy/guardian angel/random stranger to take your body measurements, you get out this huge sheet of paper and rulers and french curves and whatnot, and start sketching? And, after several hours, you're stuck at Step 14 and can't tell how the wretched author got that strange wretched curved thing in the side seam in that wretched diagram that's full of so many wretched multicolored lines and you think, "the hell with the sloper, I'm skipping to Chapter 4 where they tell me how to do FBA adjustments on a commercial pattern and let that be my achievement for the decade. Blast!"?
I've been there, friends - the frustration with drafting books, I mean, not the commercial pattern bit. This is why I no longer depend on drafting books for foundation blocks. I only occasionally refer to those books for certain things, and I like looking at their chapters that show how the sloper becomes various fantastic necklines and sleeves and skirts, but for the translation of body measurements to actual lines in a block, I still ask Mum and read my homec books and figure it out on my own in my head, usually with several muslins to perfect the fit.
This magazine article might be a good starting point if you want a look at how a sloper/foundation/block is drafted. It's a nice supplement to those notorious first chapters in drafting books that might only gloss over the foundation-drafting process.
The author of this article recommended this reference book (or more modern versions thereof) and of course it's out of print, as all truly good drafting books are. I'm hoping it gets reprinted someday because the techniques sound familiar and the whole book in general looks like something I'd really enjoy reading.
You won't be able to find this content online at the Threads website - it's only in print. If the good drafting stuff were online, you can be sure I'd be linking to all of it on this blog so you can read it too. And no, Threads didn't pay me to say this. Huh. If only. I'm just being your friend here, sharing with you whatever random goodies I've found in life.
And now, I must go get my Christmas cards done. Yes! I've been procrastinating again! Maybe I should change them to New Year Cards but what if I don't even finish them by then? Maybe Valentine's Day. Or Easter. Or just save them for Christmas 2013. Perfect.