Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hyperbole… It’s The Best Thing EVER!

Judy In N.Z. (a.k.a. Judy Who-Makes-Perfect-Baby-Clothes-And-Makes-Us-All-Look-Perfectly-Useless-Yes-She-Does-You-Are-In-Total-Denial-If-You-Don't-Think-So Ross) has highly recommended (and by “highly recommended” I mean “gushed to the point of actual giddiness”) the book "Metric Pattern Cutting For Children's Wear and Babywear" by Winifred Aldrich.

I’m a very cynical person.  I’m inclined to disbelieve just about anything anyone tells me.  Or rather, I’m inclined to approach anything I’m told with a very healthy dose of judicious skepticism.  My general attitude in life is, “Maybe.  Maybe not.  We’ll see.”

But perhaps I should go back and explain myself before I continue: I am a designer by training.  The general philosophy I was trained under (and to which I wholeheartedly subscribe) is that if you teach a designer to design, they can apply those skills to designing anything.  You don't train an architect or a graphic designer or a guy-who-designs-your-computer-mouse.  You train a Designer.  They figure out how to work the details later.  So when I started sewing clothes and cutting up patterns and whatnot, there was always a niggling little voice at the back of my mind telling me that really, given the proper set of information, I should be able to just design these stupid patterns myself.  Because (in case I haven't emphasized this enough yet), everything is just a system.  If you have the correct data, you can design anything.   An-y-thing.

But you need the data.  Enter "Metric Pattern Cutting For Children's Wear and Babywear" by Winifred Aldrich or what I like to call "HOLY #$*&!  #*#&#!!  I FOUND THE FLIPPIN' DATA!"

I totally, completely and wholeheartedly apologize to Judy I'm-So-Amazing-And-You're-Not-Thhhhbbbt! Ross for ever doubting her.  She is totally and completely right.

I'm saying all this because while I've just finished my first garment, it's not totally successful but I wanted to be totally clear that I wasn't faulting THE WORLD'S MOST AMAZING AND USEFUL BOOK EVER.  Er. 

I used TLo's body measurements (I think, I'm having to adjust to metric a little) and drafted the "easy-fit t-shirt block".  I then used this block to make her first tunic.

When they say "Easy-Fit" they really mean it.  It's pretty much enormous.  This isn't a global issue with the pattern drafting instructions, because when I then went on to draft her Sleeveless Body Block and made a sleeveless tunic, it fit absolutely perfectly but with absolutely no room for growing.  So I can see I'm going to have to do some experimentation with the sizing before I continue.



Here's the Flat Body Block (which is a close fit) overlaid on the Easy-fit T-shirt Tunic pattern.


Anyway, here's the tunic in all it's glory.  It's pretty unattractive, but or some mysterious reason known only to her, TLo seems to like it.   At least she won't be naked.


Hopefully this week I will be able to fine-tune the blocks and get something else done.

Note: the title of my post comes from my all-time favorite t-shirt, which my lovely husband bought for me last Christmas.  It is available from my all-time favorite magazine’s website (well, “favorite” barring pattern magazines)…  Mental Floss.


They are the BEST THING!  EVER!   (No association, yadda yadda blah blah you know the drill.)


  1. It looks good! I know that you probably used that wild crazy orange print as "muslin" fabric, but I adore it. It looks like TLo does too... Did you do FOE on the neckline? Looks cute! I guess I'm going to have to add this book to the wish list as well. Enabler!

  2. Obviously TLo is happy with it and it's cute. True it's 'easy-fit', but hey, it has growing room. :)
    I am majorly impressed you drafted it. My brother is a patterndrafter and keeps telling me it's just maths. I just ask if it's so simple, why doesn't he draft for me in his spare time. I'm still waiting.

  3. So cool! I've always wanted to learn to draft my own patterns but it seems out of reach for some reason. I'll have to check my library for this book. TLo's top looks really cute!

  4. Aw stop, you're making me blush! I can't tell you how RELIEVED I am that you like this book! When you said you were getting it I felt responsible and really really hoped you didn't hate it. Since you don't I'm happy to take credit, hehehe.

    Give your daughter some credit - she clearly has an eye for a very snazzy tunic.

  5. TLo looks great in orange, her hair is on fire. The cutest little model. Good on you for finding a handy book!

  6. My eyes glaze over when I try to look at pattern drafting diagrams. I'm impressed you made it work!


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