Monday, September 22, 2008

How to shop for patterns

Let's get started! Lets say you just went to the store and purchased your very first sewing machine, or you already own one but have no inspiration to start sewing new projects. Maybe you are thinking about taking sewing classes. The big question you keep asking yourself is "How do I get started?".

I am going to assume that you are a newbie and at least can sew a square bag and had finished easy projects like square pillows, place mats, hems, etc. Now you are ready to start sewing clothes, but need to learn about how to buy the pattern that works for you.

There are many companies that specialize on patterns; there is Simplicity, Vogue Patterns, McCall's and Butterick just to mention a few. Patterns can be purchased at stores like Joan Fabrics, Hancock Fabrics and even Walmart. I like to buy my patterns at Joan Fabrics because they have patterns on sale every month for only $1.99. If you can't wait, patterns can be purchased thru their websites and prices may be lower than in the stores. But what size of pattern should you buy?

Patterns sizing are different to retail sizing. If you are a commercial size 8 or 10 you will have to buy a size 14, if you are a 6 or 8 you will need a size 10. Before buying a pattern you need to know your bust measurements, waist and hips. There are patterns for petites and for plus sizes too. If you would like to learn more about sizing, I will recommend buying a book about sewing basics or check on the Simplicity website.

A friend asked me why not trying making my own patterns? Well, firstable to be able to do that from scratch there are some classes that may need to be taken. If you are not planning on doing this for business or as a designing career, I don't see why spending your time and money learning to create your own patterns. There are so many patterns alternatives in the market and the pattern companies always have the comming trends like a year before it hits the retail market, plus sizing is very why go thru the work of making and cutting your own patterns. To me it makes no sense.