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Topic: Help with Reading a Pattern!  (Read 452 times)
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JustCheeky
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« on: April 30, 2008 03:05:36 PM »

Hi!  I'm not new at sewing, but I am a newbie at using premade patterns (I usually wing it or make my own).  I purchased the Simplicity 3893 pattern today and I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly.  There is one section that states "45" ** and 60" ** and states that the ** notes "with nap".  I don't understand what this means.  Are 45" and 60" the different lengths of the fabric that you purchase??
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elijor
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008 03:26:02 PM »

45" and 60" are different widths of fabric that can be commonly purchased. The layout for the pattern pieces will be different because the fabric width determines how many piece or which pieces can be placed side by side.

"With nap" refers to fabric that look different depending on which end is at the top of the garment. Velvet is the most common example depending on which end is used for the top of the garment the velvet will appear darker/richer/lusher - it's not really noticeable unless you know to check for it or if a garment is made with one side cut one way and the other side cut the opposite - then it is glaringly obvious. The layout direction for "with nap" will insure you don't make that mistake.
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008 04:01:21 PM »

When you wander through the fabric, notice how some bolts stand taller than others? those are usually 60" wide ones, where as the larger amount of fabrics (especially in the cottons and prints) are 45" ones. Just an easy way to know Smiley it is always marked on the end of the cardboard bolt itself too. Most fabrics sold on rolls instead of bolts (upholstry, satins, bridal lace frequently) are usually 60" wide, although upholstry also comes in 90" widths (those are usually standing in a bin together, nowhere near the clothing fabrics).
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mandodeb
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008 02:23:03 PM »

That "with nap" thing can be critical.
I once made a pair of corduroy jeans in high school and decided to save on fabric by moving the pattern pieces around.  Much to my dismay, I was wearing them for the second time to school and noticed that the pants were light in the back and dark in the front.  Totally embarassing.  The worst part was, I didn't have enough money to buy anymore fabric (I had to make most of my clothes) and I had to wear those D*&M pants for another 2 months.  aaarrrgh
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JustCheeky
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008 02:55:02 PM »

I gave up on the pattern.  I'm a really smart person, and I did not anticipate following simple intructions would be so difficult - but, for some reason I can't get it.  Sad
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MLJHydro
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008 03:08:34 PM »

another thing nap can refer to is a pattern that has a top and bottom. If you were making a dress with rocket ships, you'd want to make sure all the little ships were flying upwards, it can be embarrassing to have one (or all) panels upside down.

 




This fabric has no nap because pretty much any way you turn it it will look the same

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JustCheeky
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2008 04:39:05 PM »

I understand the nap concept now - I just have a hard time determining which piece is which in the diagrams they give.  It is very unclear.
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008 04:46:21 PM »

Quote
I did not anticipate following simple intructions would be so difficult - but, for some reason I can't get it. 

It's not easy, it just gives the impression of being easy because it's short setnences with pictures, don't be fooled. When sewing with patterns you are expected to know more than a dozen terms and concepts to use even an 'easy' pattern. But, you're in luck!! Here we are ready to translate for you! Smiley

It really is a translation too. Going from basic sewing knowledge to learning a pattern is like knowing a story and picking up a book of that story in a different language. You know Red Riding Hood makes it to Grandma's house, but if the version in front of you is in Spanish & you don't know Spanish, you have no idea if Lobo Malo is Red Riding Hood, Grandma, The Woodsman, or the Big Bad Wolf.


P.S. Lobo Malo = Bad Wolf Smiley
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JustCheeky
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008 04:53:44 PM »

That is SO true!  I'm at work now, but when I get home I'll whip the pattern out again and make notes of the terms I don't get.  Thanks for the help and encouragement!
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auroraskye
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2008 05:42:51 AM »

Just break it down. I would make a list of what you don't understand, and let us help you little by little. Once you do one, trust me, the others get easy, and then after a couple, you'll be flying.. Smiley Don't give up.. It's not hard.. I promise! It can just be overwhelming at first.
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