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Topic: Sewing Patterns: Need your Advice & Opinions, Please!  (Read 986 times)
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montyfull
« on: December 11, 2013 04:49:00 PM »

I will try to keep this short!  My partner and I are starting an independent sewing pattern company.  We are both veterans of the fashion industry, patternmaking and design, and feel we have a product that will fill gaps in the market!  I'd like to develop more before revealing the aesthetic and idea behind the company.  In the meantime we have been trying to reach out to sewers who frequently (or infrequently) use sewing patterns to make clothes for themselves or others.  Would you crafty individuals mind giving me a few moments of your time to answer a few questions?  A brief overview:  We are designing for standard sizing and plus sizing.  Some styles will be plus only, some standard only, and some will be for both size categories, depending on styling. We are focusing on manipulation of fabric and materials to bring a little extra to the pieces. We will release knits and wovens, all garment types, and plan on packaging the instructions in a booklet instead of the large fold out newspaper sheets.  You can answer by replying to this thread, or sending me a private message.  My partner and I appreciate your answers very much!  It will help us focus on the styles you want to see. Smiley

Thanks,
~ Sarah & Nicole


* What drives you to sew your own clothing?

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size?

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores?

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them?

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you?

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments?
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xdm
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013 03:32:21 AM »



Thanks,
~ Sarah & Nicole


* What drives you to sew your own clothing?  Creativity and originality

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size? I buy RTW in size 10, usually have no trouble finding the size, My problem is I have a wide back and big arms (years of farm work and weight lifting)  and a small waist.  Makes it a pain to get a fitted shirt.

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores? too short...... the hems on the shirts barely cover my belly, I don't like bending over and flashing crack or showing my stretch marks from 3 pregnancies.  I like the low rise jeans because they are simply more comfortable so the belly/back issue comes up

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink Hourglass

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them? If I like them, YES

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?  I like the patterns that show one garment 8 ways. KWIM ?  options to dress it up or down so that if you really like the pattern you can use it over and over and shake it up a bit

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?  Pivot

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you? yes

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?   Ridiculous construction technique and p*** poor directions ! UGH

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments? online or at JoAnn's, it's the only option unless I drive over an hour to a fabric store

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xdm aka pnh aka......... Kip. www.pnhsews.weebly.com
montyfull
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013 11:56:52 AM »

Thanks for your response, XDM!  You've been a great help Smiley



Thanks,
~ Sarah & Nicole


* What drives you to sew your own clothing?  Creativity and originality

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size? I buy RTW in size 10, usually have no trouble finding the size, My problem is I have a wide back and big arms (years of farm work and weight lifting)  and a small waist.  Makes it a pain to get a fitted shirt.

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores? too short...... the hems on the shirts barely cover my belly, I don't like bending over and flashing crack or showing my stretch marks from 3 pregnancies.  I like the low rise jeans because they are simply more comfortable so the belly/back issue comes up

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink Hourglass

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them? If I like them, YES

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?  I like the patterns that show one garment 8 ways. KWIM ?  options to dress it up or down so that if you really like the pattern you can use it over and over and shake it up a bit

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?  Pivot

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you? yes

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?   Ridiculous construction technique and p*** poor directions ! UGH

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments? online or at JoAnn's, it's the only option unless I drive over an hour to a fabric store

THIS ROCKS   Logged

~ Everything in moderation...even moderation. ~

my wists: http://www.wists.com/montyfull
I'm open for personal swaps!!
steiconi
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013 12:42:05 PM »

* What drives you to sew your own clothing?
can't always find what I want ready made, and I like to sew and create my own look

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size?
XL-XXL.  I can find some things I like, mostly tops

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores?
armholes gape on sleeveless tops; tops and pants are too short (I'm 5'10")

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink
Apple.  So when I find pants that fit my waist, the hips and thighs balloon like a clown suit and make me look bigger than I am.

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them?
yes, with copious notes about what I liked, changed, hated

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?
There is a huge range of quality and detail in commercial patterns
I'd like to see more patterns designed for my body type.  There used to be a series called HOAX (letters represent different body shapes), but as I recall, patterns for the O/Apple shape were too matronly.  Only skinny girls look good in crew necklines and short sleeves.  Don't get me started on peter pan collars.

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?
I made myself a duct-tape-dummy and do everything from draping from scratch to making minor changes on commercial patterns.

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you?
I tried it 15 years ago or so, and it did not work well.  The technology has probably improved, but I'm scarred for life.

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?
bad sizing or bad work on my part resulted in a terminally useless garment.  Ragbag it and move on.

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments?
Fabric store and Walmart (there is one of each in my area), quilt stores, garage and rummage sales.  I also refashion clothes bought used (my favorite).

Good luck on your new business!
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amazing_784
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013 05:00:01 PM »

* What drives you to sew your own clothing?  I tend to be able to make things that suit my style without spending nearly the same amount of money that I might otherwise spend when getting RTW

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size?  I wear US 8-10, adult small/medium.  I can find plenty, but like to have unique pieces.

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores? length on shirts and swimwear.  I've got a long torso!

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? slim hourglass, mostly

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them? yes, especially if I like the garment made from the pattern.  You also never know when you will need to go back to a pattern for whatever reason

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?  Mostly, but I tend to sew statement clothing.  The more detail and styling options available, the better!

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?  Usually nothing major; I have to add about 1.5 inches to bodices to ensure the correct fit.

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you?  I haven't yet; I'm a little bit more comfortable having the pattern envelope in hand and being able to read all the info in person before purchasing

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened? I've set aside projects, and I've found one of the big pattern companies' sizing is so off that the projects I worked on from them didn't fit at all. 

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments?  usually the big box stores like Joann, sometimes I use fabric that isn't "garment" fabric such as sheets, etc.  I recently moved into an area that has a proper apparel fabric store that I have yet to visit, but I'm hoping to be including that into my fabric shopping regimen.
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Krissy.me
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014 05:43:09 PM »

* What drives you to sew your own clothing?
I have made several things for my kids when they were smaller.  But I have made a few more things for my pre-teen daughter.   But haven't made much for myself which wears plus size.  I can't say why I haven't made much for myself. 

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size?
Having lost a bunch of weight.... I wear a 22 right now.  Plus size clothes are hard to find.  I don't think plus size women should wear whatever they want to.....  It's just not attractive.....   I believe in using clothes to minimize my flaws.  I like sleeves that are 3/4 length to hide my upper arms that I don't like but find they aren't that popular.  You can wear 3/4 sleeves year round and it doesn't look out of place.  I don't like shorts except for around the house, because I don't want to show off my thighs or knees to the public.  I'm sorry but on plus size women they are not the most attractive thing so they are best camouflaged with capri pants for summer time.  Dresses.... I like tea length, or calf length for the same reason.  Knees on plus size women are not attractive and the longer length is nice but maxi dresses look out of place on larger women like a tent.  Fitted in the waist is another thing.  Or fitted enough, but not loose like a tent either if that makes sense.  V-neck on tops is attractive on plus size women I think.  Showing a little cleavage but not too much or to little.   Pants that have elastic in the back of the waist band but flat in the front.  The gathers or pleats in the front add extra bulk most plus size women don't need, but the elastic in the back make it more fitted so that undies don't show by the gape in the back that is a problem with a lot of pants. 

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores?   
Fitted at the waist without being tent like for plus size women.  Also necklines that aren't very high.   Some do crossover in the front which gapes and is just not attractive.   Bust line is another I think that affects all sizes.   Some women are an A cup, while others have a DD or larger cup.  Either natural or by surgery..... But busts can be either really tight or lose which can make or break a top.

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink
Oh boy..... tough one.... I never know how to answer that one myself.....  I'm not an apple that's for sure.... perhaps a pear or hourglass.  But I have saddlebags on my thighs just like my mum as they run in the family on my mum's side.......  I hate them....

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them?
Yes if I like them and how they turned out.  If I dislike how it turned out it will go right in the trash....    For kids clothes that I might want later in a larger size later I will trace off and use that.   That way I can get more bang for my buck.

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?
I think the details are important.  I often just use fancy stitching to dress something up.  But I guess I sew pretty basic clothes so I can't really answer this one.  Hopefully others do.

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?
I guess I haven't done a lot of fancy clothes, pretty much basic tops and pants/shorts etc.....  So I really haven't done many alternations.

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you?
I actually have, but not clothing patterns.  Clothing patterns I would but my experience with these are limited and I am guessing they would be like the one I have that the pages were clearly marked to know how to tape them together.

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?
The few times I had problems I just called my mum and asked her and she walked me though it.  But she isn't around anymore to ask so I'm not sure what would happen if I ran into problems.  Chances are I would look online for help and look to YouTube for videos on how to do what I needed to do.  When I needed help before was long before the internet.   I sewed a lot many years ago but put it away for many years and brought my machine back out and plan on doing a lot more in the future.

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments?
Since I live in the middle of nowhere and I don't have a fabric store that I get to very often because of distance.  My places to buy fabric that is local is very limited so it's between walmart and a quilt shop.   Online is always an option but I haven't really taken advantage of that because you don't know what your going to get for color and I am not very familiar with some of the names of types of fabrics.  So I tend to lean towards patterns that use broadcloth for that reason.  Flannels and fleece for sleep pants and pajamas.


I hope I have been able to help you a little bit with my answers.... 
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I make soap and other "cosmetics" as defined by the FDA and in my spare time I sew.... Sewing is therapy for me in dealing with life stresses and my chronic pain.  When I hurt and can't sew, I plan what I want to sew.  I also have a great husband, three kids and three fur kids.....
montyfull
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014 10:39:15 AM »

HI Everyone,

I just wanted to state again - thank you *very* much for your answers. My partner and I have gotten a lot of responses from various forums and they have been a great help in getting our target down!  We've made a lot of decisions about silhouette, fit and sizing that we think will be sorely needed in the pattern world!  Keep a look out for us. We are beginning style development now. Our brand will be called "Lilith and Eve"!

~ Sarah
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~ Everything in moderation...even moderation. ~

my wists: http://www.wists.com/montyfull
I'm open for personal swaps!!
kjlutz
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014 10:23:01 AM »

*What drives you to sew your own clothing?

I love the creative process. I also like making unique items.  The personalized fit is great too.


* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size?

My size fluctuates, My closet includes everything from 4s to 14s...  I struggle to find clothign I like in general, but it is typically available in my size, although finding clothes that fit me well (I am petite but curvy and very pear shaped) is a huge challenge.  I am also short so that poses problems too.   


* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores?

Accommodating a large cup size and also large thighs. 

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink

Pear!!!

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them?

Always, I will someday be featured on hoarders Wink

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?

Extra detailing might be nice but finding notions is a huge challenge.  It is those sorts of details that is often missing.  Also detailed instructions for doing intracite necklines, hemlines, etc. could be very helpful.  Also helping people adapt the pattern to their own tastes (minor changes) is always great.  I'm not sure I answered that question properly...

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?

All the time.  I sometimes combine 2 (top from one dress, bottom from another), or drastically change a skirt shape, or try (typically unsuccessfully) to do large bust adjustments or to correct the crotch length/depth etc.   

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you?

Yes, but I don't love working with them, but my husband has suggested a way for me to enjoy working with them more so the answer is Yes. 

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?

All the time.  Typically it has to do with fit.  I get discouraged when things don't fit well and I'm not sure how to correct it. 

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments?

This is getting harder and harder.  I love going to small local stores with good quality fabric but they are disappearing and sadly often out of my price range.  I have been shopping online more and more, but find it hard to determine quality online. 
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Sometimes you get to change the world, and other times the world changes you.

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kjlutz
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014 10:24:11 AM »

One thing I would love to add.  If you can please offer everything for your whole size range, I hate when I get a burda magazine and love the plus size designs but can't make them without huge alterations. 
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Sometimes you get to change the world, and other times the world changes you.

Currently drowning in the sea called PhD.

Interested in swapping for I-Spy Quilt Squares and Scraps.
montyfull
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2014 02:26:14 PM »

One thing I would love to add.  If you can please offer everything for your whole size range, I hate when I get a burda magazine and love the plus size designs but can't make them without huge alterations. 

This is something we keep talking about.  The problem on our side is that every separate pattern/size envelope we create is a separate batch that we have to print in bulk in order to sell. I believe we will offer every style in standard sizing, and many styles in plus (depending on silhouette).  My partner, Nicole, is a standard size 8, and I am a plus size. If a style isn't plus appropriate (teeny weeny bikini for example..which we aren't doing), we won't release it in plus to begin with. However, we will always be open to what sewers want, so if there is some demand, we will take the time to increase the sizing for a particular style to include plus. If we were only offering digitally, we could release full size ranges for everything, but alas - paper printing costs the moolaa, and it still is the crowd favorite for pattern distribution.  Thanks for your input!
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~ Everything in moderation...even moderation. ~

my wists: http://www.wists.com/montyfull
I'm open for personal swaps!!
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