This is one of my favorite pattern book, Pattern Drafting vol. II, it was bought several years ago in a secondhand bookstore in Indonesia for only $1! The book was published by Kamakura-Shobo Publishing in 1970, it shows how to make a basic bodice pattern and how to use it to draft patterns for blouses, dresses, coats, skirts, and pants. There are also small sections for maternity and kid’s garments. The drafting techniques used in the book is from Japan, but the book is in English.
The last section in the book shows several sewing techniques for pockets, collars, zippers, and finishing seams and hems. Since it was published in the time when not many people have sewing machines with fancy stitches, the sewing techniques discussed involved a lot of hand-sewing. And there is also a section on making adjustment for several body types. Such a delightful book!
I love browsing it and read all the diagram , but still have not much chance to use it. A part of a dress pattern was used to make sleeves for this denim dress. Several days ago, I finally decided to make one of the pattern, a simple A-line dress with diagonal stripes and decorative button details on one shoulder. The fabric was bought about two years ago, it has black thin fabric as a base with rows of white wool dots on it. The fabric was so beautiful that I was always afraid to cut it!
I was starting to draft my pattern when I noticed something. All the drafting samples in the book used the same set of body measurements, scaled to 1/10 of the original size. Incidentally, they were my body measurements! What does it mean? It means that I can scan the pattern and enlarge them by 1000%, print them out, and I have pattern in my size! So I cheated and did just that. All I needed to do after that was adding the seam allowance. Hurrah!
Apart from omitting the collar and pockets, I didn’t change any other thing about the pattern. I also used invisible zipper on the back instead of ordinary zipper like in the book. The fabric was so difficult to work with! It kept shifting around no matter how I pinned them. I tried to match the lines, but then gave up after several failures. The fabric couldn’t stand too much unpicking because of its thin base. And since it was cut on bias, the fabric grew in length. I hung the dress for two days before marking the new hem and cutting it.
The finished dress ended up slightly different from the drawing in the book. My fabric turned out a bit too heavy, so the A-line shape doesn’t show up as prominent as the dress in the book. Although it didn’t really turned out as what I had in mind, I still love this dress. It is so warm and comfortable for the autumn season. I also love how the diagonal lines move fluidly with every moves. Now that I know I have a book full of patterns of my own size, I need to scan and enlarge some more!