People had been recommending this classic (the first edition is from 1959!) left and right, and since I had started to get interested in making my own patterns, I ordered it. The cover isn't very attractive and the illustrations inside look quite outdated, but once I got over that (we're way too spoiled with nicely-designed books these days...) I started to see just how much information there is in this book.
This is not exactly a book about drafting patterns completely from scratch, instead it starts with a few basic slopers (bodice, skirt, pants, sleeve,...) and shows how you can alter the basic pattern to get some new and exciting effects. Some of these suggestions are slightly scary and not something I'd make:
(But hey, at least I now know how it's done!)
But there are loads of great ideas and tricks in there! I am totally fascinated by the chapters on darts and control seams, and can't wait to try some of the things she suggests.
Here you see how to create special shapes by shifting darts and slashing the pattern. There are loads of cute ideas like these.
Here a sleeve is shaped by turning an elbow dart into a control seam. The chapter on control seams is called 'Control is what it seams', by the way. Ha! Puns!
Overall, this has turned out to be a great reference and help since I wandered into pattern-drafting territory. The instructions are very well written, I've never come across a passage that made me go 'huh?'. At this moment I'm planning a few projects, one of them being a coat. Since I really want to alter the pattern, I'm expecting this book to be very useful in the future!
I'll finish this post with a sneak peek of what I've been working on. Spoiler: it has to do with denim! I took this picture yesterday because I was quite pleased with how my patch pockets and lined front pockets turned out.