Book review #3-Part 1
Patternmaking for Fashion Design 5th Edition
By Helen Joseph-Armstrong.
This book is the MAJOR patternmaking book. If you have been to any fashion design school you were probably assigned this book. People usually LOVE it or HATE it. There seems to be no in between.
My book is a well-loved version.
This book is mostly geared toward woven fabrics but does contain sections on knit. (Personally I like the Patternmaking for Stretch Knit better for knitwear.) There are also sections for menswear and childrenswear.
There is an overwhelming amount of information in this book which is both a good and bad thing. Good because it covers almost every patternmaking question. Bad because sometimes you don’t know where to find the answer you need.
Another reason some people think this book is confusing is that she leaves room for you to make slopers in your custom size requirements. There is a standard size chart included in the book. So as many of you know this is important if your customer base is different than that of the size chart either with the book or the ASTM Standard Tables of Body Measurements. Personally I use a larger set of measurements and call it a M to account for vanity sizing.
For the novice: You need to begin at the beginning. Read and work your way through what she covers in each chapter. There are ½ scale slopers in the back of the book that you can copy to practice with. The ½ size slopers are really just that! A full size 8 pattern reduced down by 50%. If you create a pattern that you love in the half-size patterns all you would have to do is double all the measurements! Pretty cool, right!
For the pattern maker with some experience: This book assumes that you have covered the previous chapters. What this will mean for you is if you come across something that is not making sense you will need to backtrack to find where she first discussed it. This is where this book can seem like it just has too much information in it! A great example of this would be in the sleeve chapter. You have your sloper already made and you are ready to jump into another sleeve design. The illustration shows you an X. Where in the world did that X come from? How do I know where to put it? What does it mean? It is the quartering line for the sleeve. Easy to find and do but not explained every time she uses it in a project.
For Everyone: The slopers I have my students make are the bodice front and back, the skirt front and back, a sleeve without an elbow dart, and a sleeve with an elbow dart. This basic set will get you started. In the more advanced pattern classes, we continue with the torso foundation (Any pattern that goes past the waist is based on this) and a trouser foundation (Most of the pant patterns in the rest of the chapter are based on this style).
This book is approximately 800 pages long. There are a few errors in it. (Slightly more than a few but with 800 pages of information who’s counting!)
Sign up for our mailing list. I will be posting more about this book in upcoming reviews. Like I said 800 pages is a lot of information to cover!
I highly recommend this book in hardback. Past editions of the book usually are cheaper and not a bad choice but keep in mind she does update the size charts and some styles to better match the current times. There is another version of the book that is an international version (cheaper) BUT a couple of my students have purchased it and it had pages that were double printed and unreadable. Some of these books came in fine but you do need to double-check when you receive it and return if possible if it is messed up.
As always, be creative and have fun with your patterns.
This is the paperback version. Remember although this is cheaper it may not be the best value for your money.