Re: sewing instructions?

Kathy Strabel

Joyce D.----I had a similar problem with a commercial pattern. It was a pattern from one of the big companies---Simplicity, McCall's, etc. I do not recall which one. But I did call them because they had a Customer Service number on their website. I got no help. The only "advice" I got was to read the instructions over again because they were correct. I have been sewing for 50+ years and I never had come across such convoluted instructions for sewing an invisible zipper into the seam and opening of a concealed pocket in a skirt. A sewing buddy and I finally figured it out after several tries. The illustration in the instruction sheet was very confusing. It was the first time for me to sew such a zipper in that manner. 

While on this subject, if you ever purchase patterns from the smaller, independent companies:  ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS  contact the company or the designer directly BEFORE you cut anything out. There is usually a website or sometimes a phone number listed on the envelope.  I say this because "more than once" I have purchased an independent's pattern and there have been changes in the pattern since it was published. Some companies even have a tab on their website that is exclusively devoted to errors and/or changes/corrections that have been made to the pattern since it was first released. Most of these independents will get right back to you within a day or two, if you do not see a button or tab for these changes. It is well worth the wait to make sure you have the correct, up-to-date information. I once bought a pattern from a well-known independent quilt designer. Every single measurement in the directions was incorrect!! She did not seem concerned, and I saw her selling the exact same (non-corrected) pattern at a quilt show a couple months later. I had to re-design all of the pieces!!  What I find most annoying is that the written instructions are clear as mud. The people writing the instructions have probably sewn the design numerous times before, and they know what they are doing, but for someone using the pattern for the first time probably needs better instructions.     HA ha, I usually refer to these patterns as "Kitchen Table" patterns......I imagine a couple sewing buddies having coffee together and deciding to make a pattern and selling it, without much thought as to the technical aspects of pattern making. Don't get the wrong idea--I have purchased and made many wonderful items from these "Kitchen Table" type of patterns. Just protect yourself from frustrating errors ahead of time before you cut into your expensive fabric!!!   Sorry that this is long, but it is one of my biggest pet peeves about the sewing world!!
Happy stitching---and good luck with the pants!!!
Kathy Strabel   Camas WA

On Tue, Jun 8, 2021 at 5:48 AM JoAnn Novak <vinjosew@...> wrote:

I find that is common with the directions.   Even with something hubby buys & puts together.   The instructions are not clear or make sense.  He just uses his common sense & puts together the way he thinks.  It is very frustrating.   Guess people just do not think clearly any more.  

Try making it with some scrap material first the part that makes no sense to see it you can figure it out. 

JoAnn (Wisconsin)

Life's biggest decision is what you do with Jesus.
On 6/9/2021 1:09 AM, Joyce Daniel wrote:

I have been teaching a design student to sew. She picked out a McCall’s pants pattern that has a draw/bag type waist……looked simple enough. It has inset pockets and a front zipper…..and directions that make absolutely no sense at all…..I consider myself an advanced sewist and these directions are for someone who is super duper advanced. Is there a group, etc. that could help decipher sewing pattern instructions? Maybe, I should contact McCall’s? Funny thing is we started these pants last summer and she went off to college and I was hoping they would disappear, but she just got home and the first thing she asked was if we could finish up the pants again. Agghh!



Have a good one!
Kathy Strabel

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