sewing instructions?


Joyce Daniel
 

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!

Joyce

 


Ceil J
 

Joyce,
There is a site called Pattern Review.  They review patterns and all kinds of things and have an interactive question/answer part too.  I think they could help.
Ceil


On Mon, Jun 7, 2021 at 9:59 PM Joyce Daniel <mdaniel@...> 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!

Joyce

 


JoAnn Novak
 

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!

Joyce

 


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!

Joyce

 



--
Have a good one!
Kathy Strabel





Kathy Skagen
 

Joyce,
I have noticed that, for years now, the instructions for major pattern companies have become more difficult to understand. The instructions used to have many detailed illustrations to help the reader and allowed the inexperienced to be able to teach themselves, but now it is paired down to the bare minimum and sometimes is not the logical way to proceed. 
I would say that if you know a way to achieve the same result, do it your way. That will be a good lesson for the young lady to learn also--that there is often more than one way to do something and the end result is what is important. As a design student, I'd say that this is a great learning opportunity for her!
Kathy

On Monday, June 7, 2021, 08:59:33 PM CDT, Joyce Daniel <mdaniel@...> 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!

Joyce

 


Pixey
 

I too have been frustrated by some of the instructions on more recent commercial patterns.  I have some older patterns in my stash where the instructions were much clearer.  I purchased a dog coat pattern last year and it was ridiculously convoluted in how they put it together.  I pretty much ignored the instructions and applied some common sense and it worked out fine.   I have also been frustrated at the thin tissue being used by them these, it tears if you even look at it.  

One of the other challenges I see is that the patterns may use several steps to accomplish something that our higher end machines have a built in function for doing (such as gathering and basting).

These days for many of my projects I am using some basic sewing and design reference books and creating my own patterns.  For things like pull up cotton pajama pants, I am creating patterns from the finished garment (adding extra seam allowances when applicable).

Pixey



On Jun 8, 2021, at 11:21 AM, Kathy Skagen <kagen48@...> wrote:


Joyce,
I have noticed that, for years now, the instructions for major pattern companies have become more difficult to understand. The instructions used to have many detailed illustrations to help the reader and allowed the inexperienced to be able to teach themselves, but now it is paired down to the bare minimum and sometimes is not the logical way to proceed. 
I would say that if you know a way to achieve the same result, do it your way. That will be a good lesson for the young lady to learn also--that there is often more than one way to do something and the end result is what is important. As a design student, I'd say that this is a great learning opportunity for her!
Kathy

On Monday, June 7, 2021, 08:59:33 PM CDT, Joyce Daniel <mdaniel@...> 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!

Joyce

 


Cheryl Paul
 

Joyce, I’d contact McCall’s. I one bought a Sandra Betzina pants pattern for a class that I took with her and Ron Collin’s in Edmonton and when it was time for my fitting, she couldn’t understand whey so many adjustments were needed. She looked at the pattern and eventually asked to see the envelope it came in. Apparently McCall’s had made a mistake when printing the pattern and the crotch seam wasn’t correct. They did a recall on the pattern and printed as Sandra wanted the fit to be. I was an unlucky person who didn’t get the “memo” to return my pattern for the new one. To say the least those pants never got finished and I didn’t benefit to have a fitting pair of pants and pattern. I did learn some, but it cost me mega bucks and no slacks or adjusted pattern to use in the future.

There may be a solution that McCall’s can address. Another solution would be to just wing it and try to do what you think should be done to make it work. There has to be a solution. Maybe another pattern could be used and she adjusts it to work with what has been cut and sew already. Is that at all possible?

Please let us know what happens with these pants. You have my curiosity working full time with this question.

Cheryl - Saskatoon


Cat - N
 

I am aware that mistakes are found at times on patterns, so contacting McCalls might be an option. If it is an error, they might be able to provide corrections for your student. 

You might also look online at ‘free’ patterns for similar style pants to see how those are constructed.

I definitely sympathize with your student’s (and your) plight.  I am making two little girls’ dresses from a Vogue pattern (redesigned a bit from the original), and the pattern had positional dots on the princess bodice which are not mentioned at all on the four pages, and I literally had to read them all because I grew up making princess style bodice dresses for myself and those did not have positional alignment dots.   

I am making a sleeveless version…part of my redesign…but I figured out, by looking at all the pieces, even those I wasn’t using…that the dots are for additional matching positions for the sleeves to the bodice. But, you’d think positional dots would be mentioned since alignment would be a key instruction when alignment marks are put on a pattern.  

It isn’t ’all’ patterns that aren’t clear…the  pattern I use to make Hawaiian shirts for hubby has pretty decent instructions, even if I do choose to do a few things differently than called for by the pattern instructions. 

- Cat

Typos courtesy of autocorrect. 



On Jun 8, 2021 at 8:47 AM, <JoAnn Novak> 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!

Joyce

 


favymtz
 

I'll put my 2cents in as well! Last week I was helping/teaching a friend how to make a blouse.
We purchased our similar patterns from 2 different pattern company's.
Both were faairly simple basic blouses.
Because of my years of experience I was able to determine that the way that the patterns were written were full of problems.
For example, one pattern had the order of construction in such a weird order that it didn't even make sense to put the pieces together in that sequence.
Also, the lack of instruction and clear pictures in BOTH patterns was actually very discouraging for a new sewist.
My friend told me more than once she would've never been able to construct her blouse alone if she had to follow the pattern instructions!
--
Favymtz


Claire Schutz
 

I would like to suggest to those who sew clothing they check out Peggy Sagers of Fit To Stitch. She is on YouTube. She has so much info about fitting and what to do with  a pattern, you may find your answer.  She sells Silhouette Patterns. I found if I watched more than one show the info can be immense. I will be trying to make slacks and she is the person to go to. Also, she explains how to use parts of different patterns avoiding purchasing many individual patterns, a saving for sure. Hope this helps, Claire S.

On 6/8/2021 12:03 PM, Pixey via groups.io wrote:
I too have been frustrated by some of the instructions on more recent commercial patterns.  I have some older patterns in my stash where the instructions were much clearer.  I purchased a dog coat pattern last year and it was ridiculously convoluted in how they put it together.  I pretty much ignored the instructions and applied some common sense and it worked out fine.   I have also been frustrated at the thin tissue being used by them these, it tears if you even look at it.  
 
One of the other challenges I see is that the patterns may use several steps to accomplish something that our higher end machines have a built in function for doing (such as gathering and basting).
 
These days for many of my projects I am using some basic sewing and design reference books and creating my own patterns.  For things like pull up cotton pajama pants, I am creating patterns from the finished garment (adding extra seam allowances when applicable).
 
Pixey
 


Joyce Daniel
 

Thanks a ton for the thumbs up on persevering w this pattern and nutso instructions I thought it was just this pattern but seems to be an issue w lots of others Maybe it’s a language issue . Sounds like that would be good to major in and have on your resume and good English skills 🤗