xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: 7 Reasons to buy our Sewing Patterns

Thursday, July 07, 2011

7 Reasons to buy our Sewing Patterns

We love our Sewing Patterns, and we're simperingly proud of them.  Shall I tells you for why?  Shall I?  Hm?

We've been doing lots of nice PR things lately, and people often ask what it is about our Sewing Patterns that makes them different, or special or easy or unique; and being a little slow on the uptake, it only occurred to me after the fifth person asked this, that I ought really to have answered this question already.

Like, duh...

Both Amanda and I have followed many, many sewing patterns in our time.  Some difficult, some head-bangingly impossible to follow, some wonderfully simple, some kinda in the middle, ish, somewhere.  Some nearly made me cry.  Some were joyous.  So it was from our experience as beginner users that our Patterns were born, and for this reason we have always fiercely defended the 'beginner' nature of them, in that easy patterns are nice for everyone, not just beginners.  My mother is an extremely experienced dressmaker (she made both me and my sisters' wedding dresses) but I can remember her frustration at the pattern she was using - it was tortuously written and omitted enormous chunks of information.  She found herself groping her way blind through vast tranches of tulle, netting, interlinings, stiffenings and other masses of froo in order to figure things out.  It wasn't pretty.  And the swearing was a little colourful.  And I nearly always came out the worse for it because I then had pins stuck in me during fittings.

Anyhoo, armed with all this history, here are the things we love about our patterns, and which we guarantee you'll get in each and every one.

1) No Wordy Cutting Lists!
Don't know about you, but honestly I find written lists tricky - I'm a very visual person, so I mean no offence at all to patterns which use them, but I likes pictures.  So we always use cutting list images - you can see literally every single piece you're going to need.

2) Consistently Named Pieces
When you sew from a pattern, you start off with lots of pieces, and halfway through you have half-constructed bits....I often got confused in patterns because there didn't seem to be the halfway house names; patterns often stated "Now take this piece" or worse, omitted the noun entirely - "Turn over and stitch along sides"  Turn which bit over? The bit I've just done or the thing I had to do before that?!!
We always make sure that once a construction is completed, we tell you what it will now be called, and when it comes up again in the pattern, that's how we refer to it.  Sounds basic - helps in the long run!

3) Integrated Seam Allowances
When you cut out our patterns, you won't be expected to add seam allowances.  I know this can in some cases be necessary, expecially in the world of dressmaking, but we tell you every step of the way what seam allowance you'll need.  It's almost always the same throughout the pattern, but even so, you will always be told what it is.

4) A Besquillion Diagrams

It's one of my very favourite jobs here at OriginalStitch, so maybe that's why we have so many of them, but we use looooooads of diagrams in our sewing patterns.  Don't know about you, but it is just so very much easier.  I draw them myself, when I have designed the product myself or stood over Amanda while she makes it, so they are straight from the very horse's mouth - I have drawn them from the exact construction at that very point, so if there's still pins there, I draw them; if there's loose threads hanging down, I draw them.  We then have our lovely designer Jon colour 'em in all pretty so they're even easier to understand, and have shading where there would be some, and right and wrong sides of the fabric properly coloured.  Lovely.  If you're terribly clever, you can probably almost make something without even reading, which is what my mother does.
"What seam allowance am I using?" she said once.
"It says it right there look Mum - quarter of an inch, see?"
"Oh I haven't read the pattern, I'm just using the pictures." she said.

5) No Template Enlargement

When you cut out our templates, you won't have to enlarge them.  I'm quite happy to admit this may be a matter of preference, but I try to think of the person sewing from their abode up the top of a Welsh mountain, with no access to a photocopier shop, and as temperamental an all-in-one printer as we have (shh, don't tell it I said that, it's easily upset...).  So our templates are designed to fit on an A4 sheet, so that when you print it out, it is real-size.  You may have to join pieces together to make the whole template before applying to the fabric, yes - but we make this as easy as possible by including full written instructions and using nice little symbols.
6) They're available immediately!
Our patterns are currently PDF downloads, which you can access right there in your purchase email, once you've been to the website and bought one.  We have chosen this method because of our eco ethics - we felt it was a little cheeky to go printing out reams of paper for our sewing patterns when we bang on about environmental concerns.
Having said that, we'd be interested to know if you would like them as a paper version, because we would seek to work with some lovely bonkers paper made from rhino poo, or beer dregs, or old Barbie packaging or something.   (We ain't joking, our tags ARE made from old beer dregs!

7) Online Support
You can get support when making your pattern from our OriginalStitch Cafe- it's where all the manuals and manufacturing information is housed for our stitchers to access, so it's where we put information relating to the sewing patterns.  Come and join, and any help shouts you put out we'll pick up - either myself, or Amanda, or even one of our lovely stitchers will soon come to your aid!

So, if you haven't taken a peek at our sewing patterns yet, have a little look - we're working on a whole raft of our Piece & Jam Collection items next, so we'd love to know - what would you most like to see next in our range of Sewing Patterns?


Amanda Jane said...

I love the PDF way of buying a pattern because it is so immediate. If you see something that tickles your creative fancy, you can get your hands on it straight away! If you follow our ethos and reuse and recycle your fabric, you can get cracking whilst you wait for the printer to churn it out!

Mairi said...

Love it! Now, I have no dollies to sling but should I ever need one slung, it'll be this I use. I know how awkward dressmaking patterns can be. I remember my textiles teacher looking at one and just going blank in the face at some really weird instructions. Nice to see it's real thinking humans writing and testing these!