Next up--The Negroni Shirt! And my RANT about "Self-Drafted"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yes...I know that I am the last one in "Sewing Land" to make the Negroni men's Shirt Pattern (www.ColettePatterns.com). I took a quick look at it several months ago, but when life got in the way I put that project aside.........and then I lost the pattern!  I ordered a  new one and now that it is here, I can compare it to Vogue 8800 .  Since I can already see that the patterns have significant differences, my comparison will merely be to define those differences rather than make a big declaration that one is better than the other.  And then after the Negroni, I will be showing you a  Victoria Jones Men's Shirt pattern,  the authentically classic "Hawaiian Businessman's Shirt"!


The Negroni will be made from the blue cotton batik print you see pictured.  Because it is a commercial pattern, my husband Roger will be the lucky recipient of the new shirt.  Someone recently asked me why I don't use commercial patterns for the shirts I make for my clients. There are many reasons, here are a few--

-- My clients pay for shirts that are personally designed for them by me, from patterns that are custom hand-drafted to their measurements.

-- It takes me less time to draft a shirt pattern from a given set of measurements than it does to alter a commercial pattern.

-- And speaking of drafting and time, it takes me much less time to sew a shirt from one of my own custom patterns.  That is because I add different amounts of seam allowances to various pattern pieces so that virtually no trimming is needed while the garment is being sewn.

And now a little rant (feel free to add your opinion in "comments").....

 I get excited when I read on a blog or sewing forum that a garment was made from a "self-drafted" pattern..I love when people design their own clothes! But nine times out of ten when I click the link, I find out that the "Self-Drafted" garment was made using parts of commercial patterns that someone  Else,  not  "Self"  drafted!

A hand-drafted pattern ,"Self-Drafted" pattern, or a Custom-Drafted garment, should mean that NO parts of the pattern existed before the point of a pencil met a blank sheet of paper (unless we are using a pocket or cuff, etc, that we...all by ourselves...have drawn from scratch.)  A self-drafted pattern is not a "FrankenPattern" where pattern pieces that  someone else designed  have been re-arranged, or when more curve has been taken to a seam of a blouse that someone else drafted, or when a so-called Self-Drafted pattern started with a bodice piece or any pattern piece previously in existence that someone else designed and drafted !

 It would be like me making a copy of a photo of the elegant Erica B or gorgeous Mimi G,  pasting my head over theirs, and saying, "This is what Pam wore today".  Of course nobody would fall for it, and I would be a called a fraud and a deluded old fool...while you all laughed hysterically.  Yet others blithely claim "This is what I self-drafted today" when they have essentially "photo-shopped" existing patterns.

Sure, we all have taken  a sleeve from a Simplicity pattern, sewed it to the bodice of a Vogue pattern, onto which we sewed the cool pockets from yet another commercial pattern, etc, etc...to make a garment look the way we want it to look. But c'mon, that is NOT a "Self-Drafted" pattern, and most of us know it...we might not know just what we should call it (I sure as heck don't know). But most of us would not have the temerity to claim it as "Self-Drafted".   On the other hand, when we see a a RTW dress and we use the shape of the bodice and skirt as inspiration, and then we draw a pattern (all by ourselves) in an attempt to mimic that garment...in my opinion that qualifies as a self-drafted pattern. Certainly not an original design idea, but I am not talking about design here...that is another kettle of controversy.  I have been talking about "Self-Drafted" Patterns....that often are anything but.