Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Confession

International Pattern Magazines

I am about to embark on my very first attempt to sew from an international pattern magazine - Patrones, to be specific.

I picked up two issues of Patrones for Ana and Juana when I was in New York City. Juana decided to make the (yellow) skirt pictured here - second row from the top, third picture from the left.

So far, we have - much to my amazement! - managed to locate the correct pattern pieces, trace them, tape them together as directed, and cut out the fabric. If you have never seen one of the pattern pages, brace yourself - they are a bit overwhelming the first time you see one:

So, we have a number of obstacles facing us. First is that, from what I've heard, the instructions in Patrones magazines are somewhat minimalist.

Then there is the bit where they are written in Spanish... Hopefully, between Juana - who speaks Spanish but doesn't know much about sewing - and me - who is pretty much in the exact opposite boat - we can make sense out of them. Yikes! Wish us luck! ;)

So, what about you? Do you use international pattern magazines? If so, which ones? How and when did you get started? How do they compare to the patterns of the Big 4 U.S. companies? Any words of advice for a couple of newbies?


Anonymous said...

Patrones is fantastic- the garments have beautiful details and I always find that they're incredibly well drafted, just like BWOF. You're a step ahead of most of us since you'll have a spanish speaker helping you out! I have to lean on my french (which honestly does sometimes help out) and google translate. ;-)

Can't wait to see the outfits!

AmeliaSews said...

I started sewing with Ottobre five years ago and except for sewing jobs, I am not sure I have sewn from anything since. I love their kids clothes. Five years ago I was looking to make Christmas presents for my 5 nephews and happened on Ottobre probably through Pattern Review. I was so excited to find great looking patterns for boys (finding fabric was another matter entirely).

Their directions are short and no pictures, but with the help of a good sewing book, I was able to figure them out. I really learned to sew from Ottobre, after all sewing for kids is often just a smaller version of sewing for oneself.

I was very excited to see Ottobre Woman come out and have sewn a few things that I love.

After seeing all of the great things from BWOF, I also have a stack of these waiting for me. I have yet to make anything from them. I have read through several patterns though and I must say their directions are more confusing than Ottobre. I am visual learner though so until I get that fabric in front of me, sometimes the written stuff goes right over my head.

The thing I have noticed about Ottobre personally and from the reviews of Burda and Patrones is how well the patterns are drafted and all of the wonderful details!

Good luck with your plunge into Patrones- you can always fall back on what you know, after all there are only so many ways to put the pieces together.

Meg said...

I've only sewn one BWOF pattern so far but will tackle another soon. I like that when my daughter decided she really wanted a new skirt all I had to do was glance through my BWOFs to find something.

Emily said...

I use BWOF occasionally, though I should use it more! I haven't had a bad experience with it yet. I am always daunted by the thought of tracing off a new pattern -- it's not complicated, but it does take extra time. I will also say that whenever I sew with BWOF, I second guess myself. Something about a pattern I traced myself never seems quite as reliable. So, my advice to you would be to trust your instinct -- you can always fix your mistakes later!

Claire said...

I basically "collect" Burda, Patrones, Diana, Knipmode, Ottobre Woman and a few others.

My confession: I have yet to actually use a pattern from my extensive collection.

MD said...

Ah, I remember these patterns - my Mom made some pieces from "Burda Moden" when I was a kid. They seemed to come out fine, though yes, it looks and feels kind of overwhelming at first.

Summerset said...

I use these mags all the time - I rarely sew a Big 4 pattern. The best advice I can give is to make sure you have a sewing reference and take some time to figure out the construction before you sew. If you have a lot of sewing experience this will probably be easy. That issue of Patrones is a good one - I've made a few things from it and plan on more when the weather is warmer.

Anonymous said...

Oh Gwen, the picture of the pattern pieces made my head hurt! And the instructions are in Spanish?? You are one brave woman! I hope you will post your progress, because I would love to hear what you think of the Patrones patterns. I just know you will do a fantastic job. It will be such a fascinating journey!

Vicki said...

Well for me, all patterns are international! But if you are talking about the European ones, then I use Burda World of Fashion (just about all the time) and I have made Ottobre and Marfy. I really like BWOF and they can be more reliable in the fit department. No extra ease. As for instructions, I usually have trouble following theirs but with experience, common sense and few good books (and blogs) to hand, you can't go too far wrong.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such kind, gracious comments. Yes, kitties are wonderful companions and yes, they are also a bit destructive at times! The blue blouse in my photograph is such an interesting design. It is a ready-to-wear blouse, and it has two front facings and two collars. I would like to attempt to replicate it when my sewing abilities become more advanced. I am so excited about your Patrones pattern. I am really looking forward to hearing more about your progress. I know I will learn so much from you!

Alviana said...

hi gwen! Thnx for introducing patrones to me. i havent heard bout it before and really excited bout it. i still learning to use burda WOF and i really like it. i would like to try the Patrones next time. But international magazines are so hard to find here at my place. I have to order it internationally through ebay.

For me, i prefer the "big four" patterns because it provide the complete instruction and ilustration compare to burda mag. Easy for beginner like me. But i just love to buy more burda or other pattern magazines just for my collection. I just LOVE to have it and maybe i can use it sometimes in the future when i'm becoming more skillful seamstress like u :)