Thank you so much to Summerset, Sarah, Stitchywitch, Katherine, Patsijean, Carla and Becky for talking back to my confession last week!
I admitted that I own 2 Japanese pattern books, but have never made any of the patterns, and asked if others had experience with these pattern books and/or other non-Big4 pattern companies.
It was interesting to see how much people converged on 2 opinions. First, that these pattern books are lovely. Second, that the range of styles is somewhat limited and not well suited to a variety of body types.
I returned to my 2 books and looked through the patterns with a new eye, and saw that (as usual!), you guys have a good point!
I'm including scanned images of almost half of the styles in one of my books, so that everyone can judge for themselves. There are quite a few (not all, but quite a few) relatively straight-cut styles that probably work best on a small, waif-like figure (i.e., not me!).
In fact, while everyone loves experimenting with new pattern companies (although Sarah pointed out that they can be quite pricey sometimes), and everyone was familiar with these Japanese pattern books, only 1 person had actually made anything from one of them. Katherine has made a couple of things for her daughter, and wasn't ecstatic over the final fit. She reported that she gets a better fit with Burda and Ottobre children's patterns.
Now, Stitchywitch has used other Japanese craft books (knitting, etc.) and really likes those. She also likes the Mrs Stylebook series, although she warns that you have to draft your own patterns, so they can be quite challenging!
A couple of other pattern companies were mentioned. Carla has some Colette patterns that she is looking forward to trying. And Katherine brought up Marfy, an Italian pattern company. Like many European patterns, they don't have seam allowances; but, good news, it doesn't matter if you don't speak Italian because... there are no instructions anyways! (Can I put a positive spin on things, or what?)
Actually, Summerset made a really good point about foreign language instructions. She said that not being able to read foreign language instructions is often not a big problem. By the time you've been sewing a while, you usually have a pretty good idea of how things are put together. Plus, there are so many resources available for help - reference books, web sites and you can always look at an English-language pattern for a garment that is similar in the particular component that is troublesome...
Well, I hope you've enjoyed these pictures!
And thanks again to everyone who left a comment! You're always helping me see things in a new light...
Today's lesson: buy patterns for garments that will actually look good on me, not patterns for garments that I wish I looked good in! ;)