Sunday, April 16, 2023

Weekend Review: Building the Pattern

Building the Pattern / Laura Huhta & Saara Huhta
London: Quadrille, c2021.
208 p.

I read the first book by this sisterly duo when it came out some years ago, and enjoyed it, and copied out some patterns. And so I've been meaning to check this one out for a while now! I got a copy through my library, and have enjoyed going through it. 

It's a book full of projects. There are 6 patterns plus one extra purse pattern. But 5 of these 6 patterns have 3 distinct items included - the 6th, the jacket, has two variations. So there are quite a number of pieces you could make here. There are traceable patterns included in the book, no downloading required. Each chapter (one per pattern) includes some nice clear fashion photos, a materials and size guide, cutting guide and layplans, general sewing instructions and specialized instructions for any pattern hacking needed. There's not much fluff or filler here; it's all about the patterns. And the photos are lovely, on a range of (young) people. 

The sizing isn't hugely expansive; the patterns are in house sizes 1-9, which translates to European 34-50. I generally make a 42/44 in Burda; that range places me in the 5/6 in this book, which according to the measurement chart is spot on. So the sizing is true to standard. The actual body measurements, then, range from Bust 31.5-40 5/8, Waist 25 1/4 - 39 3/8, Hip 34 5/8 - 48 3/4. 

I liked the way they show that changing a basic pattern is doable, and that small changes -- length, sleeve, neckline, can make a big visual difference. They also give guidance for bigger changes that might seem insurmountable on first glance, for a beginner, but by following not too many steps, you have a whole new look. I like the concept, and think that following the guidelines here would give a sewist confidence to mix up some of the other patterns in your stash. Changing a shirt to a dress or pants to shorts or even a relaxed blazer to a bomber jacket are all in the mix here. 

If the sizing works for you, and you want to try hacking some patterns with guidance along the way, this is a good choice. The styles are fashionable but not too trendy, and there are nice details to make them a little more special than simple boxy shapes, which I find a lot of these kind of books rely on. There are fitted styles, and both woven and knit options to try out. I found it intriguing, and am planning on tracing out 3 of the patterns when I get a second! 


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