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

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.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Well said Pam! I think that all the time, especially when they are selling these "self drafted" on Etsy and you can clearly tell which Butterick pattern it came from, LOL
All you have to say is Butterick xyz "modified" and done.


6:32 PM  
Blogger Bunny said...

Go, Sister! I also agree with Mimi's Etsy comment.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Lyra said...

Yeah, calling frankensteined and modified from an actual pattern "self-drafted" bugs me too. Self-drafted for me entails drafting it from measurements or from a block.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Welmoed Sisson said...

So would you consider patterns created with drafting software (like PatternMaster) to be self-drafted? Since I'm designing the garment by combining elements from the program and adjusting lengths, widths, darts, etc., I think of the things I make as "self-drafted."

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My comments don't seem to be appearing, but I'll try again. :)
I agree with you, but maybe people just don't know what to call them. Perhaps they should be called "self-styled." We self-style patterns just by choosing fabric, so maybe it could encompass choosing sleeves and collars from other patterns also. :)
Now I will try to post again.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the term "frankenpattern" which is something I do all the time. And I agree with you, if the basic block started out as McCall's XXXX, say so and the modifications you made to it. That has much more credibility than saying "self drafted" when you know it isn't.

Looking forward to the Negroni shirt. I thought you had done one so I bought the pattern and made up a shirt for DH and DS. I have the Vogue one as well so I'm eager to see your comparisons.

Theresa in Tucson

10:31 PM  
Blogger Linda T said...

Your "self-drafted" patterns are beautiful works of art IMO,and I love seeing them. Along the same line of thinking, I was saying just yesterday that so many call themselves "quilters" when they are only the "quilt top sewers" who send the top off "to be quilted by someone else." My grannie made the top and quilted the whole thing!

10:39 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Welmoed, I absolutely respect your opinion.

I respect everyone's opinion.

My take on Pattern Drafting Software is that it is a different kind of pattern drafting...a category of its own.

And if my memory serves, when you have designed garments using WG software, you have always mentioned it. As always, you have the integrity to mention the pattern-drafting software that many of us love to use...Wild Ginger. I would not list it among the very few links on this blog and on www.FashionSewingSupply.com if I didn't think it is the "best ever" pattern-drafting software.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

continuing about Pattern-Drafting Software....

I think that those who use it undeniably *Self-DESIGN* their garments, and then the software drafts the patterns. IMHO

6:13 AM  
Anonymous mhs said...

Frankensteining!! lol, and such a correct term.
I personally would call it customizing (modern for fitting), but certainly not self-drafted. I'm all with you there.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Quincunx said...

Y'know, I was wondering about the spike of reviews called "self-drafted", where I would follow them hoping to find a new source of teachings, and wouldn't. These people hadn't also caused a spike of readership at my usual self-drafting sources, so what were they learning from? Was worrying I'd missed out on a great discovery somewhere!

Meanwhile, the self-drafted (no quotation marks) robe I intended to make for my husband grows ever more late as a gift, since I can't get him to hold still for fittings and I am n00b enough to require them. I should've chosen a shirt, that way I could've just collared him at the computer and not had to worry about hems hanging past the seat.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous nowaks nähkästchen said...

It would never have occured to me, to name an altered pattern "self-drafted". Evidently not being on etsy means I am missing a "trend"...

And I agree absolutely with you, self-drafted is not taking a commercial pattern and altering it. That is a modified pattern for me. (Though I might see patterns made by software also as self-drafted, I think it depends a lot on the software. What kind of manipulation you can do and have to do on the computer to get the pattern or if the computer gives you basically a finished pattern which you only adapt a bit.)

I sometimes do draft patterns (usually for babies because what I want is hard to get as commercial patterns in the size I want it) and for those I use a book, pencil and paper. And those I call self-drafted.

Any thing else is adapted, modified, frankensteined... whatever. Even my favorite dress pattern which used to have darts and now has princess seams, a different sleeve length and different neckline... it still is the Vogue pattern and not mine. And that still applies (for me) even if it is no longer visible, where it came from.

Drafting pattern is an art by itself and it's simply unfair to claim that for yourself if you have not taken the time and the effort to learn it.

Just my two cents.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As someone who is now in the process of learning to draft my own patterns, and now actually knowing how difficult it is (in the beginning - my head is swimming!) I'm thinking I would be offended by those people who call themselves self-drafters when they didn't actually draft a thing. Altering a pattern piece (full bust adjustment, more length, etc) is also not self-drafting.

You have a lovely soap box Pam :) (I was just explaining to my teenage daughter what a 'soap box' was cause I'd just gotten off one about another subject and she just looked at me like, "ok"....) And now I have a new soap box to add to my collection :)

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the most interesting review for a self-drafted pattern was one for a napkin that appeared a couple of years ago. It's a start, I guess. :-)

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Corrine said...

Glad you brought this up. I have read multiple blogs where the writer uses the term "self-drafted" presumably in error. He/She doesn't really understand that drafting, in and of itself, is an art, a specialty skill, its own genre. I suspect however than just as many use the term for a franken-pattern thinking no one will notice. We notice, really we do.

By discussing this issue on our blogs we can hopefully draw attention to the error. BTW, I don't draft, don't know how, would like to learn.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous pella said...

Drafting a pattern using blocks you drafted is a bit further down the line than either pattern adaptation or frankenpatterning. I usually draft my own because for me, its quicker. But it doesn't upset me if people misuse 'self draft' except those who rip off another patternmaker's work and pass it off as their own for profit. Most design/drafting work builds on what has already been done, I'm in the laisser faire camp as far as home sewers are concerned.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous pella said...

Drafting a pattern using blocks you drafted is a bit further down the line than either pattern adaptation or frankenpatterning. I usually draft my own because for me, its quicker. But it doesn't upset me if people misuse 'self draft' except those who rip off another patternmaker's work and pass it off as their own for profit. Most design/drafting work builds on what has already been done, I'm in the laisser faire camp as far as home sewers are concerned.

5:44 PM  
Blogger LinB said...

Yup. Self-drafting is something you did yourself, from scratch. It's all math-y and everything. Frankenpatterning has its own merits -- you can frankenpattern from your own self-drafted pattern blocks, for Pete's sake. Self-drafting can be of a design that you thought up out of your own head, or you can self-draft a pattern for a design that you are copying straight from someone else's drawing or photograph or runway show. Self-drafting is such a pain (to me) that even paying full price for a printed pattern is worth all the cost to me, to avoid having to self-draft.

1:00 PM  
Blogger JustGail said...

I make so many alterations to commercial patterns, but yet I've never thought to claim the results as self-drafted. I also find it interesting that many of you say it's faster to start from scratch than modify. I'll need to investigate this more. OK - what I really mean is break out those miracle pattern drafting kits I've bought and never used.

I wonder if the erroneous self-drafted claims are due to not knowing the term frankenpattern?

8:54 AM  
Blogger JustGail said...

Another thought - I wonder how many of those claiming self-drafted are posting to Pattern Review. Besides a great long list of pattern companies, there are only selections for "no pattern used" and "self drafted pattern". Perhaps they are basing off that? Maybe PR needs a "frankenpattern" or "highly modified pattern" or both.

8:58 AM  
Blogger midnight hysteria said...

pam ... i surely do agree with all you said ... i have purchased patterns from youcanmakethis, an online *agent* for people who *draft their own patterns* ... oh, my ... that is so not truth ... i can take a simplicity pattern, change-up the sleeve, neckline, alter the waist, which is what i do sometimes, but it's not my own pattern -- these are what i see on a lot of sites; commercial patterns frankenstined to make a *self-drafted* pattern ... good on you, pam for speaking up ....

a segue ....

i'm hoping you will be able to make the negroni shirt soon; i have it and don't want to cut into the fabric till i hear your *final word* on it ... LOL ... seriously, sewing for men, for me, is so tedious and, sometimes, not at all fulfilling (not like sewing ruffled skirts, pants with trims, and making bags), but hubbs deserves a few hand-made shirts ... anyway, looking forward to your review on the negroni and your next review of the victoria jones hawai'ian shirt ....


7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a amateur sewer and have only been sewing about a year, but I have managed to find information on how to draft various garment, but I have to say, they are not easy to find, or cheap. It would seem to me that self-drafting would be the go-to approach for anyone making their own clothes that is looking to improve the fit compared to off-the-rack clothing, but not the case. The big problem is that there is information on drafting, books on construction, books on improving fit, etc. The lure of the cheap pattern is that it reduces the chance of error, offers step-by-step instructions, fabric buying guidelines, etc. I suppose it is easier to work with these tested formulas and branch out a bit for creativity.

9:09 PM  
Blogger midnight hysteria said...

victoria jones men's hawai'ian shirt ... would love your take on this ... darlene

2:11 AM  

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