Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Many Faces of Reproduction Patterns

The GBACG has become well known for their giant and fantastically useful Great Pattern Review, although it's updated less frequently now. Unfortunately, I'm finding that there's really no end at all to the number and variety of small-time pattern publishers out there.

Some of these folks literally bought a couple of antique books that are out of print, scanned them, and are selling the PDFs online. There's not really any DRM to speak of, except that most of it is pretty niche and not a lot of folks will be interested enough to pirate it. (I mean, really, I can't imagine these things on torrent sites at all.) Some of these are scans, some of them are tracings, some of them are PDFs of line drawings of tracings... barely any of them come in multiple sizes, some are copies of period drafting systems (complete with scanned drafting aids) and some of them are line art with period instructions for enlarging and transferring patterns.

Nobody is reviewing these!  It sucks!  Because there are a ton of great resources out there, and nobody is willing to take a chance when they don't know that they're getting a Big-3 style paper pattern with instructions.  Can we standardize this somehow?  Or at least develop some notation format that would give people an idea of what to expect? 

Maybe something like:
Pattern: Paper, Printable, Draftable.
Instructions: None, General, Step by Step, Complete with Pictures

Maybe I just need to put out a review template for homebrew patterns, and then start reviewing them? It's really frustrating to pay $8 for a digital pattern, then find that it's a scan of a rotary diagram for drafting, which requires rather a lot of setup before it'll do anything for me.

One of the things I'm doing when I restore old patterns is enlarging them to my size. This is literally the quick and dirty slash and spread method, where I figure out how much bigger my bust size is, take the pattern size, and enlarge the pieces by the difference in inches, divided by the number of seams, per seam.  I'm not doing any fancy grading, because apparently aside from my bust, I'm actually fairly normal sized.

And I would appreciate knowing, given the myriad people and myriad methods, what each seller is actually doing.

No comments:

Post a Comment