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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A little discipline

Almost finished the HP boxy shirt and my machine sort of died, several issues, one must be a loose wire in the foot control - I am not going to get this done doing a series of single stitches. So off it goes for service today.

I am taking this as a sign to take a break and do some serious cutting out of future shirts.

My own feeling is that the machine and I got sort of fed up with Hot Patterns about the same time.

Yes the styling is generally good but there are some details I am not crazy about. A collar on a band that is actually designed to be a bit loose/low (look at the line drawing) and a collar that is very pointy - like blouses my sisters and I wore in grade seven. Not that this doesn't like fine on, but not features that I would make again.

But that's not really it.

The instructions are lousy. I know they are quick notes for people who already know how to sew, and that would include me, but I miss the pictures of a good instruction sheet (who reads the words anyway? Sewers are visual people) and the construction advice is not very clever, and often quite awkward. And there are things like sew to the notch and there isn't that notch printed on the pattern.

I don't know about you but one of the things I enjoy about sewing is the technique. I love a pattern that shows me a clever way to do something, or exhibits some thought about the smartest way to put the pieces together.

We will finish this up on my back-up machine and I will post some pictures for you to decide about, but I have to say that for a premium pattern price I would be happier with well-designed instructions.


Marie-Noƫlle said...

Thank you for a very enlightening review. I have never tried Hot Patterns myself but I intend too and your post is making me thinking about it twice before choosing the pattern. I am waiting to see the finished shirt.

Maryissewfast said...

The only Hot Patterns I have tried so far are the freebies offered at, but then again they are super simple designs. I love Jalie patterns! You can just look at the pictures and figure it out!

a little sewing said...

I agree that Jalie instructions are my favorite.

Vintage patterns are good, too.

Now that you mention the collar, I don't think I'd like it either. The tucks are cute, though.

It probably looks a lot better than you think. What will you cut next?

Anonymous said...

Yes, HP instructions do leave a lot to be desired but their patterns are so darn nice.
I had to laugh about sewing to the notch - I had the exactly the same thing with my HP Princess Seam blouse which btw, is a very, very nice pattern.