One note I should add about the pattern. I chose the Silhouette pattern #6012 because I have been following Peggy Sagger’s webcasts and getting an appreciation for the fascinating process of pattern making. I wanted a pattern that I know will “work” right out of the envelope so “all” I have to concern myself with is the sewing and fitting.
One of the interesting aspects about Peggy Saggers seems to be how strong she is in the fundamentals and depth of her knowledge, it is really obvious that patternmaking is in her DNA. What I think is a challenge for her is to translate that knowledge for us, the newbie sewers. Something that seems so obvious to her is utterly opaque to us newbies. It must be frustrating to her to do the type of hand-holding that we need, or get bogged down in the nitty gritty of explaining basics that we don’t know or that need repeating many times before we finally “get” it. I also get the sense that Peggy doesn’t realize how much us newbies can be thrown off track by small details.
For example, the blurb for #6012, George’s shirt pattern says “this shirt has been duplicated, with permission, from one of New York’s finest men’s dress shirts” which seems really good to me.
But to my mind, a good men’s shirt always has a yoke. If you look on the website, the schematic for the pattern doesn’t indicate a yoke. In fact, the pattern does have a back yoke. I’ve added it in where it should be with the red line below.
Now probably Peggy is confident on the fundamentals, she would probably never make a men’s shirt pattern without a yoke and, if you know her well, you would be aware of that. But, missing this detail from the schematic would throw off newbies such as myself. When you are starting out, it is very easy to be confused by sorting out silly mistake from fundamental error. For instance I can now read a knitting or crochet pattern and it is obvious to me where there is a silly mistake or typo. Being new to sewing, I can’t do this. To reduce the barriers to initial sewing success it really helps when EVERYTHING is accurate, and you can streamline your effort productively.
I really strongly recommend the Peggy Saggers webcasts (freely available) and now I have all her DVDs as well. I have learned to trust her even though sometimes I haven’t the foggiest idea of what she is talking about. To be fair on myself, pattern making and garment sewing are enormous topics and one can’t simply absorb this stuff instantly.
I adore Peggy’s attitude, her accessibility, her willingness to put time into educating the public in how we can implement up-to-date sewing techniques for accuracy, and copy what is current in high-end RTW.
In the process, she is liberating hobbyist sewing from the 1050′s straitjacket it sometimes appears bogged down in. In my view, this seems is critical if the new generation of sewists will do more than Threadbangers style T-shirt refashioning projects and will actually make something that they will wear to a (successful) job interview.
As I go through the sewing process of this pattern I hope to document how I approached the sewing process and bridged the knowledge gap from my perspective as a newbie.