Day 4 Giveaway: Patternmaking Made Easy

PME_3rd_edToday’s giveaway features a popular title that has been given away at least twice previously on this site, and that would be Patternmaking Made Easy by Connie Crawford. This being the brand new third edition, it would be an excellent choice if you’re looking for a friendly, hands on, yet professional guide to learn patternmaking as applied to industry.

As you would imagine, I’m a bit particular about drafting books but then, so is everyone else. There is a caveat though; most people tend to prefer whatever book they cut their teeth on which usually means the default text that was required in school. However, once you’ve been around awhile, you’re able to be more discriminating because the requirements of your job or your product depend on it. Toward that end, I wrote a post on how I review patternmaking books which you really should read. This is not to say that other books don’t serve a purpose because most books do get the basics right. What you need outside the classroom is the certainty of performance.

This new edition has lovely new features. Frankly, when Connie called me to tell me how excited she was about it, I wasn’t too sure because authors drink their own kool-aid (me too). But, she was right; this new edition features spot color used in useful and strategic ways. For example, when you’re trying to tease out which part of the sketch is the bodice neckline versus the facing you’re drafting for it, black and white shading only goes so far. Color is optimal -except, let’s face it, until this book came along I didn’t really know that. This really raises the barre for other pattern book authors. Previously, spot color was used for section titles, not very useful beyond the makings of pretty book design.

The instructional design is also new; the steps involved with each design instruction are clearly labeled and set apart. I can’t speak for you but I become extremely frustrated when one line of an instruction -say, one sentence- encompasses three separate steps or actions. Me, I can’t follow that. I want one step, one sentence. Any other way, I can’t do it. No, let’s be honest. I get so frustrated I want to cry.

As to whether you should get it too, do read the review I wrote of this book as compared to its key competitor; even if this book didn’t have the dramatic changes and new features it has, I’d still say this is the better book. The other one… I don’t care how popular it is, its author has never made a production ready pattern in her life. She also doesn’t cite her sources. I guess if it’s on the internet, she doesn’t owe a HT to yours truly. It’s not enough to call the lawyers over, just annoying and insulting.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part. You can buy this book from Connie’s website for 20% off the list price ($95) using coupon code FASANELLA. And no, I don’t get a cut on the deal.

Rules to enter today’s giveaway:
Leave a comment detailing a vexing problem you have with pattern drafting that you hope this book will resolve. When I make the follow up post, in addition to announcing a winner, I will try to either answer every commentor’s problem and or mention whether this subject is covered in this book. In this way, everyone will win. Yay!

Oh and as far as people living outside the United States, I’m not sure how that will work but if you’re willing to pay shipping, you can enter too. I should warn you though, this is a very large book and it is heavy, weighing almost 4 pounds. With packaging, it may be closer to 5 pounds (2.3 kilos).

I can’t wait to see the comments you post. Good luck everybody!

Edit 9/1/13:
It’s reaffirming to read the positive response to this giveaway but on the other hand, I fret that expectations are misaligned.  I feel I should say something because I wouldn’t want people to run out and buy the book thinking it would solve their problems. If you do, be sure to read How we make patterns in real life.

One inappropriate expectation (I think) is reducing the number of iterations you go through to get a successful result. Obviously this has lots of wiggle room but it would be inappropriate if someone thought they could draft a pattern from the book and it would be perfect right off the bat. If there were a book that delivered that, it’d forever be a best seller.  In industry, this never happens. Proving a pattern is development. It’s like developing a new recipe, you have to do it over and over to get something you like. It is rare that your first effort is perfect. But anyway, I feel that enthusiasts are setting themselves up for a fall if they expect or demand of themselves, to do something that professionals can’t when they have none of the benefits.

The other thing is that this book isn’t designed to address the needs of individuals. It is not a drafting to measure book. It is also largely not a fitting book.  Those are separate themes that have been written about extensively by authors who are more attuned to this segment of the market.

In short, just because it is an “industrial strength” solution, does not mean that being “better”, it will magically resolve one’s fitting ills. It is akin to using a fire hose to put out a match. The fire hose will most definitely put out a lit match but not without incurring a lot of hassle, planning (you have to get a fire truck and hook it up to a hydrant), expense, grossly excessive waste of water etc.

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