Free! Italian pattern drafting book

modellismoAh, Italy, home of all things wonderful. That and France. Anything from Italy and France is automatically better. Yes? No? Whatever, you don’t want to look this gift horse in the mouth.

Amended 2/28/11: It seems this book has been removed from the archives site. As I mentioned below, I thought that might happen.

On the Library of Congress download site, there is a modern Italian pattern drafting book with text in English (and Italian naturally) available for download. Since this book is relatively new (copyright 2004), I can only imagine its inclusion is some sort of gross error on someone’s part. Or maybe not? The school that publishes the book provides it to their students at no charge (then again, they charge 1,000 euros for a grading course). I can’t say whether this book will remain on the LOC site so I suggest getting it now.

The title is Il Modellismo Sartoriale. It contains drafts for women, men and children. It is 326 pages. I wish I could tell you more but I’ve only scanned through page 31 and have yet to find a table of contents.

Once you click through, you have various download options. Whichever one (presuming pdf) you choose, it’s a huge download. Take it from me and don’t get the smaller one (35MB) because the display is a bit wonky. It quasi-sort-of displays two pages as one image but the second page is cut off and does not repeat on the subsequent page. For optimal learning, I recommend going whole hog and getting the color pdf (50MB+) because some of the drafts use a second color to superimpose pattern pieces one upon the other. If you’re experienced already and can read drafts readily, get the B/W pdf and save some space.

I haven’t looked through much of it but I am hoping it has a grading section which I will examine closely. Italians grade differently than we do in the US. Many firms still do it in the manner I mentioned in Monday’s post.

Happy downloading!

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  1. Ana says:

    Happy New Year Kathleen!

    Thanks for all your postings and sharing this PDF download with us.

  2. Ann Katzen says:

    Thanks Kathleen! This is a great find. And the illustrations, beautiful and very clear …..but also a real scream in their voluptuousness. So italiano.

  3. Mary L says:

    Thanks Kathleen! That’s a fun one for flat pattern. But please you guys, don’t follow it for a mens’ jean pattern!

  4. Matthew Pius says:

    Hooray! It’s so rare to find a drafting book with men’s blocks. Pity the instructions are just a bit … odd. I’m particularly amused by the places where you’re told to mark something x cm and there’s a parenthesis to say (not a fixed measurement). But no explanation of what is not fixed about it or how you would figure the measurement if it’s not fixed. I guess that since it’s the text for a course, they didn’t feel they needed to include all the little details.

  5. ana says:

    Hello Kathleen,

    What size of paper is the original book? I am wondering that since the measurements are scaled and if I print them in a different format it will be all off.
    Best regards,

  6. Kathleen says:

    Ana, I don’t have the original book so I wouldn’t know. It doesn’t matter so long as you can read the text to discern the needed measures to input for each draft.

  7. I don’t know about the women or bambino parts (except that drawings are hilarious), but I wouldn’t trust the men part. The jackets are very strange, the trousers not that good, and the tailcoats are just humorous. At least, if some patternmakers use instructions like these, I now understand many things we see in ready-to-wear.
    It does give so good ideas of style manipulation for people who already have some good basic blocs, though. So it’s still a good book to have in the library. Plus, when bored, a good laugh is always welcome.

  8. Seth Meyenrik-Griffin says:

    @Paul Grassart: Why do you say that the mens sections are off? I am not a terribly skilled patternmaker, so if you could tell me what is wrong I would greatly appreciate it.

    @Donna: Unless the Kindle can scale .pdf files, I wouldn’t ruch out to buy a Kindle just for patternmaking books. The problem with .pdf files is that they aren’t usually optimized for the small screen available on e-readers; unless the reader allows you to zoom, you won’t be able to read small notations in technical drawings, and books larger than fiction-sized paperbacks ends up being ridiculously small. I *think* that the Apple iPad would work, but I have not the money to buy one and test it, nor do I know people that own one.

  9. Seth Meyenrik-Griffin says:

    When “Il Modellismo Sartoriale” is talking about ease allowance by degrees (page 8), what does this mean? For instance, I see that for the bust, the allowances for 0° degrees [isn’t 0° degrees redundant?], 1° degrees, 2° degrees, 3° degrees, and 4° degrees are (-8 – 0), (0 – 8), (6 – 12), (10 – 16) and (10 – 18). It sounds like they are saying that for a 1° degree fit at the bust you can have between 0cm and 8cm (0″- 3 5/32″) over the nominal bust size, so a garment drafted for a bust measurement of 86.4cm (34″) with 1° degree of ease allowance could be between 86.4 (34″) and 94.4cm (37 3/16″) in the bust? Or did they switch from centimeters in the ‘standard body measurements’ chart to millimeters in the ‘ease allowance’ chart?

    Why are they labeling it as X° degrees? Is this to indicate the looseness of fit, from ‘German fetish rubber’ (0°) to ‘Omar the Tent-maker’ (4°)?

    Or am I completely wrong on all fronts?

  10. Donna says:

    Seth, I don’t no if I should thank you or not. Every time I think I have found a reason to buy a kindle I find a reason not to buy. Oh, well.

  11. Paul says:

    There was a question about page size. Likely it is A4 which means it will scale smaller if printed on Letter sized paper. Try different sized paper options for pdf printing to see what size will scale to 100% (or no scaling of page size).

  12. Paul says:

    You can get to the school in the link above and maybe you could post a question there as to what they writer means about degrees. It may have something to do with the way garments are sized in Europe; just a guess.

  13. Clara Rico says:

    I’ve been trying to download the pdf, but it opens in a new window instead of downloading. I can download something by right clicking it and saving. But, when I try to open it, I get a message that it isn’t a pdf or is currupted. Am I missing something?

    It did download as a epub.

  14. Paul says:

    It depends upon how your Operating System is set up. It seems that yours is set to open a new window, but not download to that window – rather, your programming then tries to save to a file location on your computer. The “save as” option should be pdf . If you are getting a different format, search online to find a program to open the file. When I save something and do not have a known program to open the file I get a small window that allows me to choose a file to open on my computer or search online for an appropriate program. What operating system are you using?

    – do you have Adobe Reader installed on your computer? If not, you can get it free. That can also contribute to not downloading as a pdf.

    This seems to be a good source.

    Download and install (if it doesn’t install automatically)Adobe Digital Editions.

  15. Sameena says:

    Dear Kathleen,

    Thank you very much for sharing one of the wonderful resources :)

    You made my day!!!

    Take care

  16. Michelle says:

    I’ve been looking everywhere for this book, but I can’t seem to download it from the site. Can someone help me, please!?!?!

  17. Kathleen says:

    As I said in this entry:

    Since this book is relatively new… I can only imagine its inclusion is some sort of gross error on someone’s part… I can’t say whether this book will remain on the LOC site so I suggest getting it now.

    It would appear the book has now been removed from the archives site. I’ll update this entry to mention as much.

    Note: If the copyright owner is enforcing their rights, I can’t facilitate any offers to help someone who wants a copy after the fact. I regret if anyone is disappointed but that is the law.

  18. Anon says:

    Can anyone recommend a good pattern drafting book besides Helen Armstrong Jones – a current one not a vintage one, one where one can draft patterns for garments that can actually be reproduced in a factory ;) … Thanks.

    I saw the other entry on free pattern drafting resources – I don’t think this was included

  19. Matt Gifford says:

    Just a quick note for people reading this in the blog archives, re: Seth’s question about degrees in the comments above. I have lived there and can speak and read Italian well. They don’t use punctuation quite the same as we do (e.g. a comma instead of a decimal point/period).

    This might make the usage in the book clearer, in Italy ‘December 1st’ would be written as ‘1° Dicembre’. The degree symbol is used instead of ‘st’, ‘nd’, ‘rd’ and ‘th’ in written Italian.

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