All posts by Martin Partlan

College Physics Instructor and sewing enthusiast.

Picking Up Where I Left Off?

SingerButton
Singer Buttonhole Attachment on a Kenmore

Well sort of.  I have had time over the summer to reassess my goals for my sewing and designing projects.  Most definitely I am not going to try selling the patterns.  As I complete them I will make them available for  downloading — my contribution to the creative commons concept.

Susan is now focused on her own projects which can be found here.

I am fully taking over the blog for Partlan Pattern Designs (PPD)  as of this post.

To make this transition,  I thought I would provide a little back story.

I wanted to learn how to make my own clothes.

Kenmore
Vintage Kenmore 158.14001

Why? Partly because I like to make things and partly because I felt that the ready-to-wear (RTW) industry was not producing garments I liked or that fit.  And, an additional consideration was that the mass market RTW industry has a reputation for employing  garment workers in abysmal conditions  (though certainly not all of it).

I started sewing and found there was a lot to learn:  sewing technology & techniques, fitting techniques, fabrics, threads, equipment, photography and social media. All of which have steep learning curves.

Surprisingly, on the sewing front, I was able in a fairly short time to produce a garment that was crude but passable enough for me to wear. In my work (teaching physics at a local community college) casual clothing is appropriate most of the time.

This was enough of a success to encourage me to keep going.

As I wore the garments that I had sewn, I found that in wearing them one begins to really  understand the fit and function.   When I had time I modified the designs and tried again.  As Susan says, I am a tinkerer.

My first shirts left much to be desired.  However, I felt I could improve on the implementation, and have.

 

As I was tinkering with aspects of shirt design and fit, I became interested in designing my own complete shirt pattern.  Basically a pattern self-drafted on me, until I got  the form.

Because I had experience with AutoCad in my past I was able to fairly quickly get the design into a pattern software program (using Pattern Works).

So far so good.  At the time it seemed like this might be a plausible business,  hence the name Partlan Pattern Designs

Then,  the tunnel at the end of the light appeared in considering how to grade the pattern to all other sizes, and, in my naiveté, thinking there might be many of them. Another barrier to producing a viable pattern business is to produce an intelligible set of instructions for the pattern. Susan spent several months on that part of the project in addition to managing the communications, social media and the infrastructure required to actually sell the patterns.

In the end for reasons she discussed here,  we decided to close the business.  I am taking the pattern design on as my personal hobby.  I do plan to release the shirt pattern, probably sometime in the summer of 2015 as there are a number of revisions I want to implement between now and then.

 

Me-1
My Shirt, (Brooks Brothers Shorts, Dobbs Hat)

As I begin my blogging adventure, I plan to reflect on the learning curves and share some of my experiences.

Up coming blog topics will include what I learned about:

  • threads and needles
  • fabric (natural fibers)
  • sewing the different parts of the shirt (multiple)
  • drafting a pattern
  • grading a pattern

I will intersperse these with posts on some sewing projects I am working on.

Thanks for reading.