June 29, 2013

lo and behold


i've seen a lot of laurence king japanese sewing books going round the blogisphere, and although i love the odd mix of cute/carefree/pulloutyourhairwithALLTHEMATH style on other peeps, it's not quite my thing.  so when the big LK got around to hollering at kalkatroona, i said yes please, but might i try something different?

out of their delicious catalog on fashion and textiles, i chose to review patternmaking, by dennic chunman lo.  ooh ooh OOOOOOOH.  i want to eat this book UP.  all those little red stickers were places in the book i just had to show you.


i do not have enough photo storage on this blog to show you alla them stickers.

in a 240 pager, you're expecting to be told how, but lo also tells you why.  so much why!  i love the why!  ruggy is used to this by now: i must always have an explanation, even if he has to make it up.  obviously, lo is not writing fiction--but he tells a story as entertaining as my ruggy's on-demand make believe.  and that's what keeps me awake through the math.  you feel like you're in a classroom with a teacher skilled to a surgical level, but with enough humanity left to make you feel at home.  if you were in his class at the london college of fashion, perhaps you'd be debating alongside with him on issues like designers vs patternmakers (he feels the best is a marriage of both, and i agree), uk vs us sizing, labor vs instinct (surprisingly, he advises that sometimes it's best to get the pattern drafted quickly as possible).

this feels like a full on college course in your home.  and my nerd ass loves me some school.


the nerdoona in me sang over every page.  no seriously i actually made up songs and warbled whilst reading.  this dress, "a piece of string", from lo and cabon's 1995 collection (yep, the author) was sung about quite a bit.  in chapter 6, lo takes you through inspirational patternmaking, using garments from his own collection.  AND HE TELLS YOU HOW TO MAKE THEM FROM START TO FINISH.


WHAT.


i'm getting ahead of myself.  sorry, i'm excited.  not to worry, you don't dive straight into the deep end. you get plenty of schooling on prep, tools, blocks, creating patterns, and manipulating them before you go haywire with string theory.


and lo speaks to both the professional and the home sewist as equals.  i'm in love. this is now one of my guru books, right up there with claire shaeffer.  and you know how i feel about claire.

big thanks to laurence king for the chance to honestly holler about this freaking awesome addition to my library. 

38 comments:

  1. Heheh I've got this. I haven't used it. For two years XD

    The most useful thing I found in there (apart from all the other 'academic' material) was his advice against using a scaled down dress form (because material structure doesn't 'scale'). Precious.

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  2. BTW meant to ask-have you drafted anything from this? Would love to see how fit of the basic block compares against other Metric versions. Also-is your version Metric or Imperial? Or is it the same as the International version?

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    1. the usual for me, bust point & waist a little low. but i have a veerrrrry high waist, and you prolly have made many more blocks than me, so i can't compare as much! measurements are given both ways, with a good point made about needing to understand both sets until we all get together on a common measurement.

      and i loved that half scale bit too. always wanted one, but always thought that might be the case.

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  3. I actually put this book on my amazon wish list a while back, but I figured I had enough drafting books for now so I held off on getting it. Good to know that the information is helpful, does it cover pattern making for knits?

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    1. there's some info on it, but it's not knit intensive.

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  4. You beat me to the punch! Laurence King contacted me too and I'll be getting their catalog very shortly. Lets just say I won't be choosing this book because you did a great job on the review. Can't beat miss kalkatroona. I'm curious though, why did the author say that pattern should be drafted as quickly as possible?

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  5. You beat me to the punch! Laurence King contacted me too and I'll be getting their catalog very shortly. Lets just say I won't be choosing this book because you did a great job on the review. Can't beat miss kalkatroona. I'm curious though, why did the author say that pattern should be drafted as quickly as possible?

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    1. ah, no, but i would love to see what you think of it with your knowledge on this!! his thinking on quick first drafts was that there will be mistakes even if you labor over drafting, so better to get one out there and see what it does in a muslin. i liked that, since i'm prone to go so bananas in all the prep-- i'm exhausted with it by the time i get a first try done, and walk away from the necessary second go :)

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    2. Clever thinking. Why spend extra time trying to prevent problems when that's the purpose of a muslin. Even for someone who spends way to much time on muslins, that is a good tip.

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  6. Someone that can make MATH FUN??? You're kidding, right? What a marvellous book!

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    1. as fun as math can be. i swear, i've added 7 +2 and came up with 11 more times than i care to count.

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  7. Thanks for the awesome review! I'm sold. I must see The Piece of String. On my way to Amazon right now...

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    1. i am chomping at the bit to make that piece of string!!!

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  8. This is a fab book I will one day make that string dress :P I hope you get the chance to make something from it, that would be awesome.

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    1. oooooh and there's a cocoon coat you would love.

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  9. You read my mind! I was looking at all the pattern making books on Amazon the other day, and was having a hard time deciding what to get...I am off to place an order for this one :) Thanks!!

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  10. Might have to pop this one in the basket..and get it delivered to work...before slowly smuggling it back in to my house amogst a load of paperwork...and if he still notices I'll say I borrowed it from the library!

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  11. I got this book for christmas but haven't read it yet.. I did see the skirt with the pleats on the side which I really loved en want to make, so I think I need to start drafting! Are you planning on making any of the projects in there?

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    1. i've got to give the string a go. and the cocoon jacket!

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  12. Oh this looks fabulous. I love these sorts of books, its like cerebal sewing. Sexy stuff.

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  13. WHAT ....
    Your'e too mucking fuch. as always, great review :-)

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  14. ..."Nerdoona"... LOL! My favourite question is, 'Why?' (for everything in life, not just sewing) so maybe I should get this ;)

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  15. Wow! Awesome review! I'm putting this on my have list unless you or Laurence King is planning a giveaway! A girl can dream right lol

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  16. I have this too, won it in Sham's giveway. I JUST had my sister take my measurements today so that when I have the time i can construct a block following his directions. You're right, the best thing about the book is how he explains why certain measurements must be so you can create clothing that allows you a natural range of movement. I especially loved how he explains pants pattern drafting, can't wait to put that in practice. I hope that he publishes another one consisting of more examples of adapting the block for garments.

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  17. Ooooh, wow, love this book much Ooona!? Lol. I have not seen it before but am super thrilled to see which one of the red stickered items you are going to sew up!

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  18. Ooh - this looks like a great read, I'd seen it on amazon but wasn't sure what it was really like - thanks for the review!

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  19. I have that book too! It's a fabulous book. I haven't done much with it yet. Judging by your projects I think you'll beat me to making something fabulous based on Lo's words of wisdom. Can't wait to see what you make!

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  20. I have this book... and I've been on 2 short pattern cutting classes with the author Dennic too! He's fab, friendly and so knowledgable in person :) The book first came out during one of the classes - so I got him to autograph it for me (yay!)

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  21. OMG that's right up my alley at the moment! Can't do any vintage patterns because of my Mama Lyf, and this looks great!

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  22. Ooh, I've been wondering about this book! Glad to hear it's a good 'un! Gonna have to snap it up!

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  23. This book sounds awesome! I, too, always have to know why about everything. Thanks for the thorough review. I think I might just have to buy it right away!

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  24. This. looks. awesome! I am totally a "why?" person too. Christmas maybe?

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  25. And it's on sale at Chapters.ca for about $30.00 before taxes!! Just thought any Canuck's reading this might want to know...
    Thanks bunches for the tip about this one, Oona! :)

    Love,
    Your minion, Mugsy *lol*

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  26. a friend of mine has this book. it kinda reminds me of a cooler version of the standard patternmaking for fashion design text book. it looks like a great reference!

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  27. Oona! I adore this book! I got it from our supplier to check it out & see if it was good to carry for our advanced pattern making peeps. It gives the basic info in a really fresh way that is readable - many other pattern books have the info but they are the reading equivalent of chewing cardboard. I especially love how he talks about the difference between a dress form and a real person.

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  28. I love this book! I'm hoping to create my own patterns soon with the help of this book! I can't wait to see your creations!

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied if not always written!