Friday, February 27, 2009

What the (BWOF) instructions don't tell

I'm doing a lot of time consuming projects lately. First the Marfy-like pants, then the weekender bag (thanks for all your kind comments on that, either here or on PR) and now this jacket/blouse. It worth taking the time though, as the result is very nice. I did a quick fit and it really looks good, if I may say so myself.

And I found it very nice to read the comments on the coat with 3/4 sleeves. As it struck me as silly, it's a) a trend apparently and b) some of you live in climats where this is a good style to wear. For me a coat always will have long sleeves, though I certainly like those 3/4 sleeves on other garments. This jacket has them!


At the beginning of the week I said I wanted to write about what the instructions don't tell. Though not very detailed, the instructions are seldom wrong, I agree on that with Allison C.  But most patterns are not that difficult to make, when you have some sewing experience you know the order of construction, and for the difficult parts there's the internet or sewing books as reference. For the notched collar I used the instructions from the book High fashion sewing secrets by Claire b. Shaeffer, even though I understood the way BWOF wanted me to do it, I preferred her method (I'll make pictures/tutorial on my next project with a notched collar).


Summerset wrote three wonderful posts (one, two, three) on how to use BWOF (or Patrones/Knip mode etc) patterns  and showed how to trace and how to read the drawings that are included.

What is not included are generally the little details in construction.

Cutt off the corners and grade the seams. This is the top of the pocket before turning, but it could also be a sleeve cuff.
Baste essential fold lines like here in the center fold.

Turn, baste and press the sides of pockets before  stitching them to the garment
Clip curved seams and do this with bias clips, at different points at both sides of the seam (the last was a tip I read in either a book by Roberta Carr, or Claire B. Shaeffer)
Finish the inside of the belt loops with a zigzag stitch (especially for this pattern, but in general these things are not mentioned)
When using a thick thread for topstitching, use a longer stitch length. I use the Gütermann thread that comes on a grey bobbin (upholstery thread) with normal sewing thread in the bobbin.

And this pocket was taken off! With publishing the picture earlier this week I saw that it was off grain too!

My jacket needs lining and the sleeve cuffs. I'll be doing that this weekend and hope to publish finished pictures soon.


  1. I'm glad you like the jacket so far; that may move it up on my priority list. And you're right, forget about getting those kind of finishing details from BWOF. Beginners would need help with BWOF.

  2. I agree with Lindsay, this is moving up on my list too. I love the details on this and I can't wait to see it on you. I think that beginners definitely can sew BWOF, but that they should have some added construction information available to them. But, you know, they are not the only pattern company that is lacking in those construction details that make the difference in outcome. A case in point is the Vogue easy patterns that just cuts a lot of steps, like not interfacing things that should be interfaced, like hems, which I almost never see in a pattern. Even the designer patterns lack the construction details of years ago.

  3. This will be a great project ! I am looking forward seeing the final result. As for the "missing" instruction. I feel BWOF is like cooking with a chef's cooking book. They assume that if you go all the trouble to sew a jacket, you know a bit about it.

  4. Thanks for linking to me! I could write a lot of posts about what BWOF doesn't tell you! The one that comes to my mind is not suggesting stay stitching before clipping into things or stay stitching at necklines and other places that could benefit from it. I refuse to clip something without stay stitching of some sort.

  5. It's true that the more you sew the easier you understand these magazine. Even knowing that some steps are "hidden", BWOF often makes me tear my hair out.

  6. Great post, Sigrid; you've mirrored my thoughts exactly about BWOF's instructions.


Comments closed on this blog (starting January 2021)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.