June 21, 2007

Write a pattern drafting book?

A reader asked me:
Have you ever thought of writing a book on drafting kids clothes? I realize it would be a somewhat limited market but, it does seem like there is a renewed interest in sewing. ABC is a book publisher that might be interested in such a book.
The short answer is "Yes". Thank you for the interest and it is flattering to know there may be a publisher interested. I actually have two book ideas, and the second is a pattern drafting book.

The task is rather daunting. A technical book requires a lot of attention to detail, not to mention testing and peer review. I have yet to decide on my perspective. Do I create a book similar to Aldrich or more cookie-cutter like Anderson? Do I explain theory and principles, give step-by-step instructions, or both? I don't intend on creating a new method in drafting. Drafting patterns for children is no different a task than for adults. Scale and perspective changes though. I only have a basic outline of patterns/styles to detail, including a chapter on some "quick and dirty" patternmaking skills. My book would include better measurement charts than most.

Right now I am currently developing a set of patterns and measurement charts that are reliable and reflect current industry thinking. I am collecting research. I don't know if I am truly up to the task. The idea is overwhelming.

There are many reasons to write such a book and I think it is needed.

I have no idea when it will be available to publish.


  1. I think this is a great idea, there's a real need for an accessible children's book.

    With regard to the nature of content to include, my policy has been to avoid duplication of effort. If somebody else has done a good treatment of the topic (or even passable), I stay out of it. I concentrate on where I can add value, concentrating on what hasn't been printed before. By extension, this is why it'd be hard for me to write a sewing book because I wouldn't cover the basics, a lot of people already have books for that. I'd concentrate on either new techniques or revisionist technique. I'm not suggesting you should do the same but maybe it will help you decide.

  2. I agree about not duplicating information. My difficulty is deciding on whether to include instructions to draft the basic blocks. Aldrich is pretty good, but metric and that confuses US designers for some reason.

    I drift between a pattern drafting book and a product development book - it will probably be a blend.