Review – Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear

Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear – 6th Edition
Winifred Aldrich
Hardback, 250 pages.
ISBN 978-1444335057

I wish that I had known of this book when I started making my own patterns for making latex clothes;  it would have saved me a lot of time. If you’re new to drafting patterns then I’d put this book on the essential list.

There is another book in the series that caters for Menswear which I will review separately.

This book informs the reader how to construct the basic bodice, skirt and trouser blocks, and then how to modify these for literally hundreds of variations (types of sleeve, collar etc).  The book is packed with diagrams and consequently the text is necessarily concise – the book is intended primarily for fashion students who will be more familiar with some of the terminology than  I was.  It appears that Aldritch’s intention is to pack as much value into these 250 pages as possible, and has done so very successfully.

All books in this subject (that I know of) make the very natural assumption that you’ll be sewing fabric rather than gluing latex.  There is however very little of this book that is sewing specific, it is 95% patterns.  The caveat here is that the patterns make the obvious assumption that shaping will be done with darts, and yet for latex clothing we generally eschew darts in favour of shaped seams.  Therefore some further transformation of some of the patterns will be necessary to convert darts to seams.  There is a section of the book dedicated to ‘flat’ (as apposed to ‘form’) cutting but the emphasis here is mostly on easy fitting items.  For most latex patterns we will want to take the more closely shaped ‘form’ patterns and convert the darts.