Design-It-Yourself Clothes~ the lovely world of Cal Patch


Oh hey, I’ve finally decided to use my Cal Patch book for something other than slash and spread tutorials.

Those lovely marks on the wall are from where my husband used to store his bikes. We finally got a bike rack so I’m able to sit in front of the window!





Karl is busy making dinosaur sounds.









I really love the gathered shirt and cuffed pants look.


I don’t know why there’s a raglan pattern. She doesn’t cover that. The instructions for patterns are: knit shirt w/ set in sleeves, button up woven shirt w/ set in sleeves, a-line skirt, and pants. The dresses are extensions of your shirt patterns. And there’s some fun beginning pattern manipulation involving shifting seams, and adding fullness in creative ways. My two favorites are creating a shirt with a pin tucked placket and creating a knit blouse with a bib? and then gathers around it. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s the purple blouse above.


The other thing is, she doesn’t give any yardage information. Since you’re creating a block that’s unique to you, that information would be different to each person.


She has a single page on grading and goes over the basics. It very informative for people who don’t know why commercial patterns are restricted to certain sizes.

IMG_0214 I really love this book. I’ve had it since it came out. It introduced me to the correct way to add fullness to pattern pieces, as opposed to just adding fabric to the sides (whoops!). It also has a great introduction to drafting knit shirts. It’s not a sewing book- at all. It’s strictly very simple beginner pattern making. She doesn’t even really talk about bust darts. I’d almost recommend it for the insane amount of measurements she has you get in order to make a sloper. Anyway, the information is great and works, although I added bust darts. I also tackled skirts in a slightly different way. Instead of choosing patterns from my widest hip measurement, which is my low hip, I’ve started choosing the mid hip measurement and then widening 3 inches down where my saddlebags start. Otherwise I end up with an excessive amount of fabric in the upper and middle hip region. I’ve been working on a new set of slopers for my post baby body.  Even at nearly the same weight my body is shaped differently, which is kind of fun. But clothes definitely fit me differently. The good news is I can wear different styles than I used to and like the way I look in them. Hello shifts!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. This is awesome-thanks for the detailed review. I meant to buy it when it first came out and for some reason didn’t and notice that now there’s a lot of bitchy reviews on its Amazon page (people who obviously didn’t read its explanation on why certain sizes can’t be covered XD). Will pick it up if I see it secondhand anywhere but it’s unlikely out here =P

    1. You’re welcome 🙂
      That’s so strange about the reviews. There aren’t any patterns at all, so any size could make anything in the book. I do find the negative reviews based on the clothing styles pretty hilarious, as well as the reviewers disappointed that it’s not a sewing book, because it’s not. Her introduction is pretty clear on what the book is about- very simple pattern making and what’s it’s not- not a sewing book. I often get the impression that seamstresses want every sewing or pattern book to make them look like Joan from Mad Men, but easy enough for a novice and no foundation garments.
      The book might be too simple for you, judging by some of the pattern books you’ve posted. I reread it for the measurement info and the section on knits.
      I’ve only given 2 negative reviews to sewing books & it pained me a bit to do so. But one was so fucked up from poor pattern drafting to incomprehensible sizing and the other just dropped the ball on pattern information and gave conflicting information on measurements.

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