Another Very Good Question
Susie had a very good question yesterday regarding the black trouser's pattern. It has multiple parts, and are probably things that many people unfamiliar with foreign patterns may be wondering. Here is her comment and questions:
"I have a question about Patrones. I like the patterns you pick, many of them much better than what I see others choosing from BWOF. Are the patterns included in the magazine? And, how do you follow the instructions if they are written in another language? I know these are probably newbie type questions but I'd never heard of Patrones until you posted about some of your projects. I use patterns from the big 4 companies and vintage patterns but I'd be interested in trying Patrones."
I will answer them in the order they appear. First, yes, the patterns are included. The patterns are printed on large sheets like BWOF or Knipmode. You must find the correct sheet and trace off the pattern pieces in the correct size to use them. Most of the Patrones issues are published in sizes 40-44-48. You can grade down to sizes 36 and 38 if need be, and figure out sizes 42 and 46 from the sizes already printed. Patrones does publish a collection of garments in larger sizes for each issues, like BWOF does, and an additional special issue. They also seem to publish more maternity garments than BWOF.
Following the instructions in another language isn't a straightforward answer. First, Patrones is published in Spanish. My Spanish is not great, but I can read about half of the directions. The more I read the directions in Spanish, the more I understand it and the better my vocabulary (at least in sewing!) is becoming. For example, the other night I was reading along in Spanish and the phrase for "stitch shoulder and side seams" finally clicked. That said, I usually don't follow the directions (if they are included; Marfy doesn't include directions!) very much when I sew anyway regardless of language. I have been sewing for quite some time, and have a bit of experience. If the directions are in English I read them through and decide if I'm going to follow them. I don't always follow the order of the instructions and have found what techniques work best for me over the years. I also have some good reference books on sewing, so if there is a particular technique that I don't do very often or want to try another method, I can look those things up. Another thing to consider is that regardless of language there are only so many ways to insert a zipper, so many ways to make pockets, etc. In the end, you decide how you are going to complete those tasks.
Should you decide to try Patrones or another foreign pattern magazine, do be aware that the measurements are given using the metric system. This isn't a problem for me, as a science teacher I am very familiar with the metric system. In sewing I actually use both, mainly using the metric system with foreign patterns to keep things consistent. I find the metric system more accurate, too.
One question Susie didn't ask was, "Where can I get a copy of the magazine?" There are several ways. I will tell you that while a subscription for BWOF is easily obtained and not expensive, Patrones is the complete opposite. A subscription, if you can get one, is over $400 US dollars a year, probably more now with the exchange rate for the Euro being what it is. It is not the magazine that is expensive, it is the shipping cost from Spain. If you have a friend that lives where the magazines are sold, they might be willing to send you one in exchange for sewing notions or fabric or just for the cost plus shipping. Ebay is another good source, but you'll have to be patient. Don't forget to do a worldwide search, you might be able to locate one in Europe that someone has for auction. One other source is Around the World Book Store in NYC. I do not know if they are willing to ship them out, you'll have to call and ask. I haven't yet called them myself.
Parting Shot: Dress Pattern, 1968. Check out the bright ginormous paisley fabric on the one in the center! Other views include scallops at the hem and/or neck. Regarding yesterday's pattern, I'm not sure if I'd ever make it. I might make it for the novelty factor, even if it would make me look like a little rectangle.