My beautiful friend Sanae has released a new book and I had the opportunity to get an early look at it! Sewing Love is, at heart, a love poem to bodies and sewing along with an in-depth method for creating your own sloper and then just-right-for-you patterns.
If you don’t already know Sanae, be forewarned, this book will cause you to fall in love with her. She has a written voice that is so kind and gentle and so completely understanding. You just know she is the kind of friend who really listens. I was nodding my head right along with her words as I went through the book.
For me, sewing has been a creative expedition of discovery that continues to uplift me, but more than anything else, it has been a way to learn how to become friendly with my body.
She is just so wise and vulnerable and gently nudging you to try out something bold.
While I have some experience with creating patterns, I have always worked with super simple patterns using knit fabrics that have built in fitting forgiveness. Professional pattern makers, however, use what is called a sloper. As Sanae says:
Slopers are the foundational paper pattern pieces created from your unique body measurements.
So, with Sanae’s encouraging voice by my side,I dove into making a sloper for WOVEN fabric. So far, I have only done the torso and sleeve sloper. I’m not going to lie, it took me a few attempts. I had something off with my shoulder to shoulder measurement that messed me up at first. I still need to reconcile the sleeve sloper to fit with the torso sloper but I did create the basic structure! Sanae is completely right, it’s incredibly empowering.
My body appears mostly conventional but it’s much bigger on the bottom than at the top and that puts me all over the map, size wise, on the average pattern. The sloper allowed me to erase ‘convention’ from the equation and simple create size ME!
I made a simple Woven Tee! This was an adaptation of one of the many pattern drafting options in the book. More specifically, it is the Woven Tee adaptation of the Bateau Top.
It’s obviously very simple but so exciting. I successfully created a sloper that I was able to adapt into a pattern!
What is particularly genius about Sanae’s method is that you can do it completely on your own. Because measuring your body is complicated, most methods rely on you finding a ‘buddy’ to help you. Sanae has developed a brilliant method that doesn’t require the buddy system. I, for one, really appreciate not having to drag my partner into a body measuring “thing”. Especially given that I like to move slowly and methodically with lots of double checking. I’d much rather do that all on my own, thank you very much.
I’m excited about where all of this can take my garment sewing! Have you been tempted by pattern making? Sewing Love is a great entry point if you have considered it!
Note: This book was given to me from the publisher Sasquatch Books. My opinions about the book are my own.