Friday, June 29, 2012

Status Report & Design Rantage

First off, thank you ever so much, Google, for "no longer supporting" Opera, so not all features may be operate correctly. "Please try Chrome". Grumble.

I've made progress on the MuseCon program book, the plan is to not sleep in too late tomorrow and Sunday and work on it in the mornings, hopefully before it gets too hot, on the desktop machine. I'd like to get it done enough for proofreading this weekend.

Still haven't installed InDesign on my laptop, nor worked on the books.

Have made some progress on hand-sewing garb.

Which brings me to the Rant of the Day...

Earlier this week I was looking at reviews of Reconstructing History patterns, trying to decide if I was going to purchase one. One of the reviews said, paraphrasing from memory, that the reviewer would never buy/trust a Reconstructing History pattern because they are drawn on a computer. No supporting arguments, just that, as I understood it, computer-drawn patterns are Bad.

What the ever-loving ****?!?

I fail to comprehend. To me that's as stupid as saying that a pattern is no good because the person who drew it likes rutabagas. Totally irrelevant!

Pencil and paper is not inherently better, or worse, than a computer drawing program. They are tools. You can produce an excellent pattern, or a festering pile uselessness, with either one. I should know, I've produced both types of patterns using both methods.

Now, if the reviewer had said something like "as far as I can tell the pattern was drawn and published without testing" or "sizes other than X appear to be created by just increasing/decreasing all pieces by some percentage", I could have grokeed it. But not the case.

I also suspect that the reviewer was an anti-pattern-use draping-only snob in general. Which leads us to the rest of my rantage:

Anti-pattern snobbery: In looking at the reviews, I read a number that said, it essence, that everybody should learn draping because that's what all Victorian/Edwardian seamstresses did all the time and never ever ever used those nasty awful paper patterns. (most of the reviews were for Victorian- & Edwardian-era patterns).

Excuse me while I hack up a hairball.

I admit I haven't done extensive research, but I read. A lot. And over and over again in fiction I see references to Mother or the town seamstress using her paper patterns. Or borrowing a pattern for a dress from Mrs. So-and-so. Not draping, using patterns.

No, you couldn't go down to the dry goods store and go through the pattern books and pick out a commercial pattern in 3 different sizes in one envelope. Yes, the originals Ma Ingalls was using may have been created by draping. Or her "dressmakers' chart" Or maybe by altering/adapting/tracing an existing garment. Then they took that basic/simple draped-or-whatever pattern, traced it, and adapted the hell out of it to make new dresses and reflect the new styles - they didn't re-drape for every new outfit.

So, pattern snobs, kindly take your snobbery and stuff it where the sun doesn't shine. Yes, knowing how to adapt a basic pattern is a necessary skill for making fitted clothing, but there's nothing wrong with starting from a pattern someone else has drawn.

I did decide to buy the Reconstructing History pattern. It's for Japanese men's clothing, which I think I have figured out how to make already, so if I don't like the pattern, it won't make me crazy, and I'll know for myself if I like RH patterns - reviews seem to be either love them or hate them.

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