Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Au Bonheurs des Petites Mains - report

They've arrived!

I ordered some patterns from Patrons de Couture on Dec 3rd, and they arrived on Dec 14th. A week and a half from France isn't too shabby.

I couldn't wait to dive into these puppies. I had no idea what to expect because the only other person I know who owns some, hadn't yet perused them. (That's not strictly true. I know someone else who ordered some after me, but received them first. However, she has less French than I do. :) )

This is what you get:

Each pattern arrives in a cardboard 3D "envelope" with quarter-inch sides and open on top, with a cut out window. Through the window you can see a small, black and white photo and the front/back line drawings of the garment.

The patterns are multi-sized and are printed on a thick white paper that you will want to trace off. The pattern pieces do not overlap. Different sizes are indicated by a different style of black line, so it will be easy to trace. There are minimal markings on the pattern - some of the markings are described in the text. Seam allowances are not included, but there are grainlines.

The front of instructions page, with the pattern paper in the background.

The back of the instruction page.

Everything else you need is contained on a single 8x11 piece of paper, printed on both sides, which contains:

  • A level of difficulty rating. My patterns are all two scissors out of four scissors. Thank goodness! :)
  • A small black and white photo of the garment, which is what you see through the envelope window. It's much easier to see details on the online photo, which is larger, and in color.
  • Small line drawings of the finished garment, front and back. It's impossible to make out fine detail on these illustrations.
  • A supply list, metric and in French.
  • Instructions, in French. (No illustrations.)
  • A two-columned table containing a list of pattern pieces, with cutting instructions for each. (No pattern layout or illustrations.)
I spent many sleepless hours last night translating the double-sided page into English. I am not completely done yet, but I had a Big 4 pattern nearby, and that was quite helpful. I also used online translators, and my pigeon French from high school. There are still sections that confuse me, but I do know some French speaking sewists, that I may pester at some point, if I can't figure it out. :)

I have been creating a glossary as I go. If you speak French and sew, maybe you can fill in some of the blanks? :) This is what I have so far:

I have moved the glossary to its own entry. You can now find it here.

I just noticed I have hit 40 blog followers. Wow, it is flattering that you want to follow me in my non mainstream sewing journey. :) I'll have to reward you somehow. I was thinking of writing a tutorial on how to draft the Burda twist knot top or a skirt flounce I saw in RTW. I wish I knew how to turn a pattern into a PDF file and whether it's possible to put a PDF file on blogger.

I didn't get any time to sew last weekend, which made me very grumpy. The holidays keep intruding, and they are lovely and all, but it can make shams a tad crotchety. ;)