DP studio was my summer fling. After having only once before made up one of their patterns prior to my long estival sewcation, I spent a fair amount of my recent sewing time working on one or another of DP’s designs. During my sewcation–a precious moment of professional limbo I sought to make the most of creatively, I wanted to experiment.
Now that I’ve made 6 garments with their patterns, I admit that I still see them as generally challenging, especially certain models like the 600. I made the 600 in tandem with this 5001 twist top (my first here), and I’ll post on the 600 (already on IG) next week. The twist top pattern (one on DP Studios new line “DP’s”) is the most accessible I’ve sewn yet. Nevertheless, I’d encourage anyone who is interested in their designs to try to work her way through the pattern if she’s up for it. Learn to sew the designs you like and search for the resources that will help! Garment making knowledge is not gained at a one-stop shop.
DP offers ingenious models that are on the more developed design edge of whats offered to home sewists. The biggest question I’ve come to with a DP pattern is: how do I put it together? So when making DP studio pattern, but not only, the mindset you’re in might matter more than your sewing skills. Personally, I believe the developed designs they offer deserve the elbow grease they require. I’ve not found the patterns to be difficult technically, meaning in terms of sewing. I think they are conceptually challenging. As comparable side notes, I do hope to see Trend Patterns grow. And it’s no secret that Named Clothing strikes the right balance between wearibility, pattern design and presentation. They’ve got a good thing going.
Making unique, beautiful homemade garments is not always easy (or is it really ever?). And that’s fine. Making our clothes always requires efforts that go against mainstream societal demands and requests. Sewing is not the default “easy” behavior in any case. So, it makes sense that the actual sewing process might, at times, be tricky, too.
While I still think DP Studio should strive for clarity in the instructions, and harmony between the instructions and the illustrations, on their future pattern releases, I have had positive experiences with the patterns themselves. After all, isn’t that what we are actually buying–the pattern to make the garment? This is why I’ve picked up speed going through my DP studio dream list. I’ve seen printing errors before, yes, but the pattern drafting is impressive. The clothes look good with minimal adjustments. And at the very least, the finished clothes actually look like the line drawings, which, unfortunately, is not always the case.
I hear the rhetoric that detailed “teaching” instructions included in patterns are necessary to help beginners learn to sew, but this idea somewhat undermines the self-sufficiency of home sewing by proposing that patterns should do all the knowledge work. Books and classes are great ways to learn the basics of sewing and once you learn the basics, which takes time and practice, you can confidently apply them to any pattern. Plus, when pattern drafting quality or finishing techniques are under valued at the expense of making a pattern appear friendly (as it so often is), “good” or “easy” instructions cease to be of use. Marketing aimed at presenting garment making as easy can trap sewists into being too hard on themselves when they meet with problems. Paradoxically, I’ve seen the constant insistence on “easiness” actually prevent sewists from gaining in confidence and autonomy with their craft.
The professionally trained sewing instructors I’ve had the pleasure to work with have explained to me that beginners don’t usually realize making clothes is hard. I think it is. This is precisely why it can also be so satisfying. As I learn more about garment making techniques and designs, sewing is exponentially more enjoyable.
To close on some of the sewing changes I made on my second 5001, I superposed one edge of the front center opening over the other and stitched close some of the opening above the knot for a more user-friendly (less revealing) version. Otherwise, sewing this pattern went even more smoothly than the first time. I used a blue cotton shirting I’m over the moon for. I purchased it months ago without quite knowing how to use. I’m pleased with how it turned out. The top is comfortable. It fits well with many other garments I’ve previously made. All around, an enjoyable, relaxed project!