We had the opportunity to sew a Zierstoff pattern. Zierstoff is a German pattern company who have recently started an English language branch with some of their popular patterns. They asked us if we would like to try one in exchange for a review. So of course we chose a skirt pattern as that is where we have the most experience! They do have many other patterns as well that are worth a second look.
We decided to sew the Laila skirt pattern. It is made for knit or stretchable fabrics. There are 3 pattern pieces, the front/back piece, the side piece, and the waistband. The Laila skirt has a neat, full shape. The side pieces make it especially interesting.
There are only 3 pages of instructions, so the Laila skirt goes together fast and easy. If you get stuck somewhere, you might try the Zierstoff YouTube channel. They have video tutorials on everything from tiling your paper into a pattern to sewing a skirt.
One thing that was not included with our Laila skirt pattern was the size chart. Before you begin sewing a Zierstoff pattern, you will need to know what size to make. The women’s size chart is located here.
For the fabric of the Laila skirt, we used some organic bamboo knit from Cali Fabrics. It’s amazing fabric, and has just the right amount of structure for this skirt. You can find some really good deals at Cali Fabrics. Get 10% off off your first purchase by clicking through this link!
Use Common Sense
As just stated above, the act of sewing is mostly the same in every culture with some subtle variations. However the terminology & techniques might be slightly different. This doesn’t mean you don’t know how to sew, or the pattern maker didn’t know how to write/translate patterns, it just means you might have to figure out what exactly you are being instructed to do. For example, the side pieces on the Laila skirt need to be cut on the fold although the pattern does not state this anywhere. But we’ve sewn enough skirts before to know this instinctively. In another place, a word was translated as “topstitch” when it simply meant stitch. (This has been changed now on the Laila skirt, but you get the idea!)
Ask For Help
If the pattern maker has translate their pattern to your mother tongue, it means they are trying pretty hard to reach a new audience, and will probably be very willing and eager to help you. We found this to be the case with Zierstoff, they had very prompt answers to our questions.
A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words
Because pictures are the same in every language, they don’t need translating! If you’ve ever sewn from a Japanese pattern book, you will find this especially true. The illustrations or photos are very detailed for this very reason: no translation required!
Read The Reviews
If others who speak your language have sewn the pattern you are trying to sew, it’s very likely they ran into the same things you did and might have written a review that will help you.
Just DO It!
At some point, you just have to decide to dive in or quit. But in our case, with Zierstoff, we found it to be totally worthwhile, and have a new skirt pattern to add to our library. You too may find a new favorite pattern by sewing up a pattern translated from a different language. We’ve seen many seamstresses who have!
Leave us a comment ~ have you ever sewn a pattern translated from a different language? Or in a different language? Do you have any more tips to add?