I'm so excited! I bought some awesome pattern making books! These aren't just any pattern making books; they're the books that many people have recommended: Pattern Drafting (volumes 1-3) by Patternmaking, published in the late '60s-early '70s in Japanese and English.
When I was growing up, my mom did a lot of knitting from Japanese knitting magazines. Knitting can be expressed in charts so language isn't as important; what my mom found was that the patterns themselves, and the diagrams given to make the patterns, were much, much better than those found in equivalent English patterns.
As I've started to sew more and more, I've been finding that the same holds true for sewing patterns, too: Japanese sewing patterns are more clearly defined and generally better than their English counterparts. One key difference that I've seen is that Japanese patterns give the measurements by which such-and-such a point should be moved out and how the curve shapes should be determined. Drafting a pattern is therefore much easier because you're just following instructions.English pattern drafting instructions don't define these areas as clearly, you just have to "know" what to do instead of the steps being laid out for you.
You might think that I already know a lot of about sewing, and it's true that I do know some stuff. I don't know it all by any stretch, and there are still areas that I have trouble with. I've tried to draft my own flat pattern and I haven't been successful yet. Pattern making books also have ideas in them along with corresponding pattern changes. The Japanese books are very good at showing what changes need to be made to construct a new pattern. At least, the photos I've seen show that these books are good. :)
So you can imagine how excited I was to see the second and third volumes up for auction on the UK eBay! These didn't necessarily appear in the corresponding directories on eBay.com, so I knew the price wouldn't go as high for these as they've gone in the past. I won both auctions this afternoon, and I think I paid for both (in separate auctions) the price of just one volume the last time.
I did a bit of poking around yesterday and I was also able to find the first volume through an independent retailer selling via Amazon.com. I thought that I would probably win the auctions today but I figured that even if I didn't, having only the first volume would be enough for now.
Luckily, I'm going to own all three volumes. I'm so excited! I can barely wait for them to arrive so that I can hold them in my hot little hands. They'll go nicely with the vintage (1938 and 1946) English pattern making book auctions that I won the other day (you can't have enough sewing books :) ). Yay for me!