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About Don McCunn

 Photo of Don McCunn  

I first became interested in patterns when I was studying costume design and the history of costume at the University of Texas in Austin. My professor was Dr. Paul Reinhardt, a student of Lucy Barton the author of the classic Historic Costume for the Stage. Dr. Reinhardt instilled in me a deep appreciation for well made garments that fit the individual and accurate historic patterns.

As a result of these initial interests I wrote a book, How to Make Sewing Patterns. This book was first published in 1973 and has been continuously in print since then. Using this book I have taught pattern design. I have also had the opportunity to design costumes for a number of stage shows and teach costume design and the history of costumes.

In the early 1990s I had the opportunity to write two articles for Threads magazine, "Draping a Fitted Skirt," (Aug/Sept 1992, Issue 42 pp 64-69) and "Draping a Fitted Bodice," (April/May 1994, Issue 52, pp 62-65). The editors of Threads even came out to San Francisco to shoot a video of the second article. I believe this was one of their first attempts to use videos to accompany the material in an article.

In 2004 I took a wonderful course in San Francisco taught by Bill Jones called Introduction to Fashion Dolls. I knew that Fashion Dolls had been used to convey garment designs since the time of Louis XIV. I had myself tried to "create" Fashion Dolls when I was teaching the history of costuming. I was not successful despite the time it took! I was intrigued to learn that Fashion Dolls were reemerging and appreciate the guidance I got from Mr. Jones.

I am very excited to have Fashion Dolls to explore the many pattern shapes I have seen including contemporary garments, historic patterns, ethnic clothes, and the incredible details of one of my favorite designers, Erte. Despite the opportunities I have had when I designed costumes for the stage, I never thought I would be able to try out some of the more unusual and interesting ideas I have collected in my library over the years.

In addition, when I was teaching pattern design through San Francisco Community College's adult education program I had the good fortune to have students from the garment industry who were professional sewers. They were generous enough to teach me their techniques for assembling garments quickly and easily consistent with quality results. It is a pleasure for me to now be able to share these techniques through the illustrated sewing instructions that accompany my patterns.

As a result of the popularity of my Sloper patterns, I realized people are interested in creating their own designs. So in addition to my Patterns for Fashion Dolls, I am developing instructions and pattern guides for people size garments. My first effort in this new arena was How to Make Custom-Fit Bras.

I am also developing a series of Pattern Design Guides that combine embedded videos with step-by-step instructions into Interactive e-Books that allow people to create garments for either the scale of fashion dolls or full size garments.

Copyright © 2005, 2007 by Donald H. McCunn