I’ve known about Unicose patterns for a while now and having been wanting to give them a try. Their designs are quite extensive – the usual fair plus quite a lot of menswear, activewear and complex jacket designs. In the past, I’ve drafted a couple of items inspired by their designs. Recently, I plucked up the courage to purchase a few patterns to try.
Pricing and Ordering
They are based in Chile. The site is written in Spanish but is fairly easy to navigate. Designs are US$4 each or 4 for US$12 and can be paid through Paypal. Patterns are single size and are available as PDFs with a choice of letter or A4 sizing. The PDFs for both the pattern and instructions are password protected. When ordering, you are asked for a “national ID number” which is where you set the password you want to use.
They have sent a couple of promotional emails with special prices but these don’t appear to be available when you progress through the cart. Bit of a con, I think.
If you order multiple sizes of the pattern, they come as separate PDFs. The layout of the pieces within the PDF are different so it is a little hard if you need to grade between sizes.
These are the four I got, with the jacket ordered in two sizes.
Printing the patterns
The pages are borderless which may cause problems printing from some printers. It did make it easy to butt the pages up to each other rather than have to trim or fold the corners down.
The pattern pieces have a 1cm seam allowance.
On the jacket patterns the pattern sheet was truncated so that part of the pattern was missing. I contacted Unicose and while I got a response initially, they didn’t correct the problem, and ignored my request to provide a credit or refund. Basically, the patterns are useless to me and for this reason alone, I’m not going to purchase from them again. I really like the style of this jacket so I’m really bummed that either size in the pattern can’t be used.
The overview of the pattern, shown below, doesn’t have the same length:width ratio of the actual pattern. It can look very strange at first glance.
The instructions consist of a one page cover sheet which has sewing instructions, pattern layout and fabric requirements; followed by a number of pages on how to put the PDF sheets together. Understandably, these are only in Spanish.
The sewing instructions varied. One pattern had a numbered list of sewing steps; very brief and makes Lekala patterns look like an essay 🙂 Another just had a tech drawing with numbers pointing to the seams to indicate the construction order.
It’s not for beginners, but if you have a reasonable idea as to how to put the garment together then you can get the jist of what is intended. It is more like a production pattern which has been made available to the public. A bit like StyleArc’s early days.
I can only base this on two of the four patterns I’ve looked at as the other patterns were incomplete. These two were for knits; a t-shirt and cycling suit.
The cycling racesuit I won’t be making up as it looks like a pain unitard draft with no adaptation for the position on a bike. It might be useful for triatholon. Width measurements appeared to be consistent for the sizing. Because of the negative ease it would be hard to tell if this held true for the woven patterns.
The pattern which I did make up was a knit sports shirt. Made up in low-stretch sports jersey, I’d say it’s fairly true to size. I chose the size on my bust measurement and altered the pattern to match my hip measurement. If in doubt, I’d say size up rather than down.
Knit Sports Shirt
This had some nice details such as a tapered V neck, contrast trim at the back hem and the option to add a mesh inset under the arm.
The armhole and sleeve design on this one is a little strange. The base of the armhole is a V shape, rather than a flattened curve. The armhole on the unitard was similar. The strangest thing was the shape of the sleeve cap – very elongated at the back of the cap. It did fit perfectly into the armhole, so this was not a cap ease thing. The sleeve didn’t hang very well at the back and would only sit right if I had my arms forward. Very odd.
Once it was together, I though some of the seam positions were a little bit off; such as the backward yoke extension not meeting up with the seam in the sleeve. Definitely one to redraft.
So my little experiment with Unicose hasn’t proven very fruitful. My initial hesitation with purchasing had been the ordering process and sizing. I think the sizing is probably OK and it was fairly easy to purchase though the site. However, the truncated pattern sheets and odd drafting will mean that I won’t be making any more purchases.
I’d be curious to hear if anyone else has tried their patterns and how they went.