Cover art to line drawings and keeping an open mind

Have you been checking out the pattern swap over at the perfect nose? I’ll admit, I was looking at the patterns and judged a pattern by its cover. Specifically, this cover.

Pretty hilarious right? That’s what I thought.  Well did I get shown the error of my ways.  Did you know that oonaballoona has also sewn this style? Go and look at it, and be prepared to be blown away.  I couldn’t believe how flattering and amazing it looked on her.  Apparently this style really flatters the ladies with ample chests, and hence the pattern art doesn’t do it justice.

There are many patterns where the photos/styling don’t do the pattern justice, and the line drawings are really interesting.  One that I find fascinating is Vogue 8504, which made up in mustard with 90’s hair looks quite plain, but you also can’t see the detail across the bodice.  The technical drawing however shows the peplum is created by front and back pleats.

sewing pattern peplum

I’ve taken to assessing patterns I pick up second hand by the line drawings only, as it’s too easy to be swayed by gorgeous cover art into something that’s shapeless and dull as I think the artwork is cute and retro.  What looks lovely art-wise (especially in vintage patterns) can be a style that won’t suit my shape or lifestyle.  While feminists get up in arms about the unrealistic shapes that Barbie has, the waists of the 1950’s and 1960’s are non-existent on many pattern covers.  The line drawings are without bias and artistic interpretation, and remove the stigma of prints and contrasting fabric.

While eating some humble pie, I’ve decided to make my personal challenge by the end of the year to take a pattern (or two if time allows) that I have laughed at, scorned or otherwise made disparaging remarks, and create it into something modern and wearable.  And honest to god wearable, not wear it once for the amusement of the internet. Have you ever made an item of clothing from a dubious pattern?

SewbusyLizzy has a muu-muu pattern on hand…..Would anyone else be game for this challenge?


Patterns from SewCranky

Valerie from SewCranky kindly for her birthday gave away a present to someone else..and luckily for me, it was me!  In this lovely birthday package was the Singer sewing guide, vintage buttons and some lovely vintage patterns.

In a strange turn, I very much have fallen in love with the kaftan pattern.  While it won’t be as flattering on me as the pattern envelope suggests, it sure will be comfortable!  It’s quite trendy these days for kids to have towelling hooded gowns JUST LIKE THIS KAFTAN.  I’m now on the lookout for some well priced towelling as this baby takes about 5 metres of fabric. The beautiful gem here is the 1963 Mc’Calls Misses’ suits and blouse.  Isn’t it gorgeous? 1963 sewing pattern suit To ensure I’m still sticking to my sewing plan so only the skirt will get made at this stage.  The  skirt is a nicely shaped simple pencil skirt, which could take place of the Burda Jenny skirt.  I’ve drafted up a muslin already but unfortunately one of the pieces didn’t fit on the fabric, so one piece had to be cut out on cross grain instead of the straight grain. The detail on this pattern is lovely, the lining of the jacket matches the blouse and the pattern layout implies you will be making all three items.  This is an ensemble people.

What has been really fun is trying new ways to pattern trace.  Previously I’ve always traced from a pattern onto a 10m roll of tracing paper from Tessuti in Melbourne, but I’m going to try out tracing onto muslin with dressmakers carbon paper, and also sewing using swedish tracing paper.

Does anyone have an aussie supplier of giant sheets of dressmakers carbon paper?

Wardrobe assessment – Have you thought about it?

As part of the wardrobe revamp/sewing plan, I’ve managed to corral my style (commonly know as boring, my friends kindly called it “classic”) into four segments.  The highly unoriginal Work summer, work winter, home summer and home winter. By really reflecting on what I wear, I’m making a sewing plan of the most multi-purpose items possible.  I am the person that finds a top, and buys three.  Hence the pattern selection will also be based on double duty.  Will the dress suit both work and home?

Work Summer
Mad men style Dresses
Pencil Skirts
Light tops/tanks

Work Winter
Heavier dresses “mad men” style
Pencil skirts
Tailored shirts
Long sleeved tees

Home summer
A-line Skirts
Tank tops

Home Winter
Jeans/esprit pants
Long sleeved tees

The next step in doing my sewing plan is sorting through my existing patterns, then working out what clothing pieces come next (which also takes into consideration moving up from beginner, intermediate then advanced patterns, AND a variety of fabrics).  Then perhaps a colour palette?  The honest measure is looking fairly imminent.  Where to from there?  Fabric shopping?  Perhaps working out what I can use from my existing stash?