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A comfortable-sized stash

10 Oct

I’m officially on a Fabric Diet, after my er, being honest, delicious fabric binge while visiting Kerryn’s Fabric World. This was on top of my best friend going over to Bali with $50 of mine, and came back with a sizeable pile of gorgeous batiks and hand-woven cottons for me:

About half of them. Mmm!

AND my sister, in India for a friend’s wedding, sent me another sizeable pile of fabric (*drools at what she got me* No photos though. How terribly remiss of me *shakes head sadly*).

I’m overstashed!  It’s HUGE at the moment. Too huge. It isn’t fitting into little wooden chest it lives in that fits so well under my sewing table. (The chest takes a LOT more fabric than you’d think. In fact it may well be a TARDIS.) (And if the cat my faithful sewing companion, Madame Hat, looks grumpy, yes she is. She loves being grumpy! She adores parking herself right behind my sewing machine, swishing her tail grumpily as she gets covered in fabric and threads.)

My stash has overflowed into two linen cupboard shelves, fighting with the towels for space. It’s too big. I really can’t justify buying more fabric. Although I did fall off the wagon when I had to go to Spotlight to get some thread in a certain colour, and found these two delicious fabrics. Ah well, I’m human…

Cotton/lycra sateen floral on white, in the perfect dress-weight. And pure linen in a much nicer purple than it photographed as, vastly on special for $12pm.

 

Buy Nothing New Month thinks it has the answer. A few years ago I joined ‘Buy nothing new month’ which happens every October. I totally didn’t manage it, I felt restricted and, well, poor. Poverty isn’t nice. And I’ve been poor too much of my life to feel inspired by not buying things. I figure it’s like a friend of mine who was homeless as a kid, who can’t handle restricting her diet. Yeah if I had been homeless I would feel like that about food, too.

Luckily for me I’ve never been homeless. But poverty bites. I LIKE being able to buy something I need when I need it. I LIKE being able to get my hair cut when my fringe is getting too long, not having to save up for a few months to be able to afford it. I LIKE being able to replace old lingerie before it literally falls apart on me.

However, trying to follow the Buy Nothing New challenge that year, did help me see I don’t really over-consume. Apart from fabric! Seriously, some of the stories they linked to were of people having like 200 items of clothing in their closet O_O. Woah! totally not me.

I’m still getting emails about it though, and checking out a few links this year I came across this one about a guy who ‘donated 90%’ of his Stuff.

He suggests his readers ask themselves questions such as ‘Why did I buy this?’ ‘What could I have used the money for instead?‘ By this time I was considering my too-big stash. Next question ‘What would happen if I didn’t have this anymore?’

ARGH!!! I’d run off and buy every bit of nice fabric I could find asap!!!

And that has nothing to do with poverty. I LOVE fabric!

Why does the thought of no stash make me freak out? Well I think it’s a pretty basic creativity issue. If I had no lead pencils to draw with, I’d go out and buy them asap. I don’t draw often but when I do, it’s at the behest of a creative urge inside me to express something with lines, with shadow and light. I rarely play my violin anymore but I don’t sell it, because when I want to play it, I really want to play it.

And really, the same with fabric. I need a stash of fabrics I love, that I want to work with, that I want to wear, so that when my creative mind comes up with the absolutely perfect ‘make’ for it, I have the stuff needed to sew it up.

As for too much fabric, well the obvious answer is to sew some of it up. I’ve been cutting out (my least fave bit of sewing, the bit that tends to stall me on a project) all those ‘Icing’ projects I’ve been putting off till I make some more BORING cake. *happy sigh* So much delicious sweet, buttery icingy sewing to do!

 

Oops! I accidentally stifled my creativity.

10 Oct

Well, I thought it was a good idea to put aside sewing clothes for myself for a bit. You would have thought so too if you’d seen how full my wardrobe was!

I have Other Projects to do. Like some christmas presents. (Yep, I am organised, I’m working on christmas presents and it’s only early October. But the thing is, you see, I sew or otherwise craft my christmas pressies, so I need time to get them made. And most of my family is overseas or elsewhere in Australia so I need to get them in the mail early.)

I also promised my mum I’d make her some new dresses, her wardrobe, unlike mine was, resembling Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

I also need a new handbag. Of course, I could just go buy one. *chokes* and indeed it was starting to seem likely I’d have to, until… I found this pattern on Etsy. *dies in delight* in the shop Charlie’s Aunt. An independent pattern designer selling bags and accessory patterns with a retro 1940’s-1950’s flavour. Go check it out. It’s awesome!

Sewing pattern to make the Kitchen Garden Bag - PDF pattern INSTANT DOWNLOAD

Miserable thoughts of having to buy a new bag went straight out of my head. Clearly, I needed to make this bag!

Then I saw this bag pattern in the same shop:

Sewing pattern to make the Brideshead Bag - PDF pattern INSTANT DOWNLOAD

omg *drools* I’m sure I need two new handbags, right? Right! Of course I do! Especially as there was this promotion:

2 PDF sewing patterns of your choice

All in all, I thought it would be good to stop sewing clothes for myself, and sew and craft non-clothing stuff (like a new handbag!) for a bit.

That was about 3 weeks ago. And since then a very strange thing has happened. I’ve just stopped making anything. Ok so I’ve been sick, (nasty virus) but that usually only slows me down, not stops me completely.

And my overlocker has been on the blink. But it just needed a good clean and re-thread, which I’d usually do without it even registering I’d done it.

So why the lack of creative crafty sewing-y goodness?

After much thought the past few days, I’ve come to the conclusion I’ve simply put a damper on my creative energy. I just love making clothes for myself so much I’m almost never out of ideas, or out of enthusiasm for it. (Or fabric, actually, but The Stash is another story!) I also do heaps of other crafting things alongside the clothes sewing, like decoupage, crochet, craft sewing. They get swept up in my overall creativity.

But putting those dressmaking ideas aside for a month or two has just cut my creative verve totally dead.

Weird feeling.

I also took a good hard look at the clothes in my wardrobe and decided very sadly that about 6 or 7 of them (OUCH!) were so faded and worn they needed to be consigned to the rag bin 😦 Clothes just don’t last long in this climate. Now my wardrobe is resembling Mother Hubbard’s cupboard a bit too!

I think I need to go sew some clothes for myself…

😀

Blouse pattern loveliness

10 Nov

I loves me a delicate white blouse. I loves me bias clothes. I loves me this pattern, Colette’s Jasmine Blouse, and I want to make it in some white silk I have in the back of the cupboard. I can order the pattern in Australia!  I just discovered SewSquirrel’s site thanks to sewbusylizzie‘. Er I think Sewsquirrel is in Aust. I’m not getting charged postage at anyrate, and you know what that means! More money for patterns!!!

Now, un-sidetracking from the point of this post, did any Australian readers watch Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries on the ABC earlier this year? I’ve read all of Kerry Greenwood’s books I’ve ever got my hands on, not just the Phryne Fisher ones, and thus just had to watch the shows. Ok ok of course I’m in love with Phryne’s wardrobe. I would have to be 6 foot under to not be. However I also just loved Dot’s blouses. She seemed to have a long procession of sweet often white or a subdued brown blouses with the collars edged in lace. ENVY!!!

Looking around for a pattern so I can have a sweet blouse with a lace-edged collar too, I found the Armistice Blouse from Folkwear.

Folkwear Armistice Blouse

Here is Casey of Casey’s Elegant Musings’ version. Oh I love this.

Then I remembered I have this pattern, which if you look closely and ignore the stamp on it, you can see the bodice and collar on the blue dress are very similar to the folkwear pattern:

Then I saw this fabric in Spotlight – cotton poplin, which I fell in love with and a wonderful friend bought me as a little present. (Thankyou so much S___ :-D). (Bet you can’t see where all this is heading!)

And I have literally a good few metres of this lace I crocheted myself, from an Irish Crochet pattern from the early 1900’s, similar time frame to the Folkwear Armistice Blouse:

I really like the tie-waist of the Folkwear pattern, as with this top, I discovered I like wearing looser-style shirts tied at the waist, so I figured if I used the bodice pieces but didn’t shape them in to the waist, I’d get the same effect.

And I’ve just cut it out! Stay tuned to find out how it all comes together…

100 things challenge – sewing patterns I love #1

2 Nov

Over at Livejournal many of them are having fun doing a 100 posts on things of your choice challenge. 100 books or 100 movies or whatever. I heard of this and immediately thought “What fun! I could so easily write about 100 sewing patterns I love!”

I think I’m gonna do it too. Why not? No idea how long it will take me, especially as I’m going to try sorting out my pattern reviews so they are on this blog as well, (unless someone has worked out how to do a patternreview.com widget for wordpress by now?) so my blog might be flooded with pattern review posts for a while. But I’m figuring with this 100 things challenge, like so much in sewing, it’s the journey, not the destination that is the point.

Well, let’s start with the one that has been hanging round the kitchen bench cutting table for the past month or so, McCalls 4664:

The trousers! I’ve actually never sewn any of the other views but I think I’m up to 10 versions of the trousers.

Why do I love this pattern so much?

  • Takes 10 mins max to cut out.
  • Takes half an hour to sew up now I’ve got it all worked out.
  • As flattering as that kind of garment that clings round the hips/thighs is ever going to be.
  • I’ve made it in a nice thick cotton/lycra knit, two stretch-wovens, a really flowing knit. All it takes to make it softer and more flowing (and mor flattering!) is just add extra to the side seam. So easy! I’ve also made two pairs of jammie trousers from it. One short, one long and warm for travel, both very nice to lounge round in or sleep in.
  • It’s seen me through a good couple of sizes of weight changes up and down – same as above, simply adjusting the side seams works, I don’t need to redo the crotch-line or inner-leg seams. It’s kind of bullet-proof.
  • I’ve made a really nice straight-leg palazzo-trouser out of the pattern, very practical pilates trousers, simple black shorts (stretch-woven) to wear under flippy dance skirts, as well as (again stretch-woven) a basic grey simple pair of forgettable trousers, that lends itself to beautiful tops that you notice more because of the forgettableness of the trousers.

Piccies? Lemme see…

The Forgettable Trousers (which I’m actually wearing today. So comfy!) See what I mean? Do you see the trousers in this piccie or the gorgeous top? (Click on the link to take you to the blog post)

The travel jammies trousers. (I don’t have the piccie when completely finished, but that purple trim across the shoulder of the top ended up sewn along the neckline, hem of sleeve and hem of the top, and the hem of the trousers. So cute! (Click on the link to take you to the blog post).

I won a pattern pyramid!

18 Oct

I won the So I Sewed This pattern pyramid! Oh wow, how exciting!

Apparently it was her husband who drew my ticket out of the bucket. I have asked her to thank him nicely for me 🙂

And in the spirit of things I am about to make a donation to The Brooke, the organisation Did You Make That (who started the whole fun) requested we support.

I also put the pattern pyramid button on the side panel of my blog.

I’m so happy and excited!

Now I just have to wait for the patterns to arrive. *fidget fidget* In the meantime, I’m doing some dying at the moment, in my front loader washing machine, with procion dyes from Dharma Trading. In Eggplant colour, to be precise, over a royal blue top, and over a very faded pink t-shirt.From reading round on the interwebs, dying with a front loader with these dyes is not a very sure thing. But today, my friends, is clearly my lucky day so here is hoping 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Pattern Love

10 Oct

Thurlow Trousers…

Sewaholic Patterns Renfrew Trouser pattern

The pattern description: Finally, a modern trouser pattern designed for curvy hips, fuller thighs and a narrow waist! The Thurlow Trousers sit below the waistline, with a slightly flared leg. Pockets in front are subtle slash pockets that won’t add bulk to the hips.

Did you read that? Curvy hips, fuller thighs and narrow waist. Me me me. That’s me! Me!

Look at how lovely Dana_knockouts’ linen trousers look. Mmmmm. I could do the Thurlow Trousers in a linen like this. Mmmm…

 

 

I’m intrigued and inspired by these Zoot Trousers by Weekend Designer (who wrote 100 awesome blog posts then sadly went on to other things.) They make me want to dance in them! The author makes it look so easy to draft your own. However if it isn’t so easy after all I have a Plan B. I’ve got some beautifully-fitted wide-legged TNT trouser pattern. I can adjust that as per his directions.

A friend sent me some real Liberty of London fabric, actually from London. So soft and fine! Exquisite. And it is such a lovely subtle floral design.How lucky am I? Thanks Josie!  I think I’ll use it for my version of these.

Weekend Designer's Zoot Alors

Weekend Designer also showed how to design some pleated shorts. We’re heading straight into shorts and tiny singlets weather. I’m thinking I might make a pair.

Weekend designer cuffed shorts

And I have the perfect fabric for them, sent to me by a friend in Florida. Thanks Jackie! Funky Flamingos or what? I’ve only got 1m of it, so I found some blue with white polkadot fabric to co-ordinate with it. I’m thinking pink for the main shorts, blue for the cuffs. Maybe a co-ordinating plain pink for a tie belt, too.

Flamingo cotton fabric

Pleats have really been grabbing my attention lately. This entire dress is lovely. I like the shoulder pleats and the neckline, but it’s the side pleats on the skirt that really drew my attention.

McCalls 4633

Then I saw this New Look pattern and realised for my leafy green cotton lycra sateen, it was perfect. View C (what the model is wearing). I’ve used a TNT skirt pattern, and made the hemline slightly asymmetrical (Good for short people like me!) and the ruffle not as full. Almost finished it.

However I can’t seem to let go of the idea of a pleated skirt. I love this patternless skirt  made by kbenco for her daughter.  I have some red cotton/lycra sateen burning a hole in my stash …

 

There isn’t a pleat at all on this hat, but the shape is so divine I had to have it. My excuse is I live in a climate where hats are almost mandatory, even if almost no one wears them but me. The Heather Bailey Boho ClocheGlam up your wardrobe with Boho Cloche hats. Reminiscent of the flapper hat of the roaring 1920s, this cloche (French for “bell”) offers a comfy design that flatters every face shape. Perfect for a day in or a night out, the Boho Cloche embodies French flair in a carefree style that is très magnifique!

This one is in the mail as I type. Hurry up Mr (or Ms?) postman!

Heather Bailey Boho Cloche pattern

Bloomer love

7 Oct

I’m getting in early with the Christmas presents. Why yes, I am so organised, aren’t I!

The moment I made up my Madeleine mini-bloomers I could see my sister loving them too. I mentioned this to my mother. Her reaction was “Oh I don’t think that is the kind of thing K___ is likely to wear.”

“Mum,” I said patiently, “it wouldn’t be for her to wear them, but for her to take them off. Or preferably have her Gentleman Friend remove them for her!”

Since my sister doesn’t read my blog (Hey don’t worry, it’s mutual – she’s got a work blog I never read either :-P) I can put all my ideas down here. I have plenty of white silk dupion burning away in my stash, so I will make her a chemise to go with the bloomers, from Simplicity 9769, undergarments from the America Civil War. Apparently the chemise is quite complex with underarm gussets etc and when finished as per instructions is as beautiful inside as it is out. Sounds like an enjoyable challenge.

The bloomers in this pattern however, don’t appeal at all. I’m pretty sure she’d prefer the Madeleine bloomers. However, just because I know exactly which pattern I intend to use, it didn’t stop me from going on a Bloomer Adventure because …

I got a new overlocker!!!! Ok it is second hand, but in very good condition. And with far more bits and bobs and possibilities than my old one (the motor on it died *sniffles*). I realised if I made myself a pair of bloomers too, all the lace application and pintucks and elastic would be a good way for me to really put my new overlocker through its paces and for me to practise the decorative features on it. Sensible of me eh? Try it all out while making something beyoootiful. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I’ve put this photo here for inspiration for my sister’s christmas present. Isn’t it lovely?

Although her bloomers will probably end up closer to this in style.

I like the way the leg narrows in and the nice thick frill on this one.

This one is extra-fancy. Pintucks above the leg elastic as well as what looks like two layers of leg-ruffle. I’m quite taken with the concept of a ribbon in colour with the rest of them totally white.
These are about the length I’m looking for for myself. Mid-thigh. A lot of the bloomers I found said the elastic in them is a draw-string and adjustable. I like that idea. The most practical way of doing the leg elastic I think.

This has the virtue of being Very Simple. Maybe too simple to really try out the overlocker. Oh well…

Pretty top! Nice idea of lace along the top and the waist elastic. Oh wait, aren’t I supposed to be looking for bloomers? Oop!

Yum yum! Eyelet lace. Looks like two layers of it. I just love the white wholesomeness of this one.

I rather like the black one below the white. Mmm!

Dancers in bloomers and camisoles! Can it get much better than that?

I’m totally in love with this one. Cami-knickers ie all one piece, top and bloomers. Very nice. If I did it in another colour than white I reckon I could wear it out and about 😛

Pretty top. I really like the double layer of lace. Unusual and pretty. I want! (Not sure why they show it with the woman wearing just plain lace undies. Why not a nice petticoat or something? Meh, wotever.)

Oh look! Lace around the top as well as the legs. YUM!!

This is closest to the overall shape I’m looking for, for mine. Same leg length and same fullness, and that lower waistline. I also like the effect of white trim on black.

Well, that was fun. Yay for Google Image Search. Goodness knows how my sister’s and my bloomers will end up, but never fear, I will blog about it when they’re finished!

Sewing on a budget

2 Oct

I’ve just been reading the Wearing History blog. Her post about sewing on a budget got me thinking: how do I myself sew on a budget?

Here is my own list!

  • Only buy fabric I have fallen in love with. Honestly, life is too short to sew ugly fabric! (And you’d be amazed, or maybe not, how ugly fabrics can creep into the stash *meep*)
  • Only buy fabric in colours that suit me –  if it doesn’t look good on me, it doesn’t matter how much effort I put into it, or money or anything else, I just won’t wear it. This point took me a LONG time to work out, and nowadays, if I absolutely have to have a fabric that doesn’t suit me, I make it up into pillowcases, or cushion covers, or cloths to cover my dresser top so my cat can go sliding on it and drag it and everything else off my dresser.
  • Know how much fabric I need for each variety of garment – eg basic top or blouse – 130cm x 115; Fancy top or blouse – 150cmx115. Long shorts – 150cm. Short shorts – 110cm etc. Thus when I find a fabric suitable for a garment style I can buy an appropriate amount. Similarly, knowing what kind of fabric works for each style of garment helps too.
  • When I’ve totally lost inspiration with a fabric in my stash, rethink. Can I dye it? Can I make it into a bag or hat? or a christmas present for someone? Anything but what I had in mind originally?
  • Look in op-shops for fabric, (a burn test to help identify the fibre composition); patterns; trims; notions; fasteners.
  • Make my own trims – a ruffle I’ve made myself from scraps of fabric and cording is cheaper and often more interesting than ruffles you can buy. Plus since I discovered rolled hems or narrow hems on the overlocker a whole new world of trimming has opened up!
  • Buy notions for a garment when I’m making it, not when I buy the fabric (which is what I was taught to do when I first started learning to sew), otherwise I’ll inevitably end up with random unused zips because I was suddenly hit with inspiration that buttons would work so much better. Or vice versa.  Or other variations of that theme.
  • Try to avoid buying full-price patterns as sooner or later there will always be a pattern sale.
  • Try very very very hard not to buy repeat pattern styles. For eg, do I really need 5 different versions of a peasant blouse do I? Ok, maybe I do. Surely ONE pattern, with options for elastic or drawstring under the bust, long sleeves, short sleeves, and those little fluted ones is enough? No it isn’t. I really DO need five different patterns! Same with princess-line dresses or darted trousers or or or…
  • Mix-and-match design details from different patterns so I can get the look I’m after without having to buy another new pattern. This also has the benefit of having a collection on TNT patterns that I know well, and can sew up easily, allowing me to concentrate on style differences, rather than the bones of the pattern.
  • Copy RTW clothes I really like. It isn’t hard, and the results can be fantastic.
  • Sew to a wardrobe plan, so I have plenty of clothes to wear on an everyday level, and don’t end up going off and buying rtw clothes I need, but secretly don’t like because it’s ill-fitting or the fabric doesn’t feel nice etc.
  • Sewing to a wardrobe/lifestyle plan also means I only sew things that match each other and my accessories. No orphans oh ok, not many, anyway.  It is so disheartening to sew something very beautiful, that took a lot of time, effort and money, only to never wear it. Like, say, an opera cloak, even though I don’t go to operas. (Sadly. Not many operas come to Darwin 😦 And when they do, I don’t exactly need a nice warm cloak, do I?! <— Imogheena the closet opera lover…) Can you tell I would love to have an opera cloak and the reason to wear it?
  • Use my sewing and fitting skills on op-shop or RTW clothes I buy to improve fit and longevity of seams etc. This can make all the difference between a garment becoming a beloved wardrobe staple, or being passed on (or back) to the op-shop.
  • Put expansion and contraction room in clothes. This is a very personal one – my weight goes up and down over the month, and due to how much dancing or dog-walking Ive done lately. Judicial use of ties, elastic etc, means I am comfortable in my clothes wherever my body is at. Less likely to TOAD (Throw out in absolute disgust) an item of clothing when I’m premenstrual!
  • Use my sewing and crafting skills to make presents for family and friends for birthday or christmas. For a long time I didn’t do this, afraid that they’d all go “Oh, that’s lovely Imogheena!” then throw it in the back of the cupboard. But either my confidence in choosing presents is increasing, or I’m just getting better at  believing people really are appreciating what I make for them 🙂
  • Similarly, encourage family and friends to give me gifts related to sewing, rather than something like salt and pepper shakers I’ll never use! (Although the cute little green frog salt and pepper shakers my friend Rose gave me make great garden ornament :-D)

Last but not least, seeing how although I’m good at writing the above rules, I’m not so good at sticking to them, I’ve found the absolute best method is to just not go near a fabric or craft shop, or fabric or craft or sewing sites online. Abstinence. I can manage it for a week or two at a time. Honest!

Unexpected compliments!

27 Sep

I was in Spotlight yesterday. I know, what a surprise eh? Buying up big on some sagey green cotton lycra sateen. Lovely fabric. Destined (so I think at the moment, I reserve the right to change this at any time) to be a skirt with a bit of a circular ruffle at the hem.

The lovely lady behind the counter asked me how I was going to use it. I explained, and she exclaimed in delight. “You have to come in and show us when it is done. I love seeing the things all made up!”

I realised then that I was wearing these trousers, blogged here,

So I gestured to my trousers and told her I’d made them. “From that ribstop cotton you guys have had for ages that keeps ringing up at $2 per metre.”

At which the woman in the queue behind me said “WOW.” As the sales assistant was looking very impressed.

I said “AND I got the pattern from an op-shop for 20 cents. It’s the same vintage as me. 1976!” All the while thinking “The crotch is a bit funky. I know how to fix it but I haven’t gotten round to it. But I’m definitely not going to point it out, and I hope they don’t notice.” *

They certainly didn’t seem to notice anything untoward about the trousers at all. Hey, I tell you, they were both looking pretty impressed by then. And I felt extremely well complimented about my sewing (and thrifting) skills.

Thanks guys! You totally made my day! And made me feel great about myself 🙂

(It occurred to me on the way home the crotch seam looked fine, it’s just been feeling a bit odd since I started with pilates and built up plenty of muscle tone in my legs. It just needed taking out a bit. Which, of course, I did the moment I got home!)

*This determination not to point out my (or my clothes, or more usually my birds nest hair’s) perceived flaws comes from my mum. When I was a teenager complaining about what I was sure was a huge zit in my face that the entire world must be staring at, mum would say vaguely “Oh, do you have a zit? I hadn’t noticed till you pointed it out.”

Did wonders for my self esteem. I’m planning on doing to my darling little girl when she is old enough to get zits.

 

 

 

Pattern stash stats or: oh dear, my geek is showing

16 Feb

I have 244 patterns! I bought 188 new and 97 from op-shops. The rest are a mix of rtw copies, self-drafted, copied, etc.

I got geeky the first sunshiney afternoon after weeks of monsoony rain. I had an appointment cancelled and was at a loose end. What else to do but take advantage of the SUNSHINE!!! and photograph all my sewing patterns?

Actually there was method in my madness. It is easier to flick through photos on my computer than it is to get the patterns out and physically go through them. Also easier to use my own pattern pictures for my blog than hoping to find them online.

If I put in the photo captions important info like recommended fabric and amount needed etc, it would be even more helpful when considering what pattern to use for a project. But I don’t want to have it totally replace rifling through them physically as there is nothing else quite so satisfying.

The important geeky stats :

(These stats are based on conservative memory. ie if I couldn’t remember clearly using a pattern, I didn’t count it.)

  • Of the 118 I bought new, I have used 69, 54 of which have been used 2 or more times.
  • Op the 97 op-shop patterns I have used … 8.

Hey! I suddenly feel a lot better about all the money I spend on patterns! Around 3/4 of them get used, of those, most get used and used and used and used and used.

And a few of the as-yet unused patterns are the next on the sewing list. 2 new skirt patterns are on the kitchen cupboard cluttering it up until I get round to using them cutting table as I type.

Most of the op-shop patterns are curios. I rarely have any intention of actually sewing them, but the styles, the presentation of the clothes (what accessories they add in, what colours/fabric portrayed) and the instructions are all fascinating.

Hmmm. Some other random stats:

  • I have 7 hat collection patterns. All but one of them (a “historical repro” pattern) have had at least one pattern from them used
  • 92 Dress patterns!!! A lot of those are retro or vintage from op-shops
  • 10 pinafore patterns. I ❤ pinafores!

The other practical use for my geekery was thinking about insurance. If a cyclone came along and blew all my patterns away, which would I really desperately want replaced? What wouldn’t matter?

Here is a list of a… look I really want to say skeleton pattern collection but it doesn’t give quite the right ambiance really.

Essential patterns:

  • skirts: gored; straight; yoke
  • tops: work shirt; shell top; t-shirt
  • trousers: Cargo trousers/shorts; plain-waisted straight or bootleg; yoke straight or bootleg; yoga/lounge knit
  • dresses: empire; princess; waisted; A-line; shift/straight dress; strappy-shoulders; bias; knit
  • nightie and/or pjs
  • hats: sunhat; beret-style

There, that isn’t so many! Only around 20, and heaps of patterns have more than one of my requirements in each pattern.

I’d love to hear what other people’s “skeleton” pattern collection would be?!

And just for fun because a blog post without piccies is BORING, here are some of my most loved TNT patterns:

Butterick 3836

McCalls 3935, my go-to trouser pattern

Vogue 8196, very easy, very flattering, surprisingly un-froufrou

Simplicity 8433, oh the lines of this jacket are divine!

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