Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adolescents or Women: Patterns Today

Butterick 6168

I have just come from looking at the very first pattern of Butterick's new spring collection. It's a lovely dress by Lisette, B6168, that I would really like if the waist was lowered by about an inch.

I have noticed lately that so many of the new pattern styles, whether from Big 4 or independent companies seem to think a woman is more attractive if her waist is approaching an Empire line and therefore, two or three inches above her real waist. There is even a French independent pattern company, Deer & Doe that has specialized in this style. I disagree. In my opinion, anything designed to make me resemble a preteen is not a look meant for me.

So, I was inspired to write the above after viewing that pattern. However, any ill will toward Lisette disappeared as I viewed their second offering, B6182. I am in love with both pieces in this pattern*! Alas, as I looked at it, I realized these same pieces could also look extremely appropriate on a child and also don't really promote a "womanly" shape so I guess I should just shut up about that waist issue. ;)

It truly seems that the Lisette patterns have grown up! Their earlier designs** had a whiff of the juvenile to me which was only enhanced with the coordinating fabric designs they sold at Jo-Ann Fabrics. However, I love these new stylish entries, B6182, B6183, B6168,and B6169 especially.

That black dress (with pockets!) is to die for.

*Did you notice that this top incorporates that same center front dart that I wrote about here? It's becoming quite a popular design element, isn't it?

**By the way, I just realized that Lisette has moved from being offered by Simplicity Patterns to the McCall Pattern Company. I wonder how that all came about?

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Future Goal: Repair Wardrobe Disconnect

I used to keep an actual scrapbook of fashion clippings that I pasted the looks I liked. Of course, I now have Pintrest and Flickr to record my favorites.

Scrapbook images from the Tweeds catalog.

The funny thing is how the items and looks have stayed consistent over the many years even though the items still don't currently exist in my wardrobe. I don't know when I will be sewing again, but my future plans include creating the life where the wardrobe I have always wanted will exist. Believe me, when I reveal the wardrobe you won't be shocked, in fact, you'll probably wonder why I haven't put it together before now. You're not the only one wondering that... Perhaps I didn't think I deserved it yet?! Yes, yes, I DO have issues...

Striped knit tee shirts, crew, boat, and v-necks
Same type shirts put in silkier matte fabrics for dressier occasions
Similar shaped fine-gauge sweaters
Slim flat-front ankle-length pants
Carrot topped pants with fullness at top from gathers or pleats that taper to the ankle.
Long-sleeved shift dresses
Fit and flare dresses, with darted bodices and full skirts
Full skirts in above- and below-knee lengths
Collarless duster jackets and cardigans
Simple beautiful pieces incorporating drapery and unique twists

So when I get back to sewing this is hopefully what you will be seeing. Luckily, the projects currently in my sewing queue fit in this group and I have already taken a step in that direction. My eldest sister gifted me some holiday money and I just happened to check out the Mood Fabrics website and bought myself some striped ponte knit goodies for that top entry on this list in jade and brown and in mustard and jade!

Does anyone know where I can get a wide striped red and white knit like that second example? I can't find any that are not see-through.

Monday, January 26, 2015

In The Details: All the Caped Wonders

And now, some light distraction...

Capes are an item of clothing that has always been in the fashion sphere. They began as practical cloaks to protect from wind, rain and other elements and have now evolved to a true fashion accessory, not really worn to stave off the weather, sometimes just to enhance an outfit, and above all, be cute.

I saw this gorgeous cape pattern and I thought it was truly amazing looking. I love how the side front arm openings are disguised as a seam detail that would only be noticed when an arm is thrust through. What a stylish way to deal with a practical function.

Here it is again on a recent Fendi coat with a similar armhole hidden in the seam detail that also involves a tuck secured at the shoulder that hides the opening inside the resulting pleat. This picture was from the July 2010 issue of Vogue Italia.

This double-breasted beauty from McCall's uses the more commonly seen welt pocket treatment for the armholes.

Simplicity 8353

A truly funky cape for the mod chick of style. Included in this ensemble pattern, this cape has rounded edges, decorative edging and reversibility, check out that faux fur or fleece lining on the plaid one. Loving the goldenrod vest and skirt outfit on the right with the thick ribbed turtleneck. Check how the pleated flares, knee socks, loafers, and go-go boots on the left truly catch the era. This pattern is easily available on Etsy.

Vogue 7451

This pattern provides a more formal adult version of the cape. This one provides you with angled exterior patch pockets for keys or lipstick and the raised collar is a bit smaller. This one, when made to floor length would be perfect for evening.

Simplicity 7858

Another elegant formal cape with high collar and simple vertical slits for the arms. The bonus of this pattern is that is included is an adorable square-necked, empire-waist A-line dress or gown. Oh to live a life when this pattern was considered a practical purchase. This pattern is also everywhere on Etsy if you want it, just make sure to compare prices and get an appropriate deal.

Vogue 8145

Vogue #8145 is another vintage 1960's elegant cape/coat pattern. More detailed, this beautifully flared cape with a shaped standing collar, raglan shaping, side front button closing, and side front slits. Because of the slits, the tie belt holds in the front panel at the waist and allows the back to hang full and free. This one has a little Dr. Zhivago feel to it, no?

Butterick 3261

I adore the bell shape of this one. The short cape is decorated with mitered trim around the vents fashioned for arm mobility while the long version incorporates large patch pockets.

Images: Vintage Pattern Wiki, Tom & Lorenzo, Carynification, Catnip Hill, SewBettyandDot

Monday, January 12, 2015

Changes Must Be Made

It's the beginning of a new year and in order for it to be an improvement over the worst year of my life (2014) major changes must be made.

I found last year that even though sewing was a great release from the constant stress and/or malaise I was experiencing the final result was not satisfying. First there was the fact that sewing time was hard won and projects took a long time whether I was motivated to finish them or not.

Then the knowledge that I would have no occasion to wear these clothes or my other past handmade garments was depressing. I have no social life here and no time to cultivate one with my inconsistent retail hours. I just worked seven 8-hour days in a row! I don't know for sure but that is something I know would never have happened in any office job I've ever had without a conversation happening between employer and employee first, right?

Sewing was the least that I could do to calm myself down when work conflicts or arguments with my father occurred.

Therefore, I doubt there will be much sewing in the future as I try to secure a new more "healthy for me" job/life. I need to pursue an office job where I can use my hard-won skills, experience, and again feel intelligent and accomplished.

I will be reading from a more selective list of blogs that correspond more directly to my own style since keeping up with the 80+ Bloglovin' group I currently read has become another wildly successful procrastination tool. Also, my love of Internet TV will need to decrease. My consumption is crazy, especially when it concerns British programs.

I do have a huge fear, as sewing has been my only joy (however compromised) that I have, I am scared what might become of me without it.

I don't want to get used to this lifestyle any more than I already have. I heard someone say that "the life you are living now is the life you deserve". Hell no! This is the life my emotionally broken-down self started to think was all I was worth, which is not the same thing at all. My life has been so much better than this and I HAVE to believe it will be that again.