Friday, May 01, 2009

The Patterns That Formed My Past

During the last month or so, when I have a chance, I've been searching vintage pattern sites for items that I made when I started making my own clothes in high school during the late 1980's. It's amazing to imagine the difference in the patterns I chose then and what I choose to make now. I was so ambitious back then, I was making Vogue Designer and Vogue Advanced-level patterns after school. That same level of pattern terrifies me now. I just don't have the time or the patience that I once had; what a loss.

I am archiving these images on my computer. As I click through page after page of patterns you won't believe how many I recognize. I used to pore over those pattern books at Cloth World, my local fabric store in Hampton, VA. I even used to buy the used books after the store was done with them. Therefore, I probably have memorized a few complete seasons worth of McCall's and Vogues from that time. I eventually worked at Cloth World when I came home for the summers in college, so I was the one refilling the drawers when new patterns came in. Yes, ladies, can you imagine a tastier job, knowing what is about to come out next?

Now remember, this was before you could see the upcoming offerings online.

During this archival project I'm remembering garments I made that I was very happy with. However, I found I didn't keep most of the patterns. This was before I knew anything about altering and regrading patterns. I thought, once I can no longer fit the garment, that the pattern was useless. Oh, how I wish I had kept more of them around.

Vogue 1986

In the upcoming months, I hope to share some of the classics in my wardrobe history with you. In fact, one of my current unfinished projects (it's been cut out for years!) is an Isaac Mizrahi Vogue Attitudes pattern from 1997. Do you remember these? I ended up buying a lot of the Attitudes collection, from Claude Montana, Donna Karen, and Bryon Lars. With this particular one I had also cut out the pants but after being incredibly frustrated with how large the cut pieces seemed to be, I actually threw them out. Uggh, I could have surely placed a smaller sized pant on the same pieces and used that soft navy gabardine for something else, but that just wasn't how my mind worked about sewing back then. Oh, what we learn!


The Slapdash Sewist said...

It is so fun to look back on one's sewing history and evolution. I'm looking forward to this series.

etoilee8 said...

I wish I could sew like you! (Or at least follow a pattern without completely making a mess of things).

ATG said...

You're so awesome! It's cool that you've been making your own clothes since high school. :)