Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Wardrobe Project, 2016: A Subject to Re-Visit, Which Comes First, The Pattern or the Fabric?

  Some ideas to explore. The inspired Sewist is fortunate to have the versatility to choose. How do you proceed? 

similar to this one available here.

 Every once in a while I dig down in the psyche to attempt to define why I sew. Of course, it started because I wanted nice, unique clothing to wear to school. Mostly, or so it seemed, I was surrounded by class mates with much nicer wardrobes. My challenge was a personal one, make your own. It was not so much which came first, The Chicken or the Egg, but how can I make these chickens and eggs work for me?

It started with seeing those nice, new, styling  photo's and drawings on the pattern envelopes in the JC Penney pattern and fabric department at the Southland Shopping Center.  It really never occurred to me that I would not be able to duplicate the look. After wheedling around and getting my Father to buy me a new sewing machine (the treadle machine worked, but I was stepping up here and I felt my machine should reflect that progress) I was good to go. I had a few dollars from baby sitting and mucking out the neighbors horse barn. Please remember that patterns were usually $0.50 or less at that time. I had Four dollars and I needed to make it work, I was 13 at the time.

Then the fabric choice. Well, right off the bat, the budget limited the first item. It was the typical, the standard, the shirtwaist dress, spread collar, four button front, skinny belt. In what I like to think of as well meaning guidance my Mother (who did not sew)  directed me to a medium weight cotton, a leaf print, in browns and oranges. It looked like a freaking tablecloth! I strayed to other bolts (I actually wanted to bolt!) She would not supplement my purchase, so tablecloth it was. I kept rationalizing that it would be OK, when it was worked up, some cute shoes, it would work. Wrong. I made the dress, actually did quite well, little bit of a wonky button hole. But I decided then and there, I will never, ever, ever buy a fabric that I don't like.....100%    I wasted my hard earned money. Gone. Scarred for life, I rarely wear any type of print close to my face, flashbacks you know.
photo source, Google Images.

While some can clearly state that they are Fabric people, others are absolute Pattern-o-philes. (my word, you may use it if you wish) For one blogger, it is absolutely the fabric. She loves her fabrics and describes her ruminations in a humorous and colorful style. Check out "Wardrobe Config part two" Meet Barbra. After much deep thought, planning, statistics etc. I have concluded that I am both. My pattern stash reveals decades of clothing made (and not made) purchased because I like the pattern. My closets full of fabric reveal a fiber passion.

To illustrate my position, on a recent trip I found the most fabulous double-faced wool. I picked up the jacket pattern about a year ago, but the fabrics I chose were just wrong.  This one jumped right in front of me. Yikes, how can I walk away from this?????

I do apologize for the somewhat crappy picture. The color is darker than here, almost the color of egg plant.
 Then after a quick glance through the new Vogue Catalog this pattern caught my eye. I live simply, dress comfortably and need a versatile style that can dress up or down, enter V 8840.  Now, the fabric that I originally bought for the V  jacket might just work for this tunic. See, it all works out in the end!   ((smile)))
The loose fitting (that is me all over) pullover top has back neck slit, hook and eye, topstitching. Fitted, straight-legged pants below the waist (what waist?) have a back zipper.

don't you just love line drawings? OK, so here is the appeal for me in this pattern, extended shoulder into sleeve, long or short.  I have got these narrow shoulders, the right one is lower than the left, Pain to fit. This has a nice design line down the front of the the top and I am hoping that it will lengthen my torso. (which seems to be getting shorter, like wire hangers in a closet at night, things happen and you never really know how!) And yes, we have a bust dart. The girls will have some definition, much more flattering than the uni-boob!
 If your are a really organized Sewist you may be planning Spring 2013. Here are the Pantone colors published for your pleasure.

The mens spring 2013 color palette draws on many of the same colors as the womens palette, but substitutes a few masculine hues. From left: Emerald, Dusk Blue, Grayed Jade, Alloy, Sunflower, Linen, Tidal Foam, Monaco Blue, Vibrant Orange, and Poppy Red.
The womens color palette for spring 2013 strikes a balance between bright and energetic colors and calm, neutral tones. From the top: Emerald, Grayed Jade, Dusk Blue, Tender Shoots, Lemon Zest, African Violet, Linen, Monaco Blue, Poppy Red, and Nectarine.

 Gratuity Moment: finding a way to forgive my Mother for that dreadful fabric that almost totally derailed my sewing aspirations!
  • ps, this is a repost from Oct. 2012. Funny, that pattern is now in the Queue for this project too. 
  • That purple double faced wool...still not used. Turns out the muslin for that jacket didn't work for me at all, too short, not enough fabric to lengthen it. I will find another purpose for it. It might take a while. (((smile)))
  • Stay warm.


Jeanneke said...

You made me laugh, feeling so much better with this humorous post!
I do like Barbara and her Sewing on the Edge blog, too. Same fantastic sense of humour.
Keep up the fun (and the girls in shape) :>) Thanks for sharing.


celkalee said...

Ahhhh, the scars of childhood! I think that I had some kind of Scarlet O'Hara thing going on there with the dress-made-from-curtain fabric! Thankfully, I did not need to add any cording or tassels!!!

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