the use and abuse of patterns

8 Jun

I have a fear of patterns when it comes to making clothes. It started when I was thirteen and too impatient to look up what all of the little symbols meant in the pattern I was using, and so ended up with trousers that didn’t make sense as an item of clothing, let alone look any good. To be fair, it’s not just the memory of this bad experience that makes me dislike patterns – it’s also the fact that I am as impatient as my thirteen year old self. I STILL can’t be bothered to look up the symbols, and I still hate leaving projects half finished – I want everything to be finished and ready for me to wear now now now!

So while I might not be a fan of using patterns, I do think that some of the older ones are incredibly beautiful. My mum has a stash of patterns from when she was my age (23, 24 on the 17th of June… cough cough) and clearly a little mature in her approach to maknig clothes. They’re gorgeous. Most of them are either published by Vogue or Butterick… I’ve posted pictures of my favourite.  They’re great as inspiration for designs that I might want to try and make pattern-free.


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6 Responses to “the use and abuse of patterns”

  1. Alessa June 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Hi Mona! Oh, that’s so funny! The first garment I ever wanted to make – a short, 60s-inspired A-line dress – I attempted to make by “draping” newspaper paper around my body (and I was 23 years old at that point – it was last year…). Needless to say, it didn’t work, but I still have used only three actual patterns in all my sewing for the last year. 🙂 I’m glad to know there are other people like this out there, too!

    I’d be glad to tell you how I made that babydoll top. I don’t have any pictures of the process, but I should be able to do some sketches… 🙂

    • needlepullingthread June 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      Hooray – a fellow pattern-phobe. This makes me feel tons better about my slapdash sewing projects. Instructions for the skirt into top would be amazing – but don’t go to too much trouble on my account. Oh, and I’ve added your blog to my blogroll – I am officially a fan!

      • Alessa June 10, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

        No trouble. I’ve never been asked to do a tutorial before, so that feels pretty cool. 🙂 I did a few quick sketches and took a couple of detail shots of the top. If you’d like, I’d be happy for you to host the tutorial on your blog. 🙂

      • needlepullingthread June 10, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

        Fabulous! Well, I’m really looking forward to hosting your tutorial – so send the stuff through when you’re ready, and I’ll post it as a ‘guest post’ from you! Thanks a lot. If I can return the favour at any point, I definitely will! x

  2. The Creative Miss W June 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    I know just what you mean about that Mona. I also find patterns very hard work. My prefered method is to take a pattern from an item of clothing I allready have so I know they fit and I know it suits me. I don;t find it easy to find the correct size and would have to do a great deal off changes to the pattern anyway(why are they never in real people sizes) so I don’t think there is too much difference in the amount of work involved . I have started to try and be a lot more patient and organised though and take patterns from any garments which I’m working on so that I can recreate them .In the end I should end up with a good library of pattern pieces.to use in different creations.

    • needlepullingthread June 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

      That sounds like a good plan. I love the idea of a library of pattern pieces that are all specific to not just my size and shape, but also my taste and the sorts of cuts I prefer. Over time, as I become more used to the process of making my own clothes, I hope I can get to to this stage… It’ll probably be quite a while!

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