|My Floradora dress. I wore this to death this summer!|
I am a confessed pattern hoarder. Truly. Before I sold off or donated a huge chunk of my hoarded collection earlier this year, I had - no word of a lie - 6 drawers full of patterns! Whoa. How could I possibly choose what to sew with such an overwhelming volume? Truth was, I couldn't, which stymied my sewing to no end. So I stuck to my TNTs and sewed them again and again, turning out items I love and wear but was a bit chicken to blog about as I felt it wasn't interesting or new.
In truth, what I really sew are multiple versions of core patterns. I find when I stick to my favourites, I turn out garments that I wear often and feel good wearing. I am not a 'try every new pattern released' kind of seamstress and it's taken me a while to be OK with that. I hate overly tailored garments and run away from complex fitting issues. They're just not why I sew.
I do sometimes feel a strange sense of obligation to my favourite pattern designers to purchase and make ALL THE THINGS from their latest releases, partly because they work so incredibly hard to turn out fabulous designs for us, and partly because being a good seamstress means I can.
|My Muse Francaise top. I love the hip tie and added it to several other versions.|
When life gets busy or stressful, as it does, sewing is where I gravitate to release negative energy and refocus. Pair that with a distinct style change this year, from fit and flare to simple and relaxed, the last thing I want to do is try out a new pattern when I'm picking up scissors and cloth to destress. I've been dealing with pretty serious joint pain of late, so my inclination to invest both time and money in a new pattern isn't really there. The last few new to me patterns I have tried turned out fine, from a construction and design perspective, but fell flat in the pleasing department. I've learned to stick with what soothes my sewing soul.
|My Granny Rose Laurel made for FESA 2014.|
That doesn't mean that I haven't been creating! Sadly, knitting has taken a back seat as it aggravates my hands and wrists too much but sewing is still doable. My favourite dress patterns are Laurel, Washi, and Lady Skater. I feel especially clever that I was able to sew Laurel in a way that doesn't require a zipper! Their silhouettes are ideal and the fact that I can pop them on, layer up and look and feel presentable is a huge plus for me.
|My Secret Garden Sorbetto and my grey Meringue skirt made for FESA 2014.|
I have loved the Sorbetto since it was released. It's such an easy to wear and easy to make pattern. The possibilities for variations are endless and every season of my handmade wardrobe has at least 3 Sorbettos in them. Over time, I have modified the construction of my Sorbettos to fit me and my style. I eliminated the bust darts after way to much fiddling (I detest fiddly fitting!) and sew it with a 3/8" seam allowance. I have several sleeve lengths for my Sorbettos, but I currently love the Washi sleeve and Jasmine cuff with mine.
|My denim Meringue skirt. I wear it weekly.|
If you don't own a copy of The Colette Sewing Handbook yet, then get thyself to their website and buy one! Even if you don't fancy all of the patterns in the book, I guarantee the Meringue Skirt will become your best friend. It's slight A-line shape (much less than Ginger) and simple construction have made it a staple in my wardrobe. The scalloped hem is such a pretty detail and, I swear, every time I wear my denim one, I get compliments. An instant mood booster!
|My charcoal Renfrew cowl top made for FESA 2014 and my Butterick 2507 pants.|
As I said before, I was a knit scaredey cat for ages! Every time I ventured into Jersey Land, I ended up with wadders and a lot of frustration. Until the Renfrew. This gorgeous pattern was love at first stitch (sorry for stealing your title, Tilly!). It was simple to cut out, rolled edges notwithstanding, and went together easily. It fit beautifully, too. I loved the clean finishes and the ladylike silhouette. I know have at least 8 Renfrews in my wardrobe and plan on making many more, especially the chic cowl neck version. It's warm and cozy, made with fabric that feels like you're wearing pajamas, but looks well put together. NINJA SHIRT!
|My navy Pants of Perfection made with the only Vogue pattern I own.|
I have always had a love-hate relationship with pants. I can't even tell you how many RTW versions I've owned and tossed (evil low rise pants - I hate you!!!), as well as sewn and wadded. In my sewing experience, these have been the absolute worst to make work. I even gave up on making them and wearing them for a time, but really missed having cigarette pants in my wardrobe. (Hey, Gap! Can you please bring back your skinny fit ankle length pants? Thankyouverymuch.)
After MUCH trial and error, Butterick 4552 and Vogue 2128 are my TNTs for wide legged trousers and vintage Butterick 2507 (my copy is sadly disintegrating) and vintage Butterick 9805 are TNTs for my cigarette trousers. I tend to shy away from modern cigarette trouser patterns as they have way too much ease.
So, that's my sewing pattern quiver, in essence. As much as I want to jump in and SEW ALL THE PATTERNS, I really can't. The poor things just end up looking sad and lost in my closet as they don't get worn, which really defeats the purpose of sewing. My core patterns are what I wear and what I love to sew. It's what I need to remind myself to be brave enough to blog about, even if it is my 10th Sorbetto and my zillionth Laurel dress.