Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday morning ramblings about Style & Patterns.......

Since my fitting class is on hold for a couple of weeks due to our store closing (sob!!) and the need wait for our teacher to return from vacation to start our private group lessons, I'm going to ramble about other subjects. I will however, cut out and pin baste my, really I will...promise. ;o)'s Saturday morning, the sun is shining and the temps will be in the 70's. Who could ask for anything more? Thank you Carol and my friend Elle for leaving comments in my blog. Those comments make me feel warm & fuzzy and..well...established. I hope my ramblings are worthy of anyone actually wanting to read them.

Carol found me from Tearsa's blog, where there is a discussion going on about personal style and do you still wear "trends". I started thinking about my personal style and realized that although I am not eclectic, nor do I dress in an eclectic style on any one day, the garments I'm drawn to are all over the style board. Thus, I think my style is eclectic. My extensive pattern collection reflects this eclectic (or disjointed) style.

If you were to peruse my pattern collection you would find vintage patterns from the 1930's, a few from the 1940's, many from the 1950's, several from the Jackie O era of the 60's and even a few from the 70's. I love the 30's for the long, elegant lines and the 50's for the bouffant skirts and puffed sleeves to the elegant wiggle dresses and fitted jackets. Now that the Jackie O era is *in* I can really appreciate how elegant and refined she always looked. I'm not a huge 70's fan, although I did love my bell bottoms, micro-mini skirts, platform shoes and palazzo pants back then.

The vintage jacket that Elle is making in our fitting class had me drooling in class and set me on a hunt through Ebay to find similar patterns. This is Elle's pattern, lifted from her blog, (forgive me Elle)

It's difficult to see the lines of the jacket, but when I saw the traced pattern, pinned to her in class, I was blown away by the lines and elegant cut of the jacket.

Any 80's patterns I still have are in storage and as Elle said, "That's where they belong". LOL!!!! I was a teenager in the 70's, but I blossomed in the 80's. I loved my huge shoulder pads, big, (albeit frizzy) hair, pink & white Princess sneakers, spike heels, power suits and girly clothing. I gave up those shoulder pads kicking and screaming. Just as some day I'll give up my wide leg and boot leg pants kicking and screaming all the way. (although I'm not giving them up yet!!) I just remembered that I gave up "bell bottoms" in the late 70's-very early 80's kicking and screaming. Hmmm.... yes, sometimes change is difficult for me. ;o) Does this mean that I will again one day wear big shoulder pads and then have to give them up....yet again????

My current pattern collection ranges from Vogue's Chado Ralph Rucci, who is my absolute favorite designer, to a couple of Simplicity Project Runway patterns and everything in between, including many independent pattern companies. If I were to choose my favorite companies, hands down....HOTPATTERNS!! and Vogue. I own almost every Hotpattern printed. I love the owners, the styles, the concept..well..everything about them.

Out of the Big 4, I'd say Vogue is quickly becoming my favorite company. With McCalls purchasing Vogue & Butterick I can see how they are evolving each pattern line. McCalls seems to be more "trendy"; Vogue, more classic and elegant & urban; Butterick more
suburban. I agree with other postings I've read that I think Vogue is getting back to it's former designer image and I love it. I do understand that anyone reading this may have a different take on the pattern companies, and I'm definitely interested in reading your thoughts. As a side note: I know you may hate Hotpatterns, but please do not slam them in my blog. I feel they've been slammed enough elsewhere, and I wouldn't want to see that happen here.

Now I have a couple of questions for anyone who stumbles onto my blog:
1. Do you buy a lot of patterns you probably will never make up?
2. Why, or why not?
3. Are these patterns reflective of your true style or are you buying them for a different reason?

I ask this because I must own somewhere around 500-800+ (or more) patterns and I purchase them for many reasons: to actually make up the garment (yeah right!), for the artwork, for a lifestyle I'd love to live and just because I want them in my collection. I'm truly curious and interested in why you buy your patterns.

Have a wonderful Saturday. I'll spend mine cleaning my house and sewing room. Tomorrow, I plan to go to Osgood's again with Elle. Pendleton wools are calling her name and I want to explore this vast warehouse of sewing goodies.


Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I buy way more patterns than I will ever use! Some for the styling details and lately vintage for the construction details.

I think fabric and patterns are the "paints" of our craft. If you don't have a lot around, how can you be inspired and create something new and different!

lorrwill said...

This kind of long but you asked some extremely good questions!

I don't buy lots of patterns just because they're cool but some, yes. I buy them for the instruction sheets that may have techniques I am unfamiliar with or have been forgotten by the pattern makers due to today's faster is better mentality. Sometimes I buy them because I love the illustration (the color scheme, the style, the accessories). I buy old sewing books for pretty much the same reasons. And I would buy old magazines, too but you have to draw the line somewhere. :-)

I absolutely think the patterns I have been buying recently are reflective of my true style, now that I think I know what that is. (Your story about the 80's is my story but insert the 70's. Even though I was too young to have a style back then, I now realize somehow that is when I formed my style identity. Buy way of fashion cycles, I am also addicted to the 40's - which was heavily reinterpreted in the 70's)

I bought a lot of very practical, very appropriate patterns fully intending to make them then never did. Recently I started buying vintage patterns (mostly 70's) and now I can not get enough made! My fire and inspiration to sew clothing is back. I have bought more patterns than I needed think. Can you have too many inspirational patterns?

Carolyn is right. I learned this from quilting: you can't mix fabrics like paints to get the colors you want. You have to have A LOT of different fabrics.

Okay gotta go sew now. Will add you to my blog roll.

Nancy W. said...

I buy a lot of patterns and always intend to make them... but we all know where that road leads!

Claire said...

Carolyn, "paints of our craft" how perfect! A painter must have endless colors to mix and create. So too must we have endless patterns and fabric to create. you think DH will buy that? LOL!!!!

Lorrwill, no we can never have too many inspriational patterns. I've been guilty of overbidding on Ebay because I'm attracted to the drawing. (blush) Those Vogue Special Designs from the 50's have the most wonderful artwork. I could frame them and hang then on my walls.

Nancy, Yup, many times I intend to make up mind and I surely know how that goes..... LOL!!!

Thank you so much ladies for taking the time to leave comments. It's wonderful to have sewing friends across the country and even across the world.

lorrwill said...

Hey you're welcome; you have a great blog.