Sunday, April 20, 2014

patterns arrive.

Yesterday was a mail day treat - my Chic & Simple pattern book arrived and also the Vogue pattern!

I'm really looking forward to sewing all the variations of the Vogue pattern, but first I want to brush up my chops with some simpler patterns. The Chic & Simple pattern book has a lot of super-easy patterns that will be fun to try.  I was excited about it because it has a lot of riffs on the Babydoll dresses I have been attracted to lately.  I think I would make all these:


One difference I would make to the first two patterns is that I don't really like elastic and I would gather the sleeve and add a little sleeve band or bias tape at the sleeve hem instead of elastic (though I get why it is made this way for beginners to easily get the gathered effect.)

On amazon, I read a lot of mixed reviews about this book. I get where some of the frustrated people were coming from - many of these garments are very simply designed to be easily successful.  No zippers, no button holes, a lot of basic shapes that are templates for you to get creative with or keep basic.

Two other basic summer dresses I really liked and plan to make are shift dresses that could be belted or not.

There is a bit of dross as well - some of the dresses with elastic and ruffles are not really my style & I'm not really into the unstructured trench and jacket... but I could see these would be appealing to people with different styles.  Two things that are a bit of a stretch for me style-wise, but I may make them eventually are a cape and a fancy wrap dress.

The cape is cute, but I probably won't entertain the notion of making it till Fall, so I'll see how I feel about it then.  The wrap dress looks really cute in the photos but I worry that neck line could get risque pretty easily and there is a long tie that wraps multiple times around the waist that might get bulky and overwhelming on my shape.  

Overall, I think this is a fun book for making wardrobe basics, if you are like me and love to wear comfy dresses as your everyday go-to choice of clothing. This book was published in 2009 before the author, Christine Haynes, released her line of more complicated individual patterns.  I read an interview with her and she said that she learned a lot from feedback from this book and took that onboard when she began designing her pattern line.  These patterns involve more detailed techniques and I am looking forward to trying the Chelsea dress I bought.  I am also thinking about getting the Emrey pattern, once I get this smock dress kick out of my system! I love the line of the Emrey dress and there is a really cool body of blogging on it from her sew-along.  

I have mixed feelings about this, since I do think it's important to support artists & you can still buy a signed copy of this book from the author's website, but I got mine for only $2.50 plus shipping a clearinghouse site called rakuten.  Even at $27.50, that is a great deal for 5-7 patterns I would like to sew... so follow your conscience or your pocket book, either way.  In this case, I had to go with my pocket book.  However, I did buy the Chelsea pattern at full price, so I hope karmically it will end up a wash. 

This weekend was pure madness in terms of being busy... but now I am finished with a bunch of obligations for the next few weeks and I am looking forward to putting my (sewing) pedal to the metal. 
My beloved vintage Viking machine.  We are besties.  I found her last November as an anniversary present to myself.  She is almost identical to my mother's machine on which I first learned to sew, except my mother's is brown and orange and this one is brick red and yellow.  

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