After my 20 year hiatus from sewing I realised when I restarted that I no longer had those 2 boxes of vintage sewing patterns. All I had managed to find were 4 kids patterns that I must have held on to after moving house all those years back. At that time I had stopped sewing, was starting a new life in another county and decided they were all surplus to requirements. BIG MISTAKE!
So starting to sew again not only reintroduced me to the new patterns but also to YouTube and Instagram. From both I quickly learned that not only had sewing education moved forward rapidly and that there were still the big pattern companies but also many many (and I keep finding more that I had not heard of each day) indie patterns.
So obviously, because I knew what they were like, the first patterns I started with were McCall’s, Butterick and I even dabbled with Vogue. The latter, in my younger years, always put me off purchasing because of the price and the intricacies of the patterns.
The new experience with these well known companies is that with some of the patterns I came to use they have considered the varying female body forms and acted on it. Some offered a choice of bust sized bodice pattern tops others gave a more detailed break down on how to adapt a pattern to suit a sway back, stopped shoulders etc.
The resultant garments fitted extremely well and increased my appetite to create more.
And with the help of Instagram and YouTube vlogs I was finally introduced to indie patterns. At first, I didn’t know what the heck they were and then I finally realised they were talented young fashion designers across the world who individually had decided to go it alone and sell their own clothing patterns.
Young bloggers were selling their praises and I just had to join in with them. I started with the Colette Moneta dress. I loved it so much that I decided to go for the Zadie dress by the same designer, Colette. And so I moved from indie designer to indie designer.
Not only did I find all these new indie patterns but I also learnt that you could download them straight from the computer as a PDF. Whey hey, that was fantastic. I not only enjoyed downloading a pattern instantly instead of having to make trips into town to buy it or even to buy online and wait a few days for it to come but also I took great pleasure in sticking all the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.
I also kept seeing blogs from someone who called themselves the ‘Fold line’. Being new to YouTube vlogs especially those in sewing it took me at least 6 months to realise that this particular vlogger was introducing us to new indie patterns that were coming out Month by Month.
Watching these vloggers telling us about what they’ve made from these Indie pattern makers, carried me along on the wave wanting to make the same garments as they had, as well as building up a ridiculous stash of fabrics that I had no idea what I was going to make with. I soon began to realise that whilst I enjoyed sewing I was spending an awful lot of money on sewing patterns that, to be truthfully honest, I very much doubt I will be using them all.
So last year I counted that I made about 58 garments. Some for myself, some for my grandchildren for school performances and some for pleasure. However in the garments that I made for myself were 8 or 9 dresses. To be fair they look really lovely on me, but to be truthful I rarely wear dresses. And so these beautiful dresses will likely remain more times inside my wardrobe than outside.
So this year I’ve decided I’m going to make a concerted effort to make sure that…
A. I only buy patterns that I know I’m going to make
B. Once I’ve used up my fabric stash which I definitely intend to do, I will only buy fabric specifically to go with the pattern that I have and I intend to make.
C. As I mentioned in a previous blog all fabrics will be purchased first-hand which will likely be slightly more expensive but will save me the hassle of receiving a fabric that doesn’t look right, doesn’t feel right and probably would never get used.
D. By doing all of the above I reckon I’m going to make a big saving in my finances because I won’t be wasting as much money. And, like the time when I gave up cigarettes I will put all that spare cash to one side and save it up so that I can buy something well worth saving for, such as a coverstitch machine.
In the meantime, over Christmas, I had packed all my patterns and sewing paraphernalia away to make room for Christmas guests and upon their re-emergence, I was shocked to find that in a year I have amassed 100 patterns!
Think of it, if a pattern cost £8.95, and some cost even more, some maybe less. I have spent £895 on patterns in 2017. Not to mention how much I spent on fabric. A third of which came in one door and straight out the other.
So the aim in 2018 is to make sure that I keep my sensible hat on and as my mother used to say ‘watch the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’.
And maybe then that coverstitch or sailmaker machine that I have coveted all year might actually become a reality.