Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Giveaway Winner, Coming to NYC, and Patterns are the Window to the Soul

The random drawing winner of the sundress patterns is Mary is Sew Fast! Very exciting, and I am hoping that Spring will get here soon. It was beautiful at the beginning of last week but now we're raining raining and the Potomac has overflowed its banks. I suppose rain is part of Spring, so maybe it is Spring? I will mail your patterns on Wednesday.


Thank you so much for all of the amazing compliments on my 40s Faux Shirtdress! Wow. I knew I liked the dress but I didn't realize it was that flattering. Thank you for making me feel pretty.


I am heading to NYC! I plan to arrive sometime on Friday, March 26. I'll be free that afternoon and Saturday morning, March 27. I will definitely be spending some time in the garment district!!!! Let me know if you want to meet up!


G Street 3-13-10

It was Fashion Sewing Club at G Street's Falls Church location on Saturday, so of course I had to do a little fabric shopping. I was uncertain about the gold sweater knit (it's gold in color and has some metallic threads running through it), but I thought about it all during the meeting and finally decided I dug it. I have two wraparound sweaters that I bought from H&M many years ago and I LOVE them. I will copy them in the gold sweater knit. I was also thinking of maybe just a simple t-shirt and/or a shrug for dressy clothes. I have a silver shrug (RTW), but not a gold one.

G Street Cotton and FFC Tie SilkI intended the cotton print to be a blouse, but then I paired it up with the orange tie silk I got from FFC and I am so in love with how they look together. So now it needs to be a dress that can be worn with a belt, maybe some kind of shirtdress arrangement. My candidates right now are Simplicity 2694 (the view with sleeves minus the gun flaps, although I've been wanting to make the view with gunflaps forever), Butterick 5315 (probably with a narrowed skirt as I have only two yards), Simplicity 2579 (although the whole reason I like the pattern is that shaped midriff, which might be too obscured by a belt), Burda 05-2009-122 (although I don't think the fabric has enough drape), and maybe Burda 01-2008-121. The Butterick is my top choice at the moment, but the reviews on PatternReview have not been favorable. It sounds like it has the tight/restrictive armhole issue I've run into before, so I'd have to deal with that.

In a recent post, TE said she had gone to G Street Fabrics' Centerville location and been disappointed and asked whether she should try another location. I have never been to the Centerville store, only the Falls Church store and a half dozen times to the Rockville store. So I can't say if it has less selection there. As you know, I mostly shop at the $2.97/yd table but the thing is that the merchandise is constantly changing. There may be nothing interesting, or there may be only one interesting piece. It's rare that I find more than one thing that I like on it. The regular stock at the Falls Church location is good, but very expensive (polyester knits for $19.99/yd) so I don't buy much at full price. I think Rockville's regular stock is slightly not as good as Falls Church (though I haven't been to the new location). So G Street isn't necessarily a great destination from out of town for a bargain shopper because you have to visit many times over months (and, ahem, years) to accumulate a stash of fabrics you like.


My mom went through her sewing supplies and got rid of a bunch of patterns (it must be something in the air). She asked if I wanted them, I said sure. The box was huge! I thought it would just be a few little patterns.

I have to say, I felt a little weird going through her patterns, like I was prying into her fantasy life. My mom stayed home with us when I was a kid, and had her first job when I was in junior high as an occasional substitute teacher. Starting when my younger sibs were in high school she worked various jobs at the mall, an animal vaccine manufacturing plant, and in lost luggage for an airline. Although she encouraged me and my sister to pursue our professional dreams, she did not want to work outside the home and did so only out of financial necessity (although I suppose financial necessity is the reason most of us go to work, regardless of how much we like the job!).

So it was surprising to me to pull out pattern after pattern for 80s Power Suits from the box. She didn't need them as a teacher, nor for any job she worked subsequently. It was so curious to see them and imagine her imagining herself in them, an important person in the corporate world. It was a facet of her I'd never seen before and it seemed like these daydreams were private ones I shouldn't know about.

80s Power Suits

There is also a plethora of 80s tie front and romantic-style blouses. That See & Sew 3403 is totally current.

80s Tie Neck & Romantic Blouses

Simplicity 5835
I am digging the dress in Simplicity 5835. It's another thing that I think is totally current (with the waist raised a couple of inches). I like the exaggerated cut-on sleeve and the little neck frill.

I wonder what sort of aspirational life my pattern stash reveals, beyond the apparent aspiration to own every pattern that is put into print. I have lots and LOTS of dress patterns, both knit and woven, so I think that reflects my taste. I have more purse patterns than I've ever made purses to justify, but they are a blip compared to the size of the rest of the collection. I do have quite a few suit patterns, but that technically fits into my lifestyle (technically), although I never sew any.

What secrets does your pattern collection reveal about you?


Rosesred said...

That gold fabric is an absolutely lovely color! great choice.

Most of my patterns are very feminine dresses, with either lots of frills or very 40's-vixen like. Both totally unsuited for my daily power-office look.

Myra said...

I have tons of dress patterns, too, and am a SAHM, in a rural town, no need for them here except church. I guess a tiny part of me longs for working in an office again, before kids, not that I would trade them for the world, just a nostalgia for old days. Life is happier now for us, although financially stressful. Another is someone would think I long to have been a 40's girl, from all the 40's patterns I have accumulated. Also, I tried B5315 and had a hard time with it, too, and never finished it. I did not like the instructions for the front of the blouse part, but that may have been inexperience on my part.

Trudy Callan said...

How would you like to be a guest blogger on my sewing blog? You could write about anything you want sewing or fashion related. Let me know if you'd like to and when?

Have a great trip.

Trudy Callan

Reethi said...

Ah, my pattern stash. Mine reveals:

- I think I have entirely too much free time. There is no way that I could *ever* sew up all these patterns.

- I think I live in a really warm climate - I don't. I'm overflowing with dress patterns; I live in Toronto, where practical lined pants are a must-have.

- I'm exactly the opposite as your mom. I could dress more formally for work, and a suit would be perfectly appropriate. Instead I own patterns for sleeveless, cotton dresses, wispy skirts, etc.

Reethi said...

Oh, also, just in case, I was in the Garment district a couple of weeks ago, and I found great stuff at a tiny store called Fabric for Less. They had the most lovely Italian wool for $10 a yard (the same thing ran ~12 or ~13 at Paron Annex); and a lot of really great cotton fabric for $3 a yard. I ended up buying a ton of yardage there. The address is 239 West 39th - between 7th and 8th.

beangirl said...

My pattern collection reveals that I am a foot taller than my body tells me I am and also about half the weight. Apparently I also am extremely flamboyant and exotic, despite living in The-Middle-Of-Nowhere Texas and having the world's largest collection of boring black knit tops in my closet.

Silly patterns.

Sewfast said...

That cotton print looks amazing with that silk...good call on the dress switch! Thank you for the sundress patterns...I'm sew excited to be a winner!!! I love mail surprises! And as for my pattern stash...I like to think of it as an eclectic picture of who I am...it might be frightening to someone looking in! What a great gift from your Mom!

Anonymous said...

What a fun post about your Mom! I enjoyed reading it.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I think my initial patern buying reveals that I think I am about 15 lbs skinnier than I actually am. ;) But I haven't been collecting long, so my aspirations are pretty in line with my life. However, I have noticed that as I have accumulated more sewing skill, my tastes have changed slightly with regard to dresses. Can't quite put my finger on how my tastes have changed, but they have. I am hoping to take the afternoon off on Friday to join you shopping. I'll keep you updated.

AuntieAllyn said...

LOL . . . my favorite section of my pattern stash are my glamazon outfits . . . slinky and fabulous evening wear! Lord knows I hardly have reason to wear such outfits NOW, and I'm retiring in a couple of years and will be moving to a small town where I'll NEVER have a reason to wear fancy clothes! But you never know . . . and if some fabulous occasion arises, I'll be prepared with the right patterns! The funny thing is that most of my fabulous evening wear patterns are vintage ones that I've bought from one internet vendor . . . she probably thinks I live some glamorous high-powered life here in Washington, which is FAR from the truth!

Venus de Hilo said...

Very entertaining topic.
I, too, have multiple dress patterns designed for someone slimmer and far more elegant than I am.
I also have a bizarre number of lined and unlined jacket patterns for someone who lives in the tropics. When do I ever wear a jacket? Winter mornings are cool enough for slippers, yoga pants, and a light polarfleece top, but outerwear? What's that?
I might get around to sewing one jacket for a trip east this fall, but that's "might" and "one." And I already have my eye on a Jalie pattern I haven't bought yet.

June said...

Oh, isn't that something to see about your Mom? If you have a close relationship, you should ask her what she had imagined herself doing.

When I was a (really oblivious) kid, I didn't think my mom had any personal hopes or dreams as a young person. Seriously - she *never* talked about them. My mother is NOT a quiet woman, but she did not talk about or keep in touch with anyone from college or anyone from her life before marriage, as far as I knew. I still have no idea what she would have done had she not married.

Lindsay T said...

Aww, why couldn't you be coming to NYC a little later?! I start work in the city on 3/29 and I'll be right next to the garment district. If I wasn't getting my daughter off to Spain that Saturday I'd join you. Next time, ok?

patsijean said...

I looked at your pattern choices for your new fabric but none are perfect. Why not consider the Simplicity Easy to Sew pattern your mother gave you. I love many of the 80's dresses and blouses. I believe that for the most part all you need to do is remove a bit of fabric from the shoulder (where the shoulder pad takes up room) and lower the sleeve cap accordingly. I would also suggest comparing a blouse pattern with the 80's patterns at center front and shoulder to see how much to remove.

I am glad to see women interested in prettier clothes. I am getting tired of the current "grundge" look. I know I am older (65) but until this last decade women were not sloppy. And don't get me started about ill fitting, poorly drafted jeans (uni-butt).

Sew4Fun said...

OMG, I can't believe it! I had that McCalls 7623. It was very close to the first 'real' blouse I ever made, back in high school. I think you call it Junior High. I had totally forgotten about it. I made the stand up collar with the ruffles in a plaid! Yes a plaid, e-gawd! It was so in-fashion back in the day. Bahahaha! It was the 80's remember. :) I loved that pattern though and made several other blouses from it. Even though I had a serger, for all the seams I did french seams. Thanks for the memories.

BConky said...

My patterns make me think of my mother saying "your eyes were bigger than your stomach" when I had an almost full plate when dinner was over. My fabric stash is much much much bigger than my time to sew will ever allow.

AllisonC said...

I think my pattern collection would make you think I want to go swanning off to cocktail parties every night. Which sounds about right but sadly not the case!!

Vicki said...

Most of my patterns are suit patterns too. I do have the job for them, but having the job means I don't have time (or energy after work) to make them....sigh.

Adriana B. said...

I would actually make a dress from the print only, and maybe acccent with a 1/4" or 3/8" orange grosgain (I know I am spelling it wrong)ribbon.
To me, the two fabrics have so distinct individuality, they almost deserve their own garment. Leslie (from Loohoo Originals) recently posted about a leather belt she's made. The tie silk could make a great accent piece. Or, I can also see it accenting a lightweight denim shirtdress.
I also like the Butterick pattern the best. It seems to be very "you" - a little vintage but with a punch.

Betsy Hockaday said...

I think I may own a couple of those patterns still!

lsaspacey said...

My mother also stayed at home and her pattern collection was almost identical to your mothers. In fact, that first Stitch 'N Save 3801 looks very familiar! However, my mother found occasions to wear her many suits and bold primary-colored blouses, either to church, special events at school, my ballet recitals, our rare family dinners out, and on holidays, especially Easter.

Anonymous said...

I love your mother's patterns, but I think they are actually for the "Ladies who Lunch" crowd. Church, parent teacher conferences, lunches, and official wife stuff. To me it looks like a collection that shows that she was living exactly the life she loved. For a better understanding of what a "Power Suit" was for the working woman in the 80's, (and a good laugh) you need to find John Molloy's book, "Dress for Success". When I got my MBA in the early 80's we wore narrow lapel tailored jackets with matching slim skirts, oxford button down shirts with monograms, narrow ties in paisley or somber solids, and black pumps, preferable Italian. Nordstrom had a Women's Career Clothing department that looked just like the Men's except with skirts. I find it very funny that the accepted attire for my sons, one an accountant and one a lawyer, is the male power suit - but their female counterparts can dress anyway they like. Thank goodness!

Clio said...

I've made so many diaper bags and baby gifts that anyone looking at my patterns would think I had a house full of children! (I have none, but adore my nephews.)

My office is right near the Garment District and I've been known to sneak out for fabric shopping on Friday afternoons, especially when the weather is nice. I'd be happy to join you.

Mikhaela said...

I don't actually know you, but I do work nearish to the Garment District and sometimes find myself wandering over there during lunch... if there is a specific time/place to meet, I might be able to come by for a bit, as I am hunting for a few very specific fabrics!

squeezylemon said...

I too have WAY too many Belville Sassoon evening dress patterns ranging from the 1980s up to recently, just waiting for that life I want to live..... going from formal to formal, cocktail party to cocktail party ......... with no actual thought of work early the next day to darken my dreams! And the power suit patterns that surprise surprise I don't have time to make because I'm too busy working in an office........ sounds like we all have a lot in common, stashing patterns for the life we would love as well as the one we actually have!

ELMO said...

My pattern collection reflects a desire to investigate all manner of costume (more coats than I need, more dresses than I wear)... and I have a sneaking suspicion that there's a Steampunk future lurking in the pile. Corsets & Issey Miyake??

amber said...

The tie silk with that floral is so pretty together. I'm excited to see what you cook up.

Della said...

My mom and I just visited the G Street Fabrics in Centerville- it does indeed stink. I was expecting more, but their selection really wasn't great...though in their favor, when we went they had a lot of patterns for a dollar.

Cennetta said...

My goodness..., where do I start ..., secrets reveal include: My love for collecting patterns. With each purchase, I justify it with, "Hmmm..., a different cut of this or that. I need to have every possible design feature in a skirt, jacket, blouse, etc." And then of course, I sew for other people. So I want to include some basic lines in the pattern collection. I own at least one banker box of accessory and home dec patterns. So the collection is a bit eclectic.