I just read an article from a woman whose title is toilet dress and it was all about her frustration dealing with independent patterns fit style and fabric choices I completely understand your frustration it is such a B major supplies companies out there mainly here in America Jo-Ann’s and Hobby Lobby, and God help us Walmart, leave little in the way of being creative. Yes I quilt but my interest is more in fashion.
Indeed, I have stuck with the big four (Vogue, McCall’s, Simplicity and Butterick) for basic construction needs but, I have found that I added my own special touches to set things apart from the typical look. Of course using these patterns can be helpful but can be a complete nightmare. I don’t even Venture into the ‘independent market’ for fear of what they’ll cook up, not knowing which we the sewing crew are used to or even want to try. I will grant you they have some lovely designs but fitting, draping, and sleeves can be a nightmare for those of us who weren’t familiar with fitting our own body types. And therein lies the rub.
Years ago I inherited 4 books from McCall’s, including one on Tailoring which completely opened up my skills in fitting, hand-stitching and even color Construction. It was here that I learned how to shape the bodice, things to be careful with the shoulders seam, and even pants construction (since WHEN has a crotch worked on ANY pattern without measuring 12 times?!?). Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am one of those body types where my trunk is a petit but my arms and legs are extra tall, hence my problem with measuring, measuring, measuring the lone shoulder pad installation! How many here even know what a sleeve head is?
Needless to say, I am quite weary of the so-call independent designers because their visions are far outside my needs or skill set. As for the Big Four, I have patterns that are over 10 years old because they are all classic styles and I’m not a cocktail dress/ just for fun sewist (funky term but it works…) so my need for loungewear, or just hanging out is quite minimal. Of course, this much more to this conundrum. Fabric.
Those of us who are looking to design garments, or dare I say sew, are losing out on quality fabric, locally available. Now we have to go Prout poking around on the internet to see if we can find the right color, the rent material and the right price. The most important thing here, as I can see it, is making sure the fabric matches the pattern you want to make. The other problem is, there are no standards for purple, blue, green or even brown. Frustrating enough already, to say the least. Then we get into fabric content. These fabric companies have come up with all sorts of creative ways to describe fabric oh, so you have no idea if what you’re ordering will work with what you want. Wool gabardine from the Midwest has a bunch of polyester in it and won’t work in the Northeast. But I found one delightful company, up in Minnesota, that understands what February is like above the Mason-Dixon line. And because of their creativity, I have to do a lot of digging to figure out if I want to order 4.5 yards of anything on any site.
And, of course there’s buttons but I’ll save that for a future blog because that will be long enough by itself….