Very rarely do I use a pattern for the actual intended design purpose. I mentioned last week that when buying vintage patterns, I look for different style lines and design techniques to add to my collection. Then when I come up with a design, or if I find something ready-to-wear that I think I’d like to try to make, I go back to my pattern collection and pull out patterns that have the components that will make up the overall basic look of what I’m going for. A few months ago I came across this super cute top and kind of fell in love
I ordered some cotton lawn from Fabric.com and got to work compiling the patterns that would help me achieve something similar.
First, I knew I needed a full-body top as the starting point. I’ve used Simplicity 6050 before for a top last September with good results for a full body/shirred hem. It’s a maternity top, and 70s maternity fashion basically translates to wearable tents. Really, the girth of pregnant women in the 70s must have been a sight to behold. Anyway, both times I’ve used this pattern, wanting a full body, I’ve taken it in quite a bit. Still, I like it because it is tapered at the top, then moves out, which is what I wanted. I also used this pattern for the arm holes and sleeves.
Simplicity 9256, also used on this recently completed tunic, played the part of the neck opening. I wanted an open neck with facings, as well as a high neck/collar line. I also borrowed the pattern’s front and back darts, adjusting them to the more full body.
And finally, the tie collar. I was really excited to use this McCall’s 3949 that I picked up more than a year ago to make the tie collar. And then when I pulled out the pattern pieces, guess what the ONE piece missing was? Yeah. Thrifting vintage patterns=buyer beware. But I wanted a longer tie anyway, and was still able to use the pattern illustrations and instructions to get the general idea of what I was going for.
Finally, to make sure that the collar placement matched the neck opening, I used the collar piece from Simplicity 9256, the pattern I used for the neck opening, to simply mark the center and end points for construction.
So just using patterns I had on hand, I was able to make my own version of a ready to wear top. By pulling from separate patterns the techniques and designs that make up the basic overall look, you really can make your own pattern stash work that much harder for you.I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t give up on an idea because you can’t find a specific pattern that matches the final look you’re going for. And don’t just throw out a pattern because a style has passed or you can’t see yourself making the exact same item twice. If the pattern has a unique design, it has potential for reincarnation as a whole new look. You just have to make it work!
See how I got that in there?**********************************
Have you entered the Make it Work Challenge yet? If not, upload your entry to the Flickr Group HERE after reading the rules HERE, then go daydream about the prizes as seen HERE. And while I’m bossing you around, don’t forget to enter to win the Colette Patterns Giveaway HERE and a Libman Mop and $100 Visa gift card HERE. So exciting!