A few of you wrote to me and said "why are you giving away such great patterns?"
The answer to that is, so they don't clutter my mind.
I think sewing is really one long process of getting to know yourself, and once you know that, to express it.
As part of that process I have come to terms with the fact that most independent patterns just aren't me. The exception being probably Jalie who are often a little more fashion forward than some of the others, and I am not sure if Jalie is not large enough to not really be quite an indy company anymore. Jalie is good too for family patterns because of the 20 sizes, so I will make an exception for them to my no-time-to-trace rule every now and then.
Now, none of this is to say that indy patterns have any problems, or that the sewers who swear by them are wrong, absolutely not, it is just that the idea of making "classic" styles do not locate me where I most enjoy sewing.
I really find that for myself there is a real thrill in the new designs every season, and close second to that is examining the pattern instructions and seeing if there is, to my own mind at least, a better way to make it.
I like fashion and I like construction technique. I find it exciting sometimes even to not know how something is going to turn out, or look on me (like the last shirred skirt) and I like, every now and then, finding out that I look OK in something I have not considered before.
This is me. It may not be you.
A couple of years ago I discovered sewing discussion groups, and for a while got caught up in ordering much talked about, sworn by, indy patterns. By definition most of these patterns have to have a longer shelf life than the Big 4 and the styles tend to be those that don't have a real date stamp on them. All good things for most people who want clothes and styles that last.
However, I did find that many of the shapes were looser than I liked, less fitted, and frankly didn't suit my tall frame. I remember trying on a bunch of Sewing Workshop patterns at a show and even the salesperson said to me " no, take it off, this just doesn't work for you."
I honestly think that for me if I had just a handful of patterns in the basics that I wouldn't enjoy my sewing as much. Not unless I were to change them drastically each time, like Carolyn does for example. I am more of an adventure sewer than a production sewer and, well, that's just me. I can hardly force myself to make one more straight skirt, although I need them for work, I have a reliable pattern, and they suit me.
But this kind of sewer may not be who you are. I regret now having turfed so many of these indy patterns. Far more satisfying to send them off to good homes.
After all to each her own.
What kind of patterns best express you as a sewer?