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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beyond the pattern

The other day in class one of my students was talking with one of her friends about an outfit she had made to go out. Seems she had bought two dresses and cut them up and sewed them together to make one dress that was exactly what she wanted.

I, of course, couldn't resist going off topic and later asked her more about her sewing. She explained to me that her mom had sent her to kid's sewing classes, that as a teenager she had moved on to the Big 4, but of course now these days, because she had been sewing for such a very long time, she was "beyond the pattern."

She is 21.

This made me wonder at how pattern dependent I am, although I am dipping my toes in Wild Ginger's software.

So I decided yesterday to make something patternless.

I pulled some wild silk charmeuse that I have used before to line things, made a gathered tube for the body and another smaller tube for my upper chest, attached a couple of purchased bra straps that I have collected in one of the million grab bags I have purchased in my life, and stitched those at the top. 

And now I have a new nightgown.

 I know from past experience that those silky type straps are hopeless for sliding around when you sleep and getting wrapped around your neck so I was pretty pleased with the bra strap idea, and of course that they are adjustable.

A little wild, but hey, I didn't use a pattern. (Or a lot of taste my DH is probably going to think.)

Not to worry, it is super comfortable and I sure like it.

Now a housecoat to match ....


Anonymous said...

Love that fabric for a nightgown. What an excellent idea to use bra straps!

sdBev-NL6538 said...

Oh my gosh! I feel in awe of her already. "Beyond the pattern", I feel I'm being very bold to draft a belt. That lady is awesome. Are you encouraging her in the direction of our sewing seminars? I'm sure she'd be a great inspiration, just as you are.

Bunny said...

I think this young woman is indicative of the future of sewing. You can just tell by the types of books you see in the "sewing" sections at Barnes and Noble. The good thing is there is a future in sewing and she is 21. I think that is fabulous and hope she spreads her enthusiasm to her peers.

shams said...

Barbara, I just read several pages back on your blog. You are a great writer! I know you are a teacher. Your subject wouldn't happen to be English/writing, would it? You should write a sewing book(let).

Anyway, This nightgown is wonderful. Such a cheerful print and I imagine it's luxurious against the skin.

Karen in VA said...

What a great nightgown - love the print!

Barbara said...

Shams I teach communications/PR and some writing, but nothing like this. Thanks for the encouragement.

Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood said...