Before I start talking about this pattern I want to say a few things about indie pattern designers.
The www and .pdf patterns have created a new environment where anyone with an idea can connect with customers as an independent pattern designer.
Almost entirely I think this is a marvellous development that has given me, as a sewer, so much more access to so many more great designers with terrific ideas and wonderful patterns.
There are of course a few that do not deliver exactly all that they promise, but lets be honest, raise your hands if you have ever sewn a pattern from the big four that was less than stellar, or even a real lemon?
My point exactly.
I was reminded of that this week when I was shown a skirt pattern from a blogger turned pattern designer and author that I could tell would not sew up as well as it could. It was for an A line skirt, a wide one, with the straight of grain along centre front rather than down the centre of the panel. What this means, and I know because I ran into this once with a big four pattern, is that the sides will stick out at the hem like big triangles rather than falling evenly around (does this make sense?)
I think what happened it is that the pieces looked like you would think an A line skirt piece would look like, as if you just drew it, but of course pattern pieces, good ones, think about more than shapes, they also consider what the fabric wants to do on its own - like hang with the grain.
So maybe not everyone who thinks they are a pattern maker is quite there yet, I know I am not and never would be.
But with all that said I have to say that the vast, vast majority of indie patterns I have tried have been exceptional and reflect a very thoughtful approach to garment making that incorporates some intelligent fixing of common problems.
Take Sewaholic for example.
The cowl on the Renfrew top is amazing, two shaped pieces that really give a beautiful drape that is simply not possible in the usual large rectangles you see for cowl pieces in most patterns.
I have been similarly impressed with Grainline's patterns to date, and if I weren't currently on the DL you would be looking at an Archer shirt right now.
Instead here is an Alder dress I finished this week.
I added 4" to length because I am tall but apart from that this was made right out of the envelope. What was surprising to me was how loose it was, which I liked, as this makes it an incredibly comfortable and wearable dress. I will be making multiples with this pattern, with variations, just you wait:
- 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