Sunday, October 9, 2011

Patterns With a Following

I have steered clear of most commercial patterns for clothing for some years now, after my earlier attempts were not so successful. Of course part of this was no doubt my inexperience, however, the taste left was so bitter, I've turned away and not looked back. Instead, I've had the opportunity to grow my own skills in pattern drafting. I've been happy with the results usually, though more effort is needed to get a finished garment. Being a busy mom, I don't always have the time to make my own patterns, and at times like these, I am very grateful that there are quality pattern companies out there that make easy,  understandable, and beautiful patterns.

I'm going to take the plunge and try out Colette Patterns, like every other sewing lady out there. They have almost a cult following. Most blogging sewists I've seen have not done just one pattern, but several, and often the same pattern several times over again! These patterns get rave reviews. Just by reading on the company's blog, I've learned sewing tips that I had not known before. Reading it reminds me how much there is still for me to learn in the art of pattern drafting and couture garment sewing. I'm willing to keep trying, but until I'm able to draft all my own patterns, I'm sure glad I've found Colette Patterns to make my life a whole lot easier!

The first (and only) pattern I own from CP is the lovely Crepe, which is a cool twist on the ever-popular wrap dress. Instead of wrapping in the front, it wraps in the back.

The next pattern I am planning to try is the Jasmine. To be honest, when I first saw it, I wasn't inclined to really think it would be a pattern I'd like to make. But then, I saw this version that Sarai (owner and artist behind Colette Patterns) made for herself, and I was sold almost instantly.

Ok, so ends my discussion on Colette Patterns. Thank you for hanging around (if you did!)


Saturday, October 8, 2011

A bag I loved...

This bag was the sister of a bag I'd made a few days earlier for a friends baby shower. I loved that one so much, I decided to make another one. It ended up going to a very special friend who babysat for us when no one else was available...Thank you again!!! This friend tells me she loves her new bag and I'm so glad! I really enjoyed making it!

This bag is reversible. One side is chocolate brown corduroy and the other is a gorgeous teal plaid that has metallic threads going through fabulous!! The accent fabrics are scraps from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line. I've been hoarding these scraps and this was the perfect project!

Here's the pics:

With the two pockets on the inside and the sweatshirt-style pocket on the corduroy side, it is nicely organized, yet roomy for whatever else you may need to carry around in it.

The next bag I make will be similar in style, but made from silk dupioni. It will still be interlined and probably reversible, but I love how strong, yet thin dupioni is. All the stuff I haul around is heavy enough, I need a bag that is light weight.

In fact, my next bag after this corduroy one was in fact from silk dupioni. It's the bag I'm currently carrying right now as a purse. Here's some pics:

This bag is only a single layer of silk dupioni, and it can scrunch up into it's own little attached pouch a-la-reusable-bag-style. This is what happens when you get a woman who has a penchant for both reusable bags and natural fibers. This is my second reusable bag style in silk. The other one I have been using for over two years and it still looks brand new. is the bomb! It's so durable! The other one was black for the body and the strap was the same strap fabric as this one. I adore it, but I wanted an adjustable strap, a smaller body, and more fun colors. (the first bag was a replica of my favorite reusable bag...Flip and Tumble. While it's great, the bag is quite large. I didn't need it to be that big for my every day bag).

The strap on this bag is all one piece, also creating a gusset and side panels for the body of the bag as well. On the opposite end is a fabric loop to tie the strap to. What I love about this is that the strap can by tied at any length I need. Usually it's tied short, to be a shoulder bag. But when I'm out shopping, I can quickly retie it to a cross-body bag and be hands free. The width also distributes the weight on my shoulder quite nicely. (Does it show that I used to be a babywearer? lol!) I <3 this bag!

So, why am I still planning another bag, if I love this one so much? Well, I need pockets. Something this one doesn't have. Yes, I could have added them, and almost did, but I just loved the fabric so much as it was. However, despite my organizing in zippered pouches, it still tends to be a "black hole" and I am constantly fumbling to find my phone, wallet, or glasses case ( I clip my keys to the fabric loop, so I never have to hunt for those). So, while I'll still use this bag regularly I'm sure, I'd like to try out a more pocketed version w/ a little more substance to it, but still keeping it light-weight. It's a challenge I am eager to meet!