Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pattern Company Love

So yesterday after I was bad mouthing the new Butterick patterns (which I mostly hate), I found the post on Peter's blog about his visit and tour of the McCall Pattern Company. JEALOUS! As much as I bitch and moan about them, I don't know what I'd do without the Big One.  I literally would go to Minnesota Fabrics with my mom every Friday after school, she'd get whatever thing she needed and I'd sit down and get lost in the pattern books, pretending to have the wardrobe in the books.  It was my own process of determining where I was in the world.  A couple of days ago, my little neighbor and his sister were over to visit while their mom went to the doctor.  He was explaining to me that he was six years old and that when he turned ten, he'd be a teenager.  I understand the logic, I get it.  I think I thought the same thing when I was his age until I got to the fabric store.  I told my mom that I needed clothing that was appropriate to teenagers and she would kindly point out that as a 10 year old, I only fit into the actual kid clothes patterns.  It was a brilliant strategy on her part because she kept me dressing like a kid and when I finally did fit into the adult sized patterns or teen patterns, she had to acknowledge, as much as she might not have wanted to, that I was growing up. It was our own rite of passage and I cherished it.  I think people still use their pattern collection as markers of their lives.  I still have some of those first patterns from the land of "adulthood".  One of which is an Issey Miyake design for separates.

My mom hated it and kept calling it "It's a Mistake" but I thought it was so edgy and cool.  I never made it because I couldn't sew that well and she refused but I still have the pattern and see it as a victory of sorts.  After that, my style was set.  I was into that whole "french schoolgirl" look in the eighties with the dropped waists and fussy details.  My mom made a dress that I loved so much, it was one of those Vogue Paris Designer patterns and I  wore and got compliments on it even after my dog chewed a hole in the back yoke (it was a print, I did a patch job and wore sweaters).  I wish I still had that pattern, I could see wearing that right now.  Which brings us to today.  I was talking to my pal Julie and she thought this
Simplicity 1939 Cynthia Rowley Collection

dress would look good on me.  I've always thought Julie should have been a fashion stylist because that girl has got an eye for style (I wish she'd get on Polyvore,but I digress). Anyway, I wasn't convinced, but she told me someone had reviewed it on PatternReview and on her blog. I thought I'd check. The dress looked great on prttynpnk, much better than the model, plus once she said that her fashion influences were Cheryl Tiegs and Mrs. Slaghoople (Wilma Flintstones MIL) I was hooked. Julie was going to give me her pattern but I picked up two the very next day.  One for me and (maybe) one for my fabulous niece. I realized I like the dress so much because it reminds me of my old "french schoolgirl" dress with a different kind of dropped waist and equally fussy details. It makes me wonder if Cynthia Rowley's mom made her that dress back in the day too.  

In the meantime, I'm off to muslin.  Wish me luck!

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