Any sewing aficionado not living under a rock will be aware of McCall’s 6696, their famous shirtdress pattern. Gorgeousvariations abound online, and for good reason – it seems to be one of those unicorn patterns that looks good on justaboutanyone. Except me, of course.
Welcome back. In Part I, I discussed drafting errors, grafts and crotches in indie patterns. In Part II, I finally utilise my psyc degree for completely useless purposes and share sordid stories of brand loyalty. For those with visual difficulties, there is a GIF at the end of the post.
Indie pattern company lovers: I get the hype, I really do. Being a member of several online communities that have an inclination to cult-like behaviour, I have seen and participated in many trends which were little more than clever marketing campaigns. I have seen knitting lovers fight for the right to purchase $100+ skeins of yarn. On buy swap sell groups, brand lovers will line up to purchase a stained $200 dress, or bid each other upwards of $1000 for a jacket that cost $300 retail. I’ve even sold crotch-stained tights to a diehard Gorman lover.* I’VE SEEN SOME SHIT GUYS.**
Warning: this is a long post, as I coalesce thoughts that I’ve had for a long time into words. I’m sharing this in two parts, as it ended up much longer than I expected. Bear with me – or not!
Indie sewing patterns: you either love them or you….love them. In the online sewing community, there seems to be little choice: the narrative is one of the Nasty Big 4 Corporations (McCall’s, Simplicity, Vogue and Butterick, alternately known as McVoguerick) wielding their industrial might to crush the little guy, indie pattern companies. They are the hero of this story, the hard-working small business owners come good. For a long while now, I’ve suspected that the success of indie pattern companies is built more on hype than good drafting, and the release of Colette Pattern’s Rue dress has brought these thoughts to a head.
You guys – I’ve finally found my perfect match. Every sewist knows the struggle with patterns that aren’t quite drafted for their body type – the restrictive arms, the too-wide neckline, and the dress that looks cute on the envelope, but looks more like a muu-muu on your body. Enter European sewing magazines: well-drafted, stylish, and the perfect fit for my body.
As someone who suffers from a disease which dictates aversion to movement, sound and people, you would think that being around children would be intolerable. And generally, you’d be right. But my friend Beth’s munchkins are the exception. I adore them. I love being around them, even when they are running through the house, squealing with excitement. I think their reading and writing skills makes them mini-geniuses. My walls are covered with their artwork, and I love nothing more than having them snuggle up on my lap, even when they are emitting endless streams of wet farts.
For much of my sewing life, I was obsessed with dresses – making them, wearing them, stalking beautiful ones online. Now my health has come to the point where it is hard to maintain a prolonged project, or wear anything more fancy than ponte pants and a long shirt.* Enter Grainline’s Hemlock Tee, a free pattern download from the creative minds at Grainline Studio.
I’m sure this pattern has been done to death already, but I love my three makes and wear them all the time. It is quite rare that I remake any pattern, preferring the challenge and novelty of the new, so it is a testament to the Grainline Tee that so many versions are nested in my wardrobe. Continue reading “A Tale of Three Hemlocks”