Sorting Patterns

It’s cool. It’s cloudy.  We had quite a bit of rain yesterday but thankfully today it seems to be gone.  The lawn is the greenest I have seen it for years and the weeds are growing. So what else do I do but stay inside and sort out my dress making patterns.  Actually it’s a pleasant change from working in the heat and humidity finishing off two houses which was and all day Friday and Saturday morning job.

The bug hit that I want to go back to making my own clothes. I’m sick and tired of trying on 6 different articles of clothing in the shops only to find that either they don’t fit/one items fits and the price makes me faint or they are cut so low that I’m in danger of falling out of the top/dress entirely and totally embarrassing myself while out. Arrrrrrr.  I even have trouble finding shirts that are attractive/comfortable/and won’t be the price of that National Debt. What happened to clothes that were nice.  That did actually look good and the average person (ie someone who isn’t a size 8 or slimmer) can wear them and feel good.

A semi sorted pile of Patterns.

I’m sorry but I’m not into having all my bulges out there on public display with skin tight tops or low cut jeans. I don’t want a top that has such a plunging neckline that I can see my belly button and don’t get me started on trying to find a bra that fits.

A BIG sort out was needed. 

Toy Patterns

 There are lots of crafty patterns – toys/dolls etc.  They are old patterns and I’m in two minds if I want to keep them or not.  Most I will probably never make but there is always that moment when I might need them so I guess they are staying in the keep pile.

I have saved the pattern Mum used for my wedding dress and the bridesmaids dress patterns.  I can’t bear the thought of throwing them out. Even if they are never used again – they are part of my history.

Kids Patterns

I saved a few kids patterns.  Mainly pj’s and dressing gowns and one cute little girls dress that I made for my girls. You never know I might one day have grand daughters I can sew for.

I even saved a couple of mens patterns. Boxer shorts and dressing gowns.  Ashley has never had a lot of clothes that I made but you just never know when I might need to whip him up a pair of pj’s.

Shirt Patterns

And I saved some shirt and skirt patterns for myself. I will tweak them to fit properly rather than buy new patterns.  After all a pattern I know is far better than a new pattern which may or may not work.

I have been looking at patterns though. Elise has her Year 12 Graduation at the end of the year and it’s a very dressy after five event.  Both Elise and I have been cruising the pattern sites trying to find something that she likes and would wear.  After the drama (and tears) last year of trying to find a suitable dress to wear to her freinds debutante ball  Elise is coming round to the idea that maybe Mum can make her an outfit and have it stylish, fitting properly and not costing the earth.  Honestly unless you are tall, slim have no hips and virtually no bust line there isn’t much for a girl to wear that doesn’t fit that “ideal” shape.  We aren’t making our mind up yet but the sooner we explore the possibilities of what she might like the decision will be easier to in the end.  The price of the patterns though!!!! It’s been quite a few eyars since I bought a pattern from anywhere but the op shop and they are horrendous.  Nearly $20 and the chances of using that pattern more than once are probably pretty slim unless it’s an outstanding pattern. No wonder so many people are shying away from dressmaking.  By the time you add the price of the pattern, the fabric and notions and then have to find time to make the garment it’s nearly the cost of a purchased outfit.  I have to say though there is nothing nicer than a handmade garment that fits properly and is as individual as the maker.

I have to ask though – does anyone know where I can buy fabric on line at reasonable prices in Australia? I have been looking and found some sights but they are a bit scary. I’m not into paying $30 a metre for dress fabric. There are heaps of quilting fabric sites but sometimes a girl wants to make something other than a dress in quilt fabric as nice as it is.  Which then brings me to the next question. How many of you make clothes (not bags etc) out of quilting fabric?   My next task is to clean up my quilt fabric drawer and there are bound to be possibilites in there…vbg.

OK so final question – before I get back to cleaning and sorting.  What patterns do you keep and what don’t you?  Are they old classic style patterns  or newer ones? Where do you buy your patterns. Fabric shops or the op shop?

Now where did I put that shirt pattern…………..

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6 thoughts on “Sorting Patterns

  1. http://five-minutes-of-fame.blogspot.com/2011/02/flooded-again.html

    And I thought we were safe in the Werribee/Wyndham area.

    The tail of Yasi, that wanton wandering woman gave us a wack and while little damage to “things” there are many ceilings to be replaced. I recall back when you thought your area was unlikely to be in trouble…..but all is well…….although I just saw another roof that is going to be about the 4th ceiling to be replaced.
    I threw out heaps of patterns….kept all my knit wit ones and more modern ones that flatter like drapy front tops.
    But have a hidden cupboard and a huge camper hamper (cane that used to go on the back of cars in the ’30’s or so, full of mainly stretch fabric.
    Where to get it. I would suggest that GJ’s in 443 Lygon St, East Brunswick are worth a visit for evening wear in particular. They have a fabulous selection which I used to raid for crazy quilting.
    I would think if you rang they would discuss and send you samples.
    http://www.gjsdiscountfabrics.com.au/
    I just found a website…..above.
    They also have the third floor of patchwork fabric…the middle floor has lots of bargains.
    Have fun.

  2. Those rare times that I do buy patterns I do it when they are on sale. Usually this means I get them for btn £2.50-£4 as opposed to £5-£10. Fingers crossed you find some fabric. Is it GJs in Carlton? Do they have a website? Or could it be a day out to the Big Smoke?

  3. I have that bunny pattern! I made my nephew a soft fleece bunny out of that when he was born, with sewn eyes and mouth to be baby-friendly.

    Here in the U.S. it’s practically impossible to make your own clothes for less than you can buy them at the store. However, I am lucky enough to live close to a city that has a store that sells extra fabric leftover from manufacturers. I go there once every few months to comb over the stacks and see if I can find something on seasonal sale and pretty. It’s much cheaper to buy things like real linen or silk there, less than half price of the local fabric store. Sometimes I can find a gem on the $1/yd table. There may be stains and issues with the weave but usually those can be worked around. I think of it as “thrift fabric”. I don’t know if there is such a thing near to you in Australia.

    My grandma used to make blouses out of quilting fabric. a nice properly fitted cotton blouse is a great thing. I should make a few for myself, I can never find blouses that fit me.

  4. I’m the same as Marie, it’s cheaper to buy clothes here for the most part. I’m thinking if I were going to buy an expensive outfit made out of really good material then it might be possible to make it cheaper but I don’t know. I gave up making clothes when I bought a pattern and then went to buy the fabric….realized that it would cost me $60 for the fabric and I could buy ready-made for $30. Besides which I can’t tailor only follow a pattern so kids clothes are okay but making something for myself hopeless. You also have to know your body shape and know what looks good on it.

    A suggestion for the patterns if you don’t mind vintage is to shop the op-shops for something that appeals.

    Problems with shopping online for fabric is you don’t really know what you’re getting until you see it. That’s okay for quilting cotton but I’m not sure about material for a dress. Ask Thornberry where she buys her fabric as she always seems to get it on sale.

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