Design Riffs

Having sewn clothing (and drapery – and pillows – and costumes – and… you get the picture) all my life, I am still continually amazed at how patterns are subtly transformed into new fashions by the use of darts, seaming, finishes, etc. Many new independent pattern companies today are going back to the classics we created decades ago and yet giving them a twist, an attitude – a freshness that is exciting a brand new generation. Colette Parfait

This dress from Colette Patterns even has the great name: “Parfait”.  There’s a vintage appeal with the shaped and gathered bustline and buttoned straps.  Yet there is nothing old fashioned or stuffy in this design.

With the added benefit of the internet, links to tutorials often accompany the patterns purchased.  Have you tried downloading a pattern?  This is touted as being the new future of sewing.  I haven’t dipped my toe into this pond yet, but I think I will first try the method of downloading to a memory stick and taking it to Staples to have them print in large format instead of trying to piece together so many 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets of paper.

The Tilton sisters, Marcy and Katherine walk an enviable path.  They create fabulous designs for Vogue and Butterick – innovative, artistic designs!  They host two trips a year to explore the Paris fashion world. AND they shop for high end fabrics that they sell from their stash in Oregon.

Marcy's upcoming pattern for Vogue
Marcy’s upcoming pattern for Vogue
Katherine's pattern 6254 for Butterick
Katherine’s pattern 6254 for Butterick

Another rock star in the sewing world is Gretchen Hirsch aka Gertie.  From the New York area, she has infused the sewing world with what she terms “Vintage Casual”.  She’s a teacher, author, pattern creator and now a fabric designer with her fabrics being sold in Joanne stores nationally.  I think the appeal of vintage designs as a basis for fashion is the flattering lines that accentuate the positive aspects of a woman’s body.  They are more universal in their fit, timeless in their design and fun to show off that va va voom that is inside us all!

B5814 for Butterick by Gertie's Patterns
B5814 for Butterick by Gertie’s Patterns

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