Introductory

I simply can't believe that I've never shared my sample makes for this amazing top. I suppose I was so busy turning it into a workshop that missed the obvious.  So you may remember the original post from January 2015 - Pattern Insights - Jersey Twist Patterns.  I used my Women's Knit Block to demonstrate the simplest way to achieve jersey twist patterns.  The same method makes both single and double twist patterns.  This is not the only method for making jersey twist patterns and you'll find other examples on my 'well-suited' blog.

Since I've been online (6 years now) I've become aware of an enormous love for vintage style out there, and in particular vintage patterns. And in some strange way, these patterns are so familiar to me.  I must have used some of my grandmother's patterns when I was younger because the lack of instructions and complete absence of print on these vintage patterns doesn't confuse or put me off at all.  Somehow it appears to me as a secret code I have to solve to uncover the exact intentions of the designer/pattern maker.

I recently had to come up with a crafty Christmas idea that I could demonstrate at the Wagga Wagga Spotlight store.  Once a year they have local makers demonstrate in the fabric department, and this year it was my chance.  So in a moment of inspiration, I came up with the Christmas Bow Tie as an alternative to the usual party hats.  I had the choice of all their Christmas prints and I selected four different prints in a red and white theme.

This pattern is one of my 'Off-the-Rails' sewing patterns that I've worked with for many years.  The Boat Neck Tee is a wardrobe classic when cut in a plain cloth and seriously quirky when you mix your print and plain knit fabrics. Although the image below is of a half sleeve tee-shirt, the pattern comes with a three-quarter sleeve.  I'll be adding a post to the blog very soon showing the sleeve pattern alterations for short and long sleeves.

Trawling through the samples on my rail I see so many garments that I haven't posted to follow on from the original pattern puzzle.  So to re-cap I cut this first sample based on a folk costume pattern for a Mantle Dress, Inner Garment referred to as a Eura Costume.  Like many folk costume designs it uses all the fabric and qualifies as zero-waste.  It's from a time when all textiles were considered of great value and no amount of cloth was ever wasted.

The origins of my passion for creative pattern making start way back in 1980 when I first went to fashion college.  It was at this time that I was introduced to an amazing pattern making book that just lit up my brain.  Natalie Bray's technical diagrams leapt off the page and made immediate sense to me.  I could hardly contain my excitement at the potential of pattern making.  To this end I believe I was quite the pesky student in our pattern making classes.  The student with 20 questions every session, that drove the pattern making teacher crazy.  You'll find Natalie's books on all the usual book selling sites and the prices vary dramatically, so do your research.

A sweet opportunity... After a fabulous weekend in Melbourne, teaching at the Stitches and Craft Show, we drove the long way home and stopped off in Bendigo to catch this amazing exhibition. I'm not very good at giving myself time off for rest and recreation but I've long been aware of the great work they do at the Bendigo Art Gallery. And although the show has ended I've selected a handful of my favourite images from the show to share with you here. In particular the main exhibition image below: I'd love a pair of sunglasses just like Edith's. They're so stylish!
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