In my studio, I enjoy the company of many 3" x 3" fabric swatches - sometimes contained in a wooden box, sometimes peppered around the table, the floor, or the walls like a wannabe quilt.
Swatches are essential if you sew a lot but find it difficult to leave the house to actually visit a fabric store. Baby? Mega-chain fabric store? Twenty minute drive? Meh. I rarely find what I'm dreaming about, anyway.
I do, however, find that NearSea Naturals and Gorgeous Fabrics never disappoint. NearSea has an incredible selection of soft knits, and Gorgeous Fabrics really blows me away with their selections of Italian shirting cottons and suiting wools. Plus, you can order swatches from them before you commit to buy a yard or more of fabric. Sometimes you can get a sense of the color of a fabric on the computer screen, but you never have a clue about how it feels. And man, if you're going to spend the time to make yourself a pair of pants out of something, you want that something to feel good!
Oh, yes ... I'm up to something involving all of those swatches (besides making things for book #2)! Have you seen Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified? Being a self-taught pattern designer, I thought the book, with its course format, friendly language, and youthful style, would be the perfect professional development tool, given that the patternmaking books I already have in my stash are wordy and replete with outdated, frumpy styles. What I've taught myself thus far I've pieced together from various super-dry texts, but I have yet to tackle pants and more complicated design elements.
But I'm ready to take the full-on plunge - and this is going to be a much-needed swim. There are twenty clothing projects in the book, each of which teaches you a new pattern-making technique, beginning from a simple A-line skirt and moving into more complicated pant styles.
And who is it that wears the same ripped sweatshirt and one pair of jeans day in and day out? Me! Who needs some clothes that really fit her post-baby body? Me! While I'm back to my pre-baby weight, these measurements of mine are just different. Lower bustline? Mmm hmm. Changed waistline? You betcha. And you know what? They just don't make clothes that fit the Mama Body to a T.
But I can.
Would you like to join me?
Design Fridays. Here. Starting this week ... a bit of creative design, a bit of sewing techniques and tips, and a whole new wardrobe at the end of it!