I See Crazy Patterns

Sewing as illness

For Fox’s Sake

Ah Simplicity 7133. Bought for a time in the future when I thought men, women and children would be able to wear corduroy jumpsuits and play a normal part in polite society. I liked it so much I bought it in both my sizes (Fat-arsed Lady and Fat-arsed Self-indulgent Lady). Eventually, I started to make it in orange corduroy (which knocked me over the luggage limit, San Francisco c2004  – in anticipation of the Great British Corduroy Famine, which to my surprise never quite materialised) .


Then I realised I was in danger of looking like a Guantanamo Bay inmate. Even in another colour…could anyone but Diana Rigg carry it off in everyday life? I thought about it a lot.

Then my friend decided to do a fun run (in aid of Australian Bush Fire charities, hence flag…). So I made the body of the costume (flag not included) with it in brown velour with white fur:


It did work quite well, but I had to mess with the shoulders (as in the pattern they are sort of ‘button-over’ ones, like dungaree shoulders) and add sleeves. Oh and the legs were rather capacious. Come to think of it, it was completely rehauled. It bears about as much resemblance to its original form as Joan Rivers does. But…it lasted the fun run without too many problems (I suspect my friend was being polite though, as by then it had turned into an off-the-shoulder number).

The fox head was my own pattern mind. Here’s the original styling:


I’ll get onto the ridiculous gingham effort soon enough…



28/07/2009 Posted by | Sewing | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bow Selector (thanks W-Mikki)

I do like Simplicity 5924. Especially the view three, with the ridiculous collar.


Never made that one though…Stuck to view four. Three times. In brown with cream polka dots (£1.50 a metre, Brighton, 2008)…



In a sort of denimy/lilacy colour (£1 a metre, Walthamstow Market, c2001) with a bow from pink linen (that I made the top of yesterday’s ludicrous gingham number from):




And finally in a sort of unusual ribbed yellow synthetic fabric (from some sort of sale in San Francisco 2004):




And since you ask: No, I don’t like ironing. Not at all.

Potential difficulties: Er…floppy bow…and joining the collar up properly at the back.

Only really wear the brown version of these three though…never gone near the yellow one.

26/07/2009 Posted by | Sewing | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pink Industry

This one was doomed from the start. Yes that’s right. Maternity. I do like my pies though, so I thought I’d be all right.


But look!


There are four seam lines! And even the smallest one is generous, to put it mildly. You’re meant to sew the smallest one, and let it out bit by bit as you expand. As the pattern says, These stitchings may be ripped out when necessary, allowing for extra fullness.

I mean, I’m hardly a precision sewer, but how are you meant to get a nice fit when you can do that? Of course, when I’d made it it was bloody massive, so I had to hack hack hack away at the fabric.

But, even taking this aside, there are three main problems:

  1. Gingham sends me into a frenzy. I understand it’s like this for all women
  2. As a child I used to ask my mother for permission to build Lego into a different colour scheme to the pictures on the box
  3. I’m over six.

So…I went for version 2, the one on the left. And then thought that a matching headband was a good idea. So I made one. Then I realised I had some shoes in the same stuff. And good God, the lining of my pink patent bag was wrought from the fabric too! It was all too perfect. Then I left the house.

Doesn't she look *humiliated*?

Doesn't she look humiliated?

Look at that placket work.

Look at that placket work.

At least Annabel's nailed to the floor and so was spared these.

At least Annabel's nailed to the floor and so was spared these.

I got laughed at the full length of Walthamstow market* and back. I’m used to attracting comments and a bit of joviality, but nothing compared with the effect I achieved that day.

Nothing as wonderful as the comment my friend got from a tramp though. (‘F*** me, it’s Bertie Bassett!’)

(Deep down, though, I still don’t get it. Everyone should dress like Sindy. Why can’t they see it?)


Pattern: Simplicity 6462

Fabric: Pink Irish linen (quite expensive, always creased to buggery) and £1 a metre pink gingham from Walthamstow market

Construction date: Summer 2006

Worn: 3 times (only once with accessories)

*The longest street market in Europe.

25/07/2009 Posted by | Sewing | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ovoid Colour Scheme

So here we have Simplicity 5824. Mid-’60s. Look what they’ve done. Ruffles and polka dots, the bastards:


Yes, you’ve all been talking about it: the ruffle came back ‘in’ this year. People went mad! Certainly put all that Michael Jackson stuff into perspective.

So I’ll be ‘on trend’ for six months which is rubbish really – being 40 years out of date looks deliberate – looking two years out doesn’t. Pah sod it.

Anyway, my most recent attempt at the ruffle was undertaken in June this year and is modelled here by Annabel who maintains her elegance and dignity in the most frivolous of garments: 



Anyway, here’s the breakdown of this exquisite garment:

Pattern: Simplicity 5824 (mid-’60s)

Assembled: June 2009

Colour: Classic fried egg combo of yellow body and off-white ruffle collar.

Fabric: Some yellow crepe which I bought from John Lewis nine years ago and a bit of cream stuff that was lying around.

Amount of times worn (as of 24 June) : 1

Likelihood of being worn again: 1,000-1

It’s not even the first time I’ve made this dress either. Bloody hell. What am I doing with my life?!


 Ah that’s right…I’ve been drinking cava and squinting.

Stats for second dress:

Pattern: Simplicity 5824 (mid-’60s)

Assembled: July 2007

Colour: The ever-popular lime green with white dots

Fabric: Some £1 a metre stuff from Walthamstow Market c2001

Amount of times worn (as of 24 June) : 1

Likelihood of being worn again: 1,000,000-1

24/07/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment