Every so often something happens that makes us question our choices. The prompt this time was a blog post I read by Sew Tessuti who was showing a selection of patterns bought over a number of years – and so many very similar patterns.
This weekend I bought a couple of Style Arc patterns using the discount. Great time to try out a new to me pattern company who seem to have a very good following. Then I looked at what I had bought in the light of what I had read.
The first was a pattern bundle which included the Stacie jean jacket, Sally jean skirt, and Diana top. I really only wanted the jacket but it was such a good buy… well, you know the feeling. The other option was the Ziggi biker jacket.
These were both styles I really thought I would use – but wait a minute – do these look familiar?
Start with Stacie. I love jeans jackets. I have made a few in the past, check out this post, this one, and finally this one. Also, in a recent Patrones post I showed a jacket that isn’t a million miles from this. See a theme developing? All OK, but none exactly what I wanted.
The first (McCalls 5860) was a great basic shape but I followed the instructions pretty much as is and hated the way the lining was installed from the word go. The second was self drafted and just OK. I still wear it on occasion but it has never really thrilled me. The third was from a Craftsy course. I learned a bunch of stuff from the course, have worn this jacket quite a lot, but it seems a bit of a compromise jeans jacket. A ‘home sew’ option. I have read a number of blog posts about ‘Stacie’ and most are positive – but the pockets are just decorative rather than functional, and the cuffs seem to come in for some criticism. It would seem that the pattern companies are on a hiding to nothing as we have very specific ideas of what we want, but we don’t all want the same thing. Clearly I am going to have to do a bit of adaption to make Stacie exactly what I had in mind.
Now then Ziggi. I have seen some blisteringly good versions of Ziggi online. Check out Ruths version at Core Couture, or Shams at Communing with Fabric, or …. any one of loads. Brilliant jacket. Perfectly biker – just what I want. But I have already got the Janet Pray MotorCity Express pattern as part of another Craftsy course (not yet started). I have put off starting the course because I had slight reservations about the pattern. I knew the lack of a collar was something I was going to have to change, and no matter how much I know I have gained from the other Janet Pray courses I have watched this one languished. Is Ziggi closer to what I want? I think so, but I really must watch the course because I’m sure it will help construction when I decide what I am to do.
Both of these jacket styles can be dressed up or down according to need but are arguably both fairly casual, every day jackets. That’s OK. Sadly my lifestyle doesn’t really have great need for spectacularly ‘dressed up’ clothing. However, my concern is have I just fallen into a style rut where I simply choose what is comfortable and familiar, or have I actually found that rare beast – My Style?
I have spent a fabulous hour this morning watching a Channel 4 programme recorded earlier in the week called Fabulous Fashionistas. It was wonderful to have a style programme on prime time TV , even if I did save it for later, that concentrated on ‘a more mature lady’.
All of these ladies were fabulous, if extreme, versions of what I would like to be when I grow up. As dressmakers we are very fortunate to be able to make/remodel clothes so that we don’t have to wear something that is instantly recognisable as being a particular shop or brand. This makes me very happy.
While watching I was reminded of the post I reblogged some time ago about Advanced Style. This was a book I had intended to get at the time, and is still available on amazon. I love to see people, old or young, expressing their own style and that is very much in evidence in the blog world.
I am still
fairly very conservative, having been very traditionally brought up, and sometimes find it hard to actually wear what I would like to for fear of being considered ‘odd’. You know what? I am going to just go with my feelings from here – I might look an idiot from time to time but I will be my own idiot.
P.S. I am going out tonight in a group of eight ‘ladies of a certain age’ to see The Lion King. And I can guarantee I will have a ball. Leopard print shoes at the ready.