Friday, March 16, 2012

pattern madness in march

I reckon it's about time I share with you kind folks what I've really been up to lately, besides using the words "reckon" and "folks" ironically. I've been furiously sewing one pattern multiple times, that's what. In between March Madness b-ball games, of course. Go Cards.

Tilly's hosting an "event," if you will, called One Week One Pattern (OWOP) that occurs March 26 to April 1. It's a celebration of tried-and-true patterns that are versatile and wearable on the daily, so the challenge is to wear multiple garments (or a single garment) made from the same pattern, all week long. I'm participating because I liked the idea of modifying a basic pattern to make significantly different looks. I still rely on patterns for basic shapes and fit because I don't want to spend my time determining arm hole curvature, shoulder seam width, darts, etc. when it's already accessible in a pattern. But I do enjoy the process of adding little design elements to make a truly unique garment.

The pattern I'm using for OWOP is the New Look 6104 blouse. Try not to snore.

I think New Look is taking their "young and fresh" styling a little far when they make a 20-something woman look like a 6-year-old girl ("Now, invert your toes and waddle like a toddler. Nice!"). But I guess I was subconsciously influenced by it, if you remember the sneak peek (well, full peek really) of one version I already made: the uber-girly floral peplum blouse. Should I wear it with Easter Bunny-bright pink pants, per New Look's suggestion? 

I'm much more excited about this other version, though, so instead of waiting until a grand reveal during the actual week of OWOP, I want to show it to you now.

It's a dress! Oh how clever. Uh, I swear I used NL6104 to begin, but I chopped down the bodice length, curved the neckline to a more V-shape, lengthened the neck binding to form the button placket, widened the front shoulders so I could gather them, added a knee-length gathered skirt, omitted the sleeves, and created a long tie wrap for the waist. Phew. And that's not to mention the basic fitting issues I had to change -- like bust darts that sat lower than usual because there weren't sleeves to help pull up the bodice, etc. etc. I kind of regret some of the design changes, like the gathered shoulders that look more wrinkly than beautifully draped as I had hoped.

I love this color blue. The little scattered red, black and white geometric squares look like confetti falling through the sky, so I'm calling it my Confetti Dress. The fabric is a swishy & slippery polyester which kinda makes me feel like I'm wrapped in a tent or something. Not very glamorous, but I'm not at a point of my sewing life where I can take the plunge into silk or whatever fancy people use. I have a strict budget and "dry-cleaning" is not part of it. "Beer" is, though. Priorities, people.

OK so this is only version 3 and I want to make at least two more. The ones I've made are all colorful prints, so I'm thinking a basic black or white blouse is necessary for my wardrobe. Oh lordy, I only have ten days left! But now that I'm so familiar with the pattern, making a blouse straight from it should really only take an evening. Right?

Who else is participating in OWOP? Have you decided, like me, to complicate your life by sewing up a million of the same pattern in the weeks leading up to it, or do you already have several versions of the same pattern that you're planning just to throw on?