The House of Tatterdemalion

Unfashionable, unskilled, inexpensive--but still sewing.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Pattern Addiction

Krystin Baker estimates she has about 3000 patterns. She's trying to get them all scanned in and up on the 'net for all to see. (Just the front covers, not the actual pattern pieces.) It's a cool place to look for inspiration. She's also accepting "donations"--if you have patterns (particularly old ones, since they are harder to get a hold of), you can scan in the front covers and email them to her. They get added to the collection as well.

I've sent her a couple dozen so far. My favorite right now is this on this page, the wedding dress in the right hand corner (number 9677). The reason it's my favorite is because it has the most family history. It's the pattern my grandmother picked out for her wedding; my great-grandmother sewed it for her. Grandma was had an hourglass figure, including a teeny tiny waist. When my Mom wore it for her wedding, they had to let out the waist. My mom has always had this funny notion that she was 'fat' when she was young. Apparently this started with not matching the measurement chart on the back of patterns--her waist was "too large" compared to her bust, and thus, she was fat. I think the much more obvious thing is that she had a small bust compared to her waist. Besides, she clearly remembers being only 110 lbs. when she got married (I think I weighed 110 lbs. when I was 12!).

Needless to say, should I ever get married, I will not be wearing the same wedding dress. Besides the most obvious fact that won't fit (not hardly), it has also been aging. In the picture of my grandmother wearing it, the dress was snow white. When my mom wore it, it had turned cream, or ivory. When I saw it last year as we moved my grandparents to a new residence, it was now beginning to have a distinctive yellowish cast to it. But I am still very pleased to have the pattern, and the accompanying family history.

Another pattern of mine that makes me smile every time I see it is one on this page, also in the lower right hand corner, number 3249. The girls on the front cover are wearing white gloves! This cracks me up to no end. Anyone who has ever seen 3 year-old-girls knows that how long those gloves will stay white: for just as long as the girl isn't wearing them.

The most distinctive feature of that pattern, however, is that there are also darts. Darts on a 3 year-old's dress are just about as hysterical as white gloves. I think the darts are little more than glorified pin-tucks. I've always thought of darts as much as design lines as a means of providing shaping, but it still amuses me to see them dresses for toddlers. The darts are there simply to give it the "style" of a fitted dress, even though the darts don't provide any fitting themselves. (If you look at most 3 year-olds, their little tummies are sticking out. There is certainly no inward slant from chest to waist!)

There's one on this page that I think is particularly ugly, and as many things ugly, unique. It's 6405, the designer sack dress. It's white, with a green border, and apparently it's been designed to make the wearer look as shapeless as possible. The funny thing is that they actually went through a good deal of trouble to make sure that the dress did actually have shaping. It doesn't seem apparent from the front cover, but if you look at the back of the pattern(which is right beside it, I scanned that in, too), you can see that the front actually has darts. Why they should go through the trouble of putting darts in a dress designed to look like I sack, I don't know. I suppose they wanted the look of an un-wrinkled sack, which of course is just so much more sophisticated than a wrinkled sack.

Another one, on this page, that does have unique shaping without being ugly. In the lower right hand corner, there is a long evening gown, 6094. I don't believe I've ever seen such an unusual empire waisted dress. The dart turns smoothly into the waistline. It looks a bit peculiar, but I wish I could see it made up, how the seaming comes out in real life.

If you have patterns of interest, please consider uploading them so the rest of us can see, too!


Blogger abigail said...

I had a gold dress I wore in college. It had green trim and was a vintage designer sack dress with, you guessed it, darts. :)

I love the pattern that was used for your grandmother's and mom's wedding dress. Beautiful.

AND, lastly, I thoroughly enjoyed your Anatomy of a Troll post, laughing out loud in parts! (Just to clear the air, I think you look nothing like a troll, but I enjoyed your post in the same way I would enjoy a post about Abigail as Janet Reno.)

8:15 PM  
Blogger Tatterdemalion said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the troll post! (And it's wise not to take the preception abilities of brothers too serisously. . .) I think it's also good that neither of us take ourselves too seriously.

9:46 AM  

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