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You wear it well...

You wear it well...

Written by: 
cnelson

Can I have a show of hands of how many of us used to make garments?  Something we actually wore.  

This is Crystal Manning, she's wearing a dress she made with her new, showing-to-shops-now Growing Beautiful collection.

When Crystal shared this picture on Instagram yesterday, she wrote the following:  My sewing began by wanting to sew my own simple shift dresses a few years ago. There is a feeling of pride and achievement when you put on a garment that you have made. I instantly smile and think…I made this!! This is what I would like other sewists to experience. Sewing your own clothes allows you to create a sense of style that is unique to you. This Shift Dress by Indygo Junction is a perfect example of an easy project that feels wonderful to wear. 

I used to sew garments, it's how I learned to sew.  Singer Sewing Classes - my Mom insisted that I learn my own bad habits instead of hers.  While I haven't made a garment for myself in years, there are several new fabrics-substrates and more than a dozen garment patterns from "indie" companies that are persuading me that I might need to change that.

Unlike the garment patterns from the big-box stores, these next-generation, indie patterns come loaded with tips for sewing on different types of fabric, fitting the pattern to your body and making changes to sleeves, the length and neckline.  A few provide links to video tutorials.   

Let's start with Cashmerette

Jenny Rushmore - the founder and creative mind behind the company - wrote this: Cashmerette Patterns celebrate curves, confidence, and limitless style. Created by a plus size seamstress, our sewing patterns are made exclusively for sizes 12-28 and bust sizes C-H. We believe in changing clothes and mindsets, rather than being told we should change our bodies. We believe the notion that beauty can be measured in numbers is way past its expiration date—and that we are undeniable proof. We design modern, elegant sewing patterns that make you look amazing, just as you are. You deserve a wardrobe that exudes personality and style, and you are just the person to make it.

All Cashmerette patterns is that they are rated for difficulty - lower right corner.  (Please forgive the glare - that shiny whiny cover.)

The Springfield Top and Montrose Top are both Beginner patterns - the piecing is simple and the garments are loose, not fitted.  

The Upton Dress and Webster Top & Dress are Advanced Beginner - there is some fitting but the garments are mostly un-fitted and do not have buttonholes.  

The Lenox Shirtdress and Harrison Shirt are both Intermediate - buttonholes, fitted elements, curved seams.  

These four patterns are by Sew To Grow - cute pajamas, a simple blazer and two simple dresses that do not need zippers, buttons or to be fitted.

Yes, these are the backs of the patterns.  I thought this side gave a better idea of what each style looked like.  These are the Night Garden Pajama Set - a cute tank-like camisole top and pants / The Bespoke Blazer / Bowerbird Shift or Top / Charli Anne Wrap Dress.

Sew To Grow patterns are from Australia, though they are created by Lindsey Rae Marsh, a Texas girl who moved to Australia in 2011 to live with her sweet Aussie husband.  A lifetime of sewing and teaching led her to create clothing patterns to - as she wrote:  I absolutely LOVE giving the gift of sewing by teaching others new skills and building confidence. Sewing is not what it use to be, and it can be so rewarding to create something unique and individual to your style. My Sew to Grow patterns are designed to teach and grow your skills through easy-to-follow and understand instructions.

Next up is Fancy Tiger Crafts.  What began as a tiny do-it-yourself boutique in Denver, Colorado in 2006 has become a large shop with two sewing studios, weekly Open Craft nights and a large offering of classes.

That's Jaime Jennings and Amber Corcoran on the covers.  Their vision is "to inspire people to reach their crafting potential through modern and sustainable supplies and quality instruction. We believe that making things by hand makes people feel better and that if more people made things, the world would be a better place."

The patterns shown are Fen - a Beginner level boxy-frock that can be made with a v-neck or scoop neck, two different hemline shapes, and as a dress or top / Brome - an Intermediate level top with buttonholes / Wanderlust Tee - Beginner level / Adventure Tank - a Beginner level, simple tank.  

I need to mention that all of these patterns come with a wide range of sizes in each pattern - each envelope or package has all the sizes included.  The sizes for each are:  Cashmerette - Sizes 12 to 28 in each pattern /  Sew to Grow - Sizes XS to 4XL /  Fancy Tiger Crafts - Sizes 0 to 20 / Sew Liberated - Sizes 0 to 24 on most patterns.

Meet Meg McElwee of Sew Liberated!  Sew Liberated began in a drafty adobe house on a street without a name in rural northern Mexico. The year was 2007, and Meg was working as a Montessori teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. With no internet, television, or phone line, Meg spent much of her time honing her sewing and knitting skills. Eventually, she started a blog and began selling patterns based on her designs. Sew Liberated was one of the first indie pattern companies to emerge from the crafting renaissance, and it hopes to remain a small, friendly, and fashion-forward presence in the indie designer community.

All four Sew Liberated patterns are Confident Beginner level, and they are:  Arenite Pants / Metamorphic Dress - the perfect layering dress or top / Matcha Top / Stasia Dress and Top - a simple knit dress that can be made in multiple lengths, with or without sleeves.

I don't know which one I'm going to make first... a choice that is almost certainly going to be affected by what's left in the stack of patterns I grabbed from the warehouse.  It seems a few are disappearing into other offices because... new fabric is arriving, Market is looming and some girls need new frocks.

Happy Tuesday!  Go sew something to wear!

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