A Quick Pattern

3 Mar

This weekend I knocked off a pattern from a nightgown I received for Christmas.  It is so utterly comfortable that I want more but am not willing to pay $40 and be limited to the fabric selection the store offers.  Plus I think they discontinued it.  Its a VERY simple tunic and I am sure I could have free handed it but since I was wearing it…

Its a 3 piece tunic pattern which wears well as a casual nightgown but would also be a helpful pattern if I ever need a tunic.  When I laid it out I noticed a slight curve over the hip area which explains why it is so comfortable over my big bum.  I find that most tunic style shirts are too tight over my hips or if they fit my hips are too big in the shoulders.  This pattern seems to have just the right amount of flare so it is comfortable but not a tent.  The original is in a thin poly-fleece so somewhat stretchy.  I think I will make a muslin mock up to see how it wears in a non-stretch fabric, just as an experiment. Most likely I will stick with fleece for future nightgowns but you never know the potential of a pattern.  Having an arsenal of well fitting base patterns is invaluable for any seamstress but especially the plus sized one.  It truly cuts down on the time one spends altering patterns.

In my reading of many blogs, books and other resources, I have noticed a difference of opinion.  Some people pose the opinion that each project should start with a fresh pattern or pattern block made from fresh measurements.  Others say start with a pattern block or pattern that has previously been adjusted to your measurements and alter from there.  I am of the latter opinion. My policy has been to take my measurements once a year and develop a well fitting corset, bodice and separate skirt pattern.  If my measurements haven’t changed (which they haven’t in years) I will use the same version year to year.  But always check! I go a little further and have a separate pattern for a princess seam bodice and a darted bodice.  I do mostly Victorian based costumes and within that 40+ years there are a lot off nuanced pattern differences.  I find these 2 bodice variations serve as steady bases for what I need for the era.  If I did other eras, of course I would have different base patterns for each era.  In fact shortly I will have to work out a base pattern for a regency style dress.

Keeping all your patterns with careful notations is absolutely critical in my opinion.  Very rarely have I thrown out a pattern and really that only happens when it is a complete disaster or I take it out and say “what was I thinking!”.  Of course the advantage of keeping patterns and working from a well fitting base pattern is it cuts down on time needed for toiles or mock ups.  The down side is I am running out of space!

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