Hello Frocktalkers, and happy Friday!!! I want to talk with you about something very close to my heart, and that is SEWING. As a costume designer, it is essential that I know how to sew – how else would I be able to design clothing or costumes?! Yes, a stylist can shop and pick beautiful garments from stores and showrooms, and put them together in a whole new way, creating a fresh “look”, but a designer starts from scratch. So, for you aspiring costume designers out there, I have a challenge: Get out your sewing machines and your scissors!!!
I am a collector of vintage patterns. I have hundreds and hundreds of vintage patterns, from the 1800s until present day. If you are interested in costumes and fashion history, a vintage pattern is a great way to connect with the past! There are tons of websites selling vintage patterns, including Patterns From the Past and vintage patterns wiki, not to mention eBay and Etsy.
Step one: check these sites out and find one you like. If you’re a beginner, look for a pattern marked “easy” on the front, particularly from the 1970s – present day. These are tissue patterns with markings on the tissue (as opposed to older tissue patterns where the markings are just holes punched in different sizes all over the tissue) and are much easier to follow.
Step two: go to your local fabric store (avoiding the large chains if you can) or rifle through your local thrift store for some old funky-print sheets, curtains or tablecloths. Stockpile cheap fabric.
Step three: sew your brains out. The more you practice, the better you will become. Sew every day – follow the patterns and study the logic behind putting the garment together. Soon you will be able to alter patterns to create the “look” you see in your head… and one day you won’t need a pattern at all. That is the day, friends, when you are a true designer. You can dream up the look, conceptualize it in 3D, and execute it. That is the true beauty of design.
Here is a great website to give you some inspiration: A DRESS A DAY! She is passionate about it, and it’s fun to read about her adventures in sewing with vintage patterns.
Happy sewing everyone, and have a great weekend!!