Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pattern exchange

I have an idea I want to run by you guys.

You know how some blogs/sewing sites do sew-alongs? I’ve never participated in one, mostly because returning to sewing as a full-on hobby and then blogging about it are relatively new to me. Oh, and because most sew-alongs have to do with quilting, which I’ve done in the past but don’t really do anymore.

So instead, I’m wondering what it would be like to do a pattern exchange? Here’s what I envision –
  • Some people sign up for it, regardless of skill or years sewing. I’d love a mix of beginners, intermediates, and experts. And quilters who want to break away from the straight seams (you know who you are)!

  • We each pick out our favorite sewing pattern, either one we’ve already made with success or one we’re dying to make but haven’t found time. Maybe even one we’ve drafted ourselves that we need pattern testers for? Something vintage would be cool, remade with modern details. Even patterns for men or kids, whatever it is you’re dreaming about. There are so many patterns I’d love to see made up that I haven’t found the time to do. I could see tracing off the pattern for the other sew-er would be a good idea.

  • I mail my pattern (or tracings and instructions) to someone else in the exchange, and subsequently someone mails a pattern to me, something of their choosing.

  • I make up said pattern in my own size and fabric of choice.

  • We share the projects – successes and failures – when we’re done, and of course, return the patterns to their rightful owner for their future use if they have the original.

What do you think?

I actually think it could be fun to break out of my mold this way. This is because I’m realizing my mold is pretty rigid right now. I was browsing through BurdaStyle’s projects files while waiting for a plane and realized there are so many styles I just haven’t ventured into yet. Full skirts. Dresses with waistbands and pleats. Anything with denim.

One of the goals would be to keep costs as low as possible, from start to finish. It’s easy to make a dress look pretty when you’re using $25-a-yard silk and designer buttons. But can you find something in the bargain bin at Hancock’s and make it look just as cool? Or better yet, can you find fabric to repurpose that doesn’t end up looking (and smelling) like an old bedsheet? I lingered over a white linen-blend bedcover at an estate sale last weekend that had these huge purple cabbage roses on it. I couldn’t decide if it was hideous or beautiful? I left it behind and have kicked myself ever since.

So let me know what you think. Is it a good idea, a bad idea, a stupid idea? Would you participate if we did it?

Thanks, guys ~

1 comment:

  1. It's an interesting idea, one that might be "worth giving a go at". A drawback I can see is with the pattern you might receive. If it's not something you would wear or use, it might be a problem. Maybe there is a way to have those interested share the options they would be willing to offer, maybe offer more than one pattern to choose from. Also, for those who are unable to resize properly, there could be issues. I'm not one who would have a problem resizing, but some might. It might be worth having those interested share the sizing they have and the size they would want, just to see the different sizes available and needed. Maybe most everyone interested is about the same size or perhaps there are some, like me, who have multiple pattern sizes in their stockpile. The idea is definitely food for thought and probably worth trying. Would be nice to hear what others think.