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Edgier patterns
Any good sources?
kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/15/13 6:59 PM

I'm finding that most patterns, even those created by some independent pattern companies, are starting to seem a little boring. Changes in knit tees, for example, can never really get away from the fact that it's just a tee shirt, and when you get right down to it, they are basically pretty similar. I look through the pattern gallery here, and a few things jump out at me as different, but not very many.

What started me thinking about this was a recent trip out of the country (northern Europe), and some clothes I bought on my trip. Items I get a lot of complements on, the "where did you get that?" kind of thing. Great colors, interesting designs and silhouettes, very fun to wear. I have looked at the newest Burda, a few things there pique my interest a bit, but only a bit.

Anyone have interesting sources to share? I'm not at an avant garde kind- of age, thoroughly middle aged, but I am very eager to try and fend off looking frumpy (while trying to avoid looking silly, for those my age who can relate.. ;)) thx for any insights (and my apologies for the conspicuous ennui)

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Nancy K
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In reply to kkkkaty <<


Date: 3/15/13 7:36 PM

I don't really know what you are aiming for from what you've said. Why don't you post some pictures of the kind of rtw ? What did you buy exactly?
Style Arc, the Australian company has some chic things. I like some of Hot Patterns which are often influenced by specific designers. I still like Burda Style. I've been subscribing for a dozen years, and Vogue patterns are still what I buy. I look online for current fashions that I can translate using patterns I can find and alter if I have to. I am looking for chic casual that isn't too casual. It's hard to find. I don't need an office wardrobe since I work out of my home and as a landscape designer even seeing customers is not a dressy affair.

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Mparedon
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Date: 3/15/13 7:40 PM

I am not advanced enough to try this but I notice in sewing blogs that a nice alternative to the 'same ol' options are coming from Japanese sewing books. I even ran across a Japanese sewing translation guide that helps with common words that are used in these books.

Andi
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In reply to kkkkaty <<


Date: 3/15/13 8:42 PM

You may want to check out some of the other pattern magazines, La Mia Boutique, Manequim, Patrones, My Image. I am sure there are more.

nancy2001
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In reply to kkkkaty <<
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Date: 3/15/13 10:36 PM

I don't look to the pattern companies for inspiration -- instead I snoop shop online at my favorite high end stores. Then I modify my basic TNTs to replicate or design whatever look I want.

The best way to avoid looking frumpy is to make sure everything thing fits as close to perfectly as you can get it. During the past year, I spent several months reworking the fit of my TNTs for tops, pants and jackets (mostly with the help of Sarah Veblen), and it was definitely time well spent.

As far as colors go, that's a fabric shopping problem, and the cure is to explore some of the better fabric websites. Whenever I want a more interesting fabric, I shop at Emma One Sock, Marcy Tilton and Nancy Erickson. Also, I'm very picky about details like buttons and zippers which can make or break an outfit.

In short, my advice is for you to find your own inspiration and set your own path.

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Andi
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In reply to nancy2001 <<


Date: 3/16/13 0:40 AM

Nancy, what are your favorite places to snoop shop?

ChristineX
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In reply to Andi <<


Date: 3/16/13 1:13 AM

I was going to say that La Mia Boutique seems to have some adventurous designer clothes from time to time. Burda used to have more avant-garde stuff from designers years back.

nancy2001
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Date: 3/16/13 1:19 AM

Andi, I love the Saks website -- and Neiman's, too. These carefully designed websites show thousands of beautiful garments from all the top designers. There are clear and crisp photos of each piece from every direction, and you can zoom in really close to see all the details.

When I'm looking for inspiration, I'll scan through every item in a category (usually jackets), and that can take well over an hour or even two. Doing this gives me a good feel for the range of what's considered stylish -- which is very different from the pattern company's idea of style. And I sometimes find one or two pieces I truly love. Even if I don't love an entire piece, I often find a collar or another detail I'd like to borrow. If I lived in a big city, I'd visit the stores in person, but the website is actually almost as good as being there.

It's true I badmouthed the pattern companies in my earlier comment. But over the past couple of months, I've bought several OOP Vogues (top Paris designers) from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s -- before Vogue went downhill. I don't plan to sew the entire garment. But I would like to borrow a few details (like a cuff or lapel) and combine them in my own way for a contemporary, nonvintage look.

It's easy to get into a rut if you're buying patterns someone else designed and stitching garments together according to the plan. Once you're past the beginner level, it's time to start figuring out what you really want your clothes to look like and how to get there.



-- Edited on 3/16/13 1:30 AM --

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In reply to kkkkaty <<


Date: 3/16/13 2:35 AM

I'm not sure what style you're looking for and which independent pattern companies you have been looking at - but as you mentioned Northern Europe, I wanted to point out the two Danish pattern companies I'm aware of though you most likely know them anyway:
HOMEMADE and Onion

Personally, I find some nice designs in their collections but as you phrased it: a t-shirt is a t-shirt, and hardly anything is really edgy in my eyes but I guess that's very subjective ...

A lot about Scandinavian design to me is what you also mentioned: colors! They are not afraid of strong colors and fun prints (think marimekko).

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Date: 3/16/13 8:00 AM

There are also German pattern companies that have interesting designs, like schnittquelle: www.schnittquelle.de. But since you said "edgy" and then "not avant garde" examples of clothes that you like might indeed be helpful. I think Style Arc patterns are great but I'd never describe them as edgy.

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