Thursday, March 10, 2011

my latest obsession: patterns

Once again, I've gotten hooked on finding new ideas of projects that I want to do.... I really have no need to ever look for another project or find new ideas, because my current "I'd like to do" list could seriously last me a lifetime.  That's part of the problem with having so may awesome resources, and ideas out there to find.

My latest obsession has been patterns.  I decided that I wanted to finally make something for myself so I started looking for ideas, which led me to the pattern books in the fabric store, and then of course I had to pick out just a few.  And of course, I can never stop at just one or two.  In the past 2 weeks I've bought probably close to 15 new patterns.  Most of them are for adult clothing (i.e. for me), but I did also get a new purse pattern, and a coat pattern for the girls (I'd like to make them coats for next winter I think).

This recent pattern obsession has been fueled a bit by some pattern sales, so at least I'm not paying full price.  Hobby Lobby has Simplicity patterns for $0.99 through Saturday, and JoAnn's has them for $1.99.

I've found lots of tops, a few dresses, skirts, even jackets and cardigans.  I'll share along the way as I actually make things.

One awesome tip I have found when it comes to buying patterns... or maybe more just picking out patterns... plan ahead.  If you know that a store has patterns on sale then that is definitely the time to buy them!  I mean, who really wants to pay $17.95 for a pattern when you can scout out the sales and get them for $0.99-$1.99 each? 

Another thing... get online and check out all the patterns and spend your time browsing through the designs at home.  I could honestly spend hours just looking through all the pattern catalogs at the stores, and of course I never actually have that much time to spend doing so.  If you browse the pattern manufacturer website and make a list of the patterns you are interested in then you can head straight to the pattern drawers at the store and save a ton of time. 

I've taken this a step further and will actually take a photo of the patterns that I like on my cell phone, that way if I am in search of a pattern then I can just flip through my phone till I find what I am looking for, and I've got all my info right away.  Or, on the chance that I do sit down and browse through the pattern catalogs, I take a photo of the page and then I have my info handy when I get to the drawers.

Oh yeah, and try not to get too stuck on a specific pattern - especially when they are on sale, the popular ones can easily sell out before you get there.  So be prepared with some alternatives.  There are so many similar patterns available that it's usually pretty easy to find another one that will work for you.

One little rant though - I am a bit disappointed by how a lot of the pattern sizes are limited.  I can find some great patterns but then end up disappointed that it isn't offered in my (larger) size.  Part of my whole reason for wanting to make clothing for myself is so that I can wear things that fit.  It's fairly easy to make things fit if you are able to make it from a larger (than accurate) size pattern and then adjust to take it in where needed, but I'm finding it quite a bit harder to make a pattern larger in the areas that I need it to be bigger to fit.

I'm thinking that maybe I need to learn how to customize pre-made patterns...

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