Seamwork 23: Get Dressed Up
October is a magical time. Almost half the world feels the retreat of summer and the approach of chilly autumn. With the foliage changing, harvests in full swing, and nights getting colder, why not celebrate those seasonal parties with a slight twist to your wardrobe?
For the October 2016 issue of Seamwork, we took some inspiration from Biba and the 1970s glam to create two dresses that will add flare to your wardrobe. Plus, the issue is packed with some great articles that will let you go behind the scenes at The Royal Shakespeare Company, perfect the fit of your knit garments, and take a glimpse into the life of a Hollywood seamstress.
Here are the two new quick-to-sew patterns in this issue:
Arden is a babydoll dress reminiscent of late 60s London street wear, but with a modern twist. Arden has a contrasting yoke, shawl collar, center front bow, and full sleeves with cuffs. The dress hits at the knee, and has long darts that create the bell shape.
With all the ease that Arden provides, there is no need for a closure. Make it from silk or rayon challis to create a beautiful, drapey dress. Or add some structure to Arden by using a lightweight flannel or cotton lawn. Experiment with different colors for the front and back yokes, or try an eyelet or a fun print. Paired with some tights and boots, Arden makes a fabulous fall outfit.
Winona has a variety of design options that will transition you from summer to fall, day to night. First, it features bell sleeves and a full, floor-length skirt constructed from four panels. Version 2 has seam lines in the sleeve and bottom skirt panels, so you can add a contrast fabric to the sleeve insets and bottom skirt panels. Play with some stretch lace, or a fun, vibrant color, or opt to remove the bottom skirt panels altogether and make a shorter dress.
To create a fitted sleeve and V-neck version of the maxi dress, see this month’s article of Block Paper Scissors. This month’s article of Sewing Specifics will show you how to apply appliqué to the neckline to add some fun to your wardrobe!
A Peek Inside the Issue:
- The Problem with Personal Style: Dress yourself with more joy and less self-imposed rules.
- Behind the Scenes at The Royal Shakespeare Company: Creating costumes that span centuries, by Charlotte Powell.
- Sewing Specifics: Add a couture touch with appliqué on knit fabric.
- Slow Sewing: Bring vintage style into a minimal wardrobe, by Jessica Yen.
- Stitching for the Stars: Take a peek at the life of a costumer, by Jessica Lawson.
- Perfectly Fitted Knits: Get knit-picky with fitting, by Katie Whittle.
- Slow Fashion October: A thoughtful approach to fashion, by Laurel Anne Powell.
- Swatch Service: Become a fabric expert with this month’s patterns.
- Seamwork Style: Mix and match patterns for a unique me-made wardrobe.
- One Pattern, Three Ways: Get more out of your me-made garments.
- Block Paper Scissors: Modify the Winona bodice and sleeve for an easy everyday look, by Anna Aguirre.
- Seamworker’s Closet: Take a peek into a Seamworker’s closet for inspiring finished projects
- Wally’s Wisdom: How do I make the most of my fabric?
- Contributors & Staff: Meet the writers, makers, and artists from this month’s issue.
- Resources: Where to get fabric, supplies, and recommended additional reading for this issue.
“Choosing to sew one’s clothing is all about prioritization. Prioritizing creativity, prioritizing time for a hobby, prioritizing the importance of knowing where one’s clothes come from and how they’re made, and lastly prioritizing which garments to bring into your life and why. Vintage-inspired clothing and a minimal wardrobe don’t have to be mutually exclusive. By prioritizing which retro elements to evoke, you can have a closet that’s varied, fun, and filled with favorites.” -Jessica Yen, Slow Sewing
“The task of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s costume department is daunting: to create a full suite of costumes for multiple plays simultaneously, ones that require anything from weaponry to full Renaissance-era detailing to the ability to withstand rain and mud and blood, while maintaining high enough standards that costumes can be used hundreds of times. How do they do it? And what techniques have they developed that sewists can borrow?” -Charlotte Powell, Behind the Scenes at The Royal Shakespeare Company
“Have you ever watched a movie and wondered how the costumes were made, where Superman got his cape, or if Cinderella’s dress was really assembled by her faithful mice? We may not be fairy godmothers, but hidden away in Los Angeles behind secret doors are the seamstresses, patternmakers and tailors of the Motion Picture Costumers Union, Local 705.” -Jessica Lawson, Stitching for the Stars
Also, Also, Also, there’s a new episode of Seamwork Radio!
In 1999, Kristine Vejar took her first trip to India. There, she met the Rabari, a small community that changed her perspective and direction for the future. In this story told by contributor Jessica Yen, Kristine shares what she learned, and how that informed the direction of her growing business, A Verb for Keeping Warm. Listen to the new episode here.