Yup! I finished sewing my Lattice Dress:
The pattern is the second time I've used Marcy Tilton's V9112 and I'm even happier with this dress than I thought I would be. The lattice print cotton had a selvedge that said it was a VIP print by Joan Messmore, Cranston Print Works Co. It turns out that Cranston was in business from 1812 and closed in 2009, another victim of the US manufacturing policies that sent everything overseas. I've had this piece for so long that the shop I bought it from is long gone as well. Nice to finally use it for something interesting. The black slub rayon was also hovering around waiting for a project. You know how you never want to use the "good stuff"? It's committed now! As I said I consider this dress a freebie and hope that I don't have to wait until it warms up before I can wear it.
I'm beginning to feel like I have a much better grasp of what to sew that will integrate well into my wardrobe and lifestyle. Better fabric choices help as does better fitting on my body. Now that I've got my narrow shoulders and small armholes down nicely I was disappointed to see more loose and boxy shapes coming into fashion. Bleh. They don't look good on me at all. At least I don't have to be dependent on what's in the shops! I can make exactly what I prefer and pftth to them all.
So next I'm sewing a warm tunic top (frankenpatterned) from a heavy French terry in a charcoal mix. It's kind of a test sew for the Thread Theory Finlayson sweater that I want to make for Thom from the same fabric. More on these coming soon.
Meanwhile I was perusing the new books I recently received. Here's one of them:
The Shirtmaking Workbook by David Page Coffin is quite different than what you might expect. The subtitle helps a little - "Pattern, Design and Construction Resources" but what you really get are a lot of shapes for shirt details, especially collars. For example:
This is just one of many spreads like this! Plus quite a lot of inspiration and examples of shirts and of course the details can be extrapolated for women as well as men.
The really interesting bit is that a lot more is available online, including many full-size collar and cuff pattern blocks to play with. Some reviews have bemoaned the fact that these are not in the book itself. However I think this hybrid idea uses the strengths of both print and digital resources and keeps production costs down. Coffin also included quick profiles of some well-known and not-so-well-known (but should be!) designers who share a talent for taking the ubiquitous shirt to new levels. What this book is not is for beginner sewists but for those of us with some pattern making and designing experience, it's a complete treasure trove.
Obviously I really like this book - even though I will likely never try to make so many different collars! I'm looking forward to exploring both the print and the online resources and seeing how I can use the info in my own sewing. After all, I've promised Thom a "tried and true" shirt pattern and have yet to deliver on it. And I make shirts for me too, even though mine aren't exactly your standard shape. Always more to learn and do!