Readers d'un certain age, remember how you used to think life would be a clean linear progression -- 9th grade, 10th grade, 11th grade, Burger King beef-patty flipper, unwed parenthood, delinquency -- but it never was? No, as you and I have painfully learned, life is instead filled with countless tangents and twists, road blocks and blind alleys.
And so it goes with my sewing projects.
I try hard to provide a much-needed sense of order in your chaotic lives. I try not to make false promises, to raise your hopes too much. I know many of you are on the edge emotionally, I can sense it from your comments.
That's why it is with a great deal of trepidation that I reveal that fate has thrown the proverbial wrench into my plans once again. Actually, it's not fate. It's BurdaStyle.
Last month I was invited to participate in a friendly little sewing competition using the downloadable Burdastyle dress pattern of my choice and a Westminster Liberty Art Fabric. They'd send me the pattern and the fabric and I would submit the dress by September 7. I cannot tell you what criteria they used in choosing me but I suspect it had less to do with my sewing skills than their sense that I was a person with time on his hands who was desperate for a little attention.
I was flattered, of course, and Cathy delighted at the prospect of modeling something that wasn't ripped from the fashion pages of a 1943 issue of Ladies Home Companion.
Well, readers, I've received the pattern -- thirty-six 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper that I had to trim and tape together to form a medium-sized area rug and then proceed to cut again into its various pattern pieces. I am embarrassed to admit how tedious and embittering an experience this was.
I know, I know, not the best match but the choice was limited and I did the best I could. You can hardly even tell what's going on in the dress from the photo, and now having seen the pattern up close I can confidently say, a lot, including approximately fifteen button loops.
While BurdaStyle very generously provided me with the pattern, however, they somehow forgot to include the pattern instructions. Friends, I was forced to humble myself and approach the very person who would most likely want to trip me up, in a veritable act of self-sabatoge. She quite selfishly downloaded the instructions off the German Burda website and translated them into English for me.
So this weekend I really must muslin this pattern. The fabric should arrive any day now -- Ich hoffe das, meine Freunde, oder mein Ganz ist gekocht.
So there you have it. My weekend will be sadly devoid of hair cloth interfacing, pad stitching, Silesia, buttonhole twist, and all the other good things we've been talking about for the last how many days.
Wise readers, have you ever downloaded a BurdaStyle pattern and can you explain how this makes sense when there are an infinite number of beautiful printed patterns available to us -- patterns that don't involve toner cartridges, laser printers, Scotch tape or the cheap generic equivalent I use, and dull scissors? How many hours does it generally take you to put one of these together and are there any shortcuts? Of course, it's too late for me, but maybe someone else can benefit.
I am hoping that this all comes together. If not, I swear I'm gonna Burda someone.
What has your experience been with downloadable patterns?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns. I also sew for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!