For me, a successful pattern is one that I made many times over, with variants, in different colours and fabrics. Admittedly, I haven’t got many of those! But this is a story of one such pattern which is still going.
The summer dress
Some years ago I bought a viscose jersey dress which fitted so well and felt so nice, I wished I had a dozen of those so I could change them frequently, yet never run out. Viscose jersey is basically T-shirt material, so the dress went into the wash after every use.
Well then, I traced the pattern from the dress, made a few minor changes and promptly sewn a batch of five dresses in viscose jersey of different designs, just varying sleeves and skirt lengths a little. Wore them all summer, as it turned out to be a hot one.
Although they were all viscose jersey, but coming from different factories, they had slightly different weight and stretch to them. My original bought dress fared the worst of them all as it kept shrinking in every wash until it became too dense, too tight, too short and too uncomfortable and ended up in a charity shop (ok, may be I gained a bit of weight too). I also dismissed one of the dresses I made because the pattern looked nicer in the material than in the dress… you know the sort! But the remaining four dresses I’m still wearing, for the forth summer running.
The winter dress
The thing with summer dresses is that you can’t really wear them in winter – too cold. But surely, there must be some heavier jersey around! And of course there is. So for the coming winter of that year I made three jersey dresses, now varying the design a bit more. Yep, still wearing them.
Over the next few years more winter dress variations emerged, prompted by the fabric in my stash. And there’s a lot more designs in my sewing book, as well as jersey on my shelf. 😉
The jersey top
But I also like to wear separates, and I’m sure you spotted a top among the pictures above. But now it’s summer again, and I’m all out of suitable tops to go with my favourite skirts… Jersey pattern to the rescue!
I’m using viscose jersey again, but I want these tops to be tailored but not as snug as the original dresses.
Re-measure the patterns, the garments, not to forget to re-measure myself as well, re-model the pattern a bit to make a one-piece front with darts… Et voila! One shirt with collar, two tops with V-neck and four tops with scoop neck, plus a skirt because I didn’t want to keep the off-cut. Summer sorted! 🙂 More tops in the pipeline for the autumn.
Admittedly, the pattern for these tops is very different from the original dress, so you could say it’s a new pattern altogether. May be. But then again, it’s still got the same back and almost the same sleeves… The important thing for me though is that it came forth from the dress pattern, it wasn’t created from scratch.