Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pretty Patterns

I've spent the last week getting to grips with using proper printed patterns, starting off with clothing for babies ... the results of which you can check out on my vintage baby blog, Albert and the Lion. One advantage of being on maternity leave is that I've had acres of time to fill with patiently cutting and working out how to use a pattern properly, and I've been delighted with the level of finish on the things I've made. I'm completely hooked. So I thought I'd swell my patterns stash with some more projects for The Boy, and also with some for me and Mr B too.

I've blogged before about the excellent online sewing site, Backstitch. Alice, who runs it, has a superb selection of the funkiest patterns from across the globe, and she's adding to her stock all the time. And I love receiving a parcel from Backstitch - the patterns come hand wrapped in tissue paper, tied with ribbon and bearing a handwritten note. It's like receiving a gift, and in these impersonal days of online shopping, the pretty little touches make all the difference.

Alice stocks a selection of American Oliver + S patterns which are fantastic - classic, slightly retro clothing patterns for little boys and girls. I've bought a couple before and also own the Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew Book which I would highly recommend as one of the best craft books around. The design and cut-out doll illustrations of the packaging are beautiful and the instructions are really well written. This time, I bought the Sketchbook Shirt & Shorts pattern, and the Nature Walk Pullover and Pants pattern. My creations will be on my baby blog in due course.

For me and Mr B, I went for two patterns by Collette, another American company. They produce modern classic patterns with a vintage feel, and again, the packaging and design are superb - they blow pattern packaging from Burda and the like out of the water. 

For Mr Biddle, I chose the American retro Negroni Shirt - which is an intermediate level pattern and I'm a bit nervous about attempting. But I've got a big piece of vintage red gingham crying out to be turned into a shirt for him so I'll report back when I pluck up the courage to try it. For myself, I chose the Violet blouse which looks very cute indeed and is a beginner level pattern so hopefully won't flummox me too much!

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