Sunday, March 25, 2018

Independant Patterns of the 80s; Fashion Blueprints

(click on pictures to make them too big)

Sometimes an idea has to jump the queue.

I've been working on a set of posts about independent pattern companies of the late 70s and 80s,  paying attention to those that printed their patterns on newsprint (access to large format printing on a local scale). Doing my research, saving them up for when I'm on the summer job, and can just drop them into the queue. 

I will have more about this topic later, but in researching I ran across this eBay auction and figured if I'm going to talk about them, I should boost the signal on this.
Right now.

From the Ebay copy regarding the patterns that he is selling:

"In the 1980s Fashion Blueprints was a small company based in San Jose CA that produced a series of patterns for unique garments based on classic ethnic styles. These patterns were very popular and sold thousands of copies. Their motto was "Easy to make, fun to wear." Sylvia, the owner of this business, recently asked me to place the remainder of her inventory in my eBay store. The patterns are available in limited quantities and are being sold at cost in order to clear out inventory. All are multi-sized; this means you receive the entire size range in one pattern. The photo lineup includes a sizing chart. Unless otherwise noted, all patterns are for both men and women. All patterns are new and unused.
 In the 1980s Sylvia worked as pattern drafter and head of the costume shop at San Jose Repertory Theatre, a professional theater started in 1980 and still going strong today."

There's more on the auction listing.

This is not my auction. I don't know these people. But this is as much information as I have on hand about this company, I can't find anything else of use (oh Vintage Sewing Wiki, you are so useless) and it won't be up forever.

These are some of the pieces from my collection.
They are printed on 17 x 23" newsprint, in blue, with a blueprint style format.

This set is for add on items for other patterns. I believe it came as a set.

Purchased at the fabric store ACROSS THE AVE from my apartment, damn! 
In 1984. The Stitch was great, like all small fabric stores, it had a curated feel to it (cotton, shirting, denim); the owner went on to work at the University Bookstore, like all the other small business owners by the University of Washington.

In a land before WYSIWYG, we used typewriters to set informal type.

I have so many questions: what was the impetus for the company, how did it move from Minneapolis to San Jose, and what stalled it out. 
I have more of the FB patterns I am digging out of the archives in the coming weeks.

  I plan on adding on to this post as I acquire more information, so I am asking: if you have more information, please let me know in the comments. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

March Mending Madness; the black thread in the machine edition

You know, how you hate to change the thread in the machine.....until your kids need something done. And then there's that hoodie you were gonna...
So welcome to the Overexposed for Details We Can't See Anyway edition of EKD: the black thread edition
And yes, that's what I did this afternoon.  Necessary space abbreviations are always tough to decide when plotting ticket printing.

Some jeans need some pocket love. Yes, you iron on a patch on the inside and sew around on the outside. I am informed by Blondini that he will be adding more obvious sewing later. I trust you are all following Ben Viapiana on Instagram.
I mean, damn.
A big tip of the InstaHat to Heather Lou/Closet Case Patterns for that lead.

Thing One Interview Pants need hemming; mark, trim excess but leave more than you think you'll need. Pin them a couple times.
And then flip the hem edge inside to blind hem them.

I leave about an 1/4" open. I use the big pins cause I'm not sewing over them.
You don't need the fancy foot for this.
I own one or two, but I can't be bothered to dig them out for this.
Make a test, make the stitch as wide as you can (it will give you some slack in the stitch).

 You want to watch the center line to get it to match the fold. 
Do Not Watch The Needle, or you will sew astray.

"Dress for the job you want" she told her son as she hemmed the pants.

What do I wear to work?


The cozy but too long hoodie needs trimming and a new zipper. I removed the old white  metal zipper last summer, it's going in the new raincoat. I replaced it with seam tape to keep it from stretching out. And yeah, I kinda wore it like that. I swear I never left the house in it like that.
But it's time. I pinned the stuffing out of it to make sure the hem cut would be even.
 Pockets were removed before this point.

Pin it together at the front seam, too.

Easy pin action when I set them up this way.

Mark it 

More pinning together

Double check the length (measure twice, cut once)

Once. Also trim off ribbing

This is very overexposed to show the seam. And even with this, I had to stick my finger in there to show YES, it's a separate piece. 
Pin ribbing back on
Pockets were sewn back on offscreen

And kids - I hand basted the zipper before I sewed it.

Fixed the top foldover with the excess seam tape.

And it turned out pretty damn well. Bulgy? Nope!

And while we have the UFOs in progress to keep warm in

Traced this one off
Covered the prequilted fabric with upholstery fabric and added patch pockets.
Tapped the bottomless pit of bias tape

It's a muslin, so I'm not worried about matching - it's a functionality test for a 'home wear only' item. Still needs snaps.

Because the down vest is getting sad, and my house is still cold
And my cat needs to be carried.
The heavier material will give her a better 'purchase' on the shoulder.
Because it really is all about the cat.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

What to wear: ECCC 2018 edition. I change my mind over and over again until I run out of time

I know, I go Dalek or I go home.
I should wear this around the house more often
I do have other looks.
Basic Jerry. For your 'i just can't' days
Except it's upside down.

Joes MST3K 'just another face in a red jumpsuit' red jumpsuit.
Pockets galore.

I would Alphonse from Full Metal Alchemist but that's a LONNNNG day in Worbla.
Why is this? Why?
And while i'm considering my choices and what I need to finish today
of course,
 i think of something new

Can I do it?
It involves wearing a headband.
The Shape of Water: Elisa and Zelda

breaking down her apron

and how I color sampled from the photograph
and then a detail shot
 The photo of Elisa and Zelda is very useful. Nice of Olivia Spencer to model the side of the apron so I can determine that it doesn't wrap all the way around, but has a curve on the corner hem. It's two fabrics (or one, dyed and then overdyed), an apron, a shirtdress and a very washed out cardigan. More 'finding or dyeing' than sewing.

There is, of course, no seam on the side of the apron, but it is very smooth, so a dart at the top under the cardigan?
I decided that if I found the right sweater at Value Village, it was a 'go'. And I did.
The quilting cottons fabrics matched (from the rainbow wall at Pacific Fabrics), the pattern is from the stash. I improvised the apron.

No photos of me in it, but I had a nice time and I made a new friend.

I hope everyone enjoys the Oscars this evening. Clearly I am rooting for the monster movie, but I loved "Get Out" as well. Follow Jet Sew Sewing (who is there this evening) to see what it all looks like on the ground at the Dolby.