Today, I just received Threads 141. I have most issues starting with 13 Oct/Nov 1987. That makes me a long time devotee. Todays issue once again confirmed for me why I subscribe re: pg. 80. Readers Questions. Revamp 1980’s patterns. For quite a while I have been wondering how I should update patterns that I have made in the past but no longer look relevant to my new ageing body. ( sorry for the oxymoron). I have invested a lot of time and effort in clothes that cannot simply be altered into a 2008/2009 look. Mostly it is the extended shoulders with 1 inch gi-normous shoulder pads. I know that there is more to altering these original patterns than was related in the article. ( On the bottom of page 80 it says continued but I didn’t find the rest of the article. ) The point of my posting this is that every time I wonder about how I can accomplish something Threads sends an answer. That must mean that there is a cosmic connection that we sewers share. There must be a whole lot of ladies out there asking themselves the same questions I ask myself. My biggest reason for pursuing the idea of revamping old patterns is the disgusting quality of the pattern companys that I depended upon in the past. Vogue is the worst. They no longer provide the instructions that a sewer needs to create a quality product as they did in the past. This ties into your article on pg.54 Sew your Hautes and the letter writer on page 10 realizing the rewards of slow sewing and the great rewards. Your magazine has prompted me to always look deeper. The manipulation of fabric is an art and should be honored in that way. There are no shortcuts, just the love of creation. Please stay dedicated to what you do. In any artistic endeavor, to be successful we have to know the rules before we can take a few shortcuts.
Revamp 1980s patterns? Why would we want to do this, the work involved is not worth the effort. You mention the huge shoulders with their thick pads - altering a shoulder is not a simple task, the sleeve, armscye, yoke, neckline, probably sleeve length and width all have to be changed as well. Most likely the blouses had shoulder and yoke pleats and gatherings, everything was very blousy. If the article is advising about re-making a 1980s garment, the fitting issues are compounded. I re-design a lot of clothing for myself but there comes a time when practicality prevails. In fact, I am wearing right now a knitted top that has seen at least four design changes in its lifetime (Oct. '89).
It is a good idea to save those patterns for details that you admire and would like to add to an up to date version. Skirts have changed very little and the patterns would be keepers. As you mentioned, very few of us have the same shape we had in the 1980s so what suited us and was appropriate then no longer applies.
I don't have the new Threads yet and will look forward to the article you mention about revamping 1980s patterns. The postman probably got snowed in, or maybe he took it home for his wife to read, who knows?
We are saying the same thing. My reasoning behind using old patterns is that I did like certain details but realize I have to incorporate them into a more fitted look. My point is that there was more information in the old pattern directions and the quality of the drafting was superior to what we have today.
I bet our Mothers said the exact same thing about the quality of fit with the modern patterns. I know that I had fewer fitting problems in the '80s, even with some of the more elderly clients. One lady I worked with complained constantly about the looser fit and lower armscyes. She was in her 90's, and could not get used to the loose fit. Now that the styles have gone full circle, and clothing is fitting closely again, fit is critical again. I still think that Miss Annie was right tho, armscye depth is a problem. A closer fitting armscye gives more room to move, and better fit through the bust and shoulder area than we get now. There really is not enough room for a proper FBA under the arm. The bust dart ends up practically in the armpit. Better and more exact drafting would be more helpful, after all, since when is my armpit halfway down my side?????? Cathy
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