And here’s one for the weekend! I was thrilled when Sarah of Rhinestones & Telephones agreed to be my fourth castaway. Sarah’s blog showcases her passionate and very hand-made approach to life, style and how she loves to set a challenge! She’s got a great eye for spotting an inspirational look & transforming it into a highly successful self made outfit. Her love of vintage is not only sewn, but extends ever wider into knitted makes too. She can be relied on for interesting reviews, views and exceedingly good taste! So once again, the scene …
“You are stranded on a desert island, surrounded by beautiful crystal blue water populated by turtles & tropical fish (no sharks!). You have a comfy cosy shelter, an abundance of food & drinking water & a solar generator. Upon exploring the island you find a container that has fallen off a cargo ship & guess what? It is filled with what seems to be a never ending supply of fabrics of all descriptions, threads & notions!! What chance!
You are allowed to take your sewing machine & sewing box but which would be your 8 desert island patterns? (Note you need to imagine for a second that your desert island’s climate & your adventures did not only require bikinis & sarongs but maybe more of a variety of clothing- but up to you! The patterns might be your choices based on a practical reasons, or maybe they have more of a sentimental meaning to you, or you have the opportunity to create your dream wardrobe – what will it be?)”
This is the pattern that started my love affair with knits. Prior to owning this, I was terrified of working with them and when I did take the plunge, disaster ensued. I have made many versions of Renfrew, from the short sleeve tee to the long sleeve cowl neck. Perfect for a castaway!
[And check out the Renfrew Dress too – part of Sarah’s 52 dress project]
Since I’m to be swanning about on a deserted island, the Lisette tunic and dress pattern is the last word in comfort. I have made the tunic version, which Liesl Gibson was kind enough to include in her newsletter (!!), and, more recently, the dress version for my 52 Dresses Project. Both are amazingly comfortable yet I manage to look put together when sporting them. Always handy not looking like you’ve fallen out of a skip, no matter your surroundings!
Keeping with the comfortable castaway clothing theme, Butterick 5763 is another must for me. An easy, bias cut wrap skirt is ideal and is a cinch to make. This pattern produces a below the knee, swishy version which is very practical, yet still feminine. I have used this pattern to make my Lady Mary’s Walking Skirt, which I gave to my friend who looks smashing in it. I went on to make myself a lined white linen version which is on constant rotation in the summer months and looks great with my lemon yellow Tess Designs’ silk blouse.
I’ll definitely need a nice blouse to go with my wrap skirt, no? Colette Patterns’ Jasmine is so chic and easy to sew. I have made three versions of Jasmine (plain white, black and white polka dot, and hummingbirds) and plan to make many more. The sleeve from this pattern makes frequent appearances in my FrankenPattern efforts, such as my Home Sewing is Easy Dress.
I know I won’t want to be fussing with fastenings whilst stranded on this Sewing Utopia and Colette Patterns’ Oolong is just the ticket. A gorgeous bias cut vintage tea-style dress? Yes, please! I have a blue rose printed rayon challis earmarked for this dress. One never knows when one will be rescued, does one?
You’ll notice that I have not yet included a trouser pattern. That’s because I am an avowed dresses-and-skirts lady. However, I do recognize that island living does require a pair of comfortable and versatile linen trousers. Enter Simplicity 3688 – the only trousers that I feel comfortable wearing (next to my gorgeous Heyday ones – worth every penny!). The fact that this pattern also includes a terrific skirt and blouse is a bonus! I don’t think Winnie will mind that this one is a bit of a cheeky cheat. [Not at all!!]
The steaming sun of my exile means that I need a fashionable topper. I am a huge fan of cloche hats and Sew Chic’s pattern is both pretty and versatile. Simple in construction, I can easily turn out a utilitarian version for everyday or a fancy feathered concoction for dinner with Lovey and Thurston Howell!
You are also allowed to take two books, firstly which sewing related book would you take & why?
Definitely The Colette Sewing Handbook! I cannot overemphasize the incredible value of this tome. In my opinion, it is a must have for any stitcher of any level. My Meringue skirt is one of the most worn garments in my wardrobe.
Secondly, which non-sewing related book would you take & why?
A Prayer for Owen Meany. This is an outstanding novel and one I highly recommend. It is beautifully written and will make you laugh one moment and weep the next. It’s a powerful story of enduring love and friendship and the unexpected impact people can have on your life.
Next your one luxury. What would you choose (doesn’t have to be sewing related this time!)
Knitting needles and yarn! I started knitting again just over a year ago and am thoroughly hooked. I recently completed Susan Crawford’s Quick Work in Thick Wool jumper, which I love. Being stranded on a desert island without my knitting gear? Oh, the horror!
And finally if you could only take one disc of music what album would you choose & why?
Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s ‘So Far.’ Every song on this album has personal meaning, not to mention beautiful lyrics and music.
Thank you so much Sarah for such a well thought array of sewing inspiration & another book to look out for. I can picture you now, polka dotted Oolong, Cloche hat (with feathers) walking barefoot along the beach….