Oh dear Girl Fridays! Yet another treat for you today, I was out & about chasing pineapples when I came across Catherine Daze! Yes, she who describes herself sometimes as “Wannabe 80s sci-fi sewist”. I cannot describe how excited I was to meet up with her & to find out what glories she had brought to her desert island, since she is known for her stunning creations, that feel to me to be bold & very brave – in style and in skills required. She takes designer styling to a new level, but I have to say carries it off with an everyday elegance. But then, if you’re channeling Blake’s Seven or Buck Rogers you’ve got powers lady!
So to set the scene, as I do …
“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?
It sounds like paradise! An unending supply of fabric, notions, and sewing time could almost reconcile me to living in the wilderness. Almost. I melt in the sun, alas.
My first pattern choice is really easy: McCalls 2401. I don’t have a sloper, but this is the next best thing. It’s a basic but versatile sheath dress pattern. I’ve made the original dress, but I’ve also morphed it into my TNT t-shirt pattern and the sleeves have found their way onto several other patterns. However my favourite creation from this pattern is the Star Trek dress. This pattern should keep me busy for a while.
Next would be Burda 116-08-2011, a casual dress with a cowl neck, pockets, and a stand-up collar in back. It’s trivially easy to make and I love all three of my current ones to bits. It’s also practical for island life. The collar will help prevent the sun from catching the back of my neck and the pockets will be excellent for beach-combing trips.
I really ought to have a trouser pattern so I’m including Burda 103B-07-2010, the only trouser pattern I have ever made. Sadly it doesn’t seem to be available online. They’re skinny jeans with a fairly high waist and a seam down the back of the leg.
I’ll need some leggings to go under the dresses. Leggings are something I currently buy rather than making, but I’ve read such good things about the Papercut Patterns
Ooh La Leggings that I’d like to take that one along to try. Hope it’s not cheating to take a pattern you haven’t sewn yet. [No it isn’t! This is a wishlist also 😉 ]
That’s it for the sensible stuff. I can’t say Vogue 8633 is a practical choice but it’s one of my all time favourite patterns. It’s an Easy Options pattern but I’m really only interested in view B, a sleeveless sheath with a high collar, a waist inset and a great many darts. It was a lot of effort to fit the bodice but worth it for the lovely shape.
I’ll have a lot of time on my hands on the island so I’d also like to take some more involved patterns that I wouldn’t normally have time for.
My first challenging sew is Vogue 8489, a very 1970s Vogue Easy Options pattern. It’s rated ‘Easy’, but I swear it took me a month to make the version with sleeves. It was totally worth it though. I originally made this in a print but I’d like to try it in a solid with contrast bands too.
Next is Vogue 1239, a Chado Ralph Rucci shirtdress. This dress is a really satisfying, involved project. I’ve always wanted to make it again but never had the time. I imagine it could be turned into a coat by using a heavier fabric.
Finally I have another Chado Ralph Rucci design, Vogue 1073. It caught my eye in the Vogue catalogue when I first began sewing and I finally made it just as it went out of print. It’s a wonderful pattern with many clever details; I think only a sewist could fully appreciate it! The fabric on mine hasn’t worn well so I’d love to make another one.
The sewing book I’d take is the out of print The Dressmaker’s Dictionary by Ann Ladbury [follow the previous link for Catherine’s more full review]
Not only is it full of useful information and advice, the author’s strong personality comes across clearly which makes it entertaining to browse.
The non-sewing book I’d take would be The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten years later by Alexandre Dumas. I love a good swashbuckler.
I assume I’m not allowed Internet access for my luxury? That would make it too easy! If I can’t be on-line I’d like an inexhaustible supply of excellent coffee. And for my one disk I’d take Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds.
Thanks so much for inviting me to do this; having to select just eight patterns has given me some new sewing inspiration. And I’m taking notes from the rest of the series…the to-sew list is getting longer all the time. Maybe I do need a bit of time away from civilization!
Catherine we should be thanking you! Your choices are so inspirational & remind me certainly of what a versatile sewist you are & just what you turn your hand to! Some really fascinating pattern choices, & as always I shall now go & search for your music on Spotify & give it a listen.
By the time we reach 10 castaways readers, I shall do some analysis…what are the trends, are there any recurring patterns or themes? How many people give up underwear for the sake of a pretty dress? Questions, questions!!