Hey it’s a Friday Girls & boys! I’ve managed to shimmy up the tallest palm tree on my island to see who I could see, & in the distance, up her very own palm tree was none other than Kathryn from Yes I Like That. Now whilst I haven’t (yet) met Kathryn in real life, I love the voice she has through her blog- she brings a certain understated humour, & I imagine she’s the kind of comedian who remains deadpan whilst delivering side splitting funnies (I hope I haven’t done you a disservice Kathryn – it’s meant as a compliment & provoked by your photo at the end here!). But her sewing skills are certainly not understated – this lady is the skinny jeans guru. She seems to have made pair upon pair, each perfecting the previous. And anyone who makes their own jeans is up there on my sewing podium in flashing lights. So what would someone like Kathryn add to her limited portfolio of sewing patterns on her desert island?
You are stranded on a desert island, surrounded by beautiful crystal blue water populated by turtles & tropical fish (no sharks!). OR you can choose a deserted island in different climes if you so wish! 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?)”
I have lizard blood and am always cold, so my island would be lovely and warm all year round, with the occasional refreshing rainshower so things don’t get too dusty.
I’ve chosen some versatile patterns so I could have an infinite wardrobe and keep myself occupied inventing variations on a theme. I don’t tend to repeat patterns very often, so this was a tough one for me!
1. Firstly, I’d have to take McCalls 6355, a basic shift pattern with bust darts and optional back darts that can become a dress or a top. My favourite version of it so far was this Whistles knock-off top I made from scraps.
3. I’d need a skirt pattern, and I think I’d take Simplicity 2258, which was my first pick for the Minerva blogging network. It comes with trousers and shorts options too, which would work for my island pyjamas, and it’s super-quick to make. It would showcase all those nice cotton prints I hope to find at the bottom of the shipping container…
4. For tops, this Burda Magazine kimono sleeve top from the Sept 2011 issue is so easy to sew, and the perfect base for jersey dresses and t-shirts. I find kimono sleeves very comfortable in jersey (bonus – no sleeves to set in!).
5. Dresses are a tough one, as I don’t tend to repeat patterns. I think I’d take the Anna dress by By Hand London, I’ve only made one version myself, but from the evidence of other sewing bloggers it’s a very addictive pattern, and versatile too. I can see myself sashaying over the sand in a maxi length crepe version with a thigh-high split.
6. I’d also take along New Look Workroom 6070. I’ve just made my first version of this, and it’s a wonderful pattern. I think the pleats look very RTW – I’m planning another version in a solid. I won’t have anywhere to wear it on my desert island but at least I can languish amongst the palm trees in style.
7. Let’s talk essentials. I have to be honest here. If I’m all alone on a desert island I’m not going to bother with fancy underwear or swimming costumes. So I’d take So Zo’s basic pants pattern just to cover the necessities. I’ve yet to make a pair of these but I am saving up my jersey scraps to have a go.
8. Finally, I’ll have a lot of time on my hands. I’ve always wanted to sew a complicated tailored jacket, and I am in love with this one from the October 2013 Burdastyle magazine (photo borrowed from Paunnet’s blog review). I am far too lazy to trace off and sew any pattern with more than about 4 pieces, and this one is marked ‘advanced’ which I also normally avoid like the plague, so it would be a good challenge to pass away the weary hours.
I don’t really use sewing books very often so this is a hard one. I am much more of a googler when it comes to sewing problems. I think I would take David Coffin’s book on shirtmaking as I’ve owned it for about 4 years and never read it properly. I find all that talk about flat-felling feet and drafting your own plackets very intimidating.
Secondly, which non-sewing related book would you take & why?
I would take Villette by Charlotte Bronte. I have to say that living all alone on a desert island is my idea of hell. I’d last about a week before attempting to fashion an escape raft from coconut shells in order to find some human company.
Villette is one of the best books ever written about loneliness and isolation, and I think it would console me in my plight.
Next your one luxury. What would you choose (doesn’t have to be sewing related this time!)
I guess that taking my husband as a luxury wouldn’t be allowed, although he would be very helpful in constructing the aforementioned coconut raft. So instead I’d take a radio. I love sewing while listening to the radio or podcasts. I wouldn’t feel quite so homesick if I could catch up with Paul O’Grady on a Sunday evening.
And finally if you could only take one disc of music what album would you choose & why?
I’d take The Velvet Underground, the eponymous third album from, well, The Velvet Underground. I listened to this on a daily basis from the ages of 16-21 so I know I could never get sick of it. The melancholic/drug-addled tones of Lou Reed would be a fitting soundtrack to my lonesome desert island adventures.
Well what a fine collection of patterns! I am inspired, having not quite recovered from Kathryn’s first top (how could something so beautiful come from such an ordinary pattern? That is dressmaking vision for you!) Thank you Kathryn for taking time away to imagine your sewing life in the sun. I have truly been inspired and as always, it’s the music & reading material that are also great recommendations!