The Amazing Taracat is our next castaway!

Oh fellow island dreamers I’ve got my act together & am proud to provide you with a Friday treat. Yes, too long coming, we have another girl Friday, none other than the Amazing Taracat.

I am overjoyed to welcome Taracat to the island life (ref Grace Jones in the 1980s – is this relevant to Taracat’s choices – we shall have to see – it could just be one of my silly red herrings….) Oh I love reading Taracat’s stories around her sewing. I feel a certain sisterhood with Taracat as not only do we seem to be sewing in parallel universes – even if she is sometimes a garment ahead of me (& no it doesn’t mean that I am Taracat’s stalker seeing her great ideas & then making them up myself!). No, not only do Taracat & I share some similar making choices, but we also seem to have a similar approach to blog photography – some might say a devil may care attitude, others that we just like having a laugh at ourselves. Although I feel I have a lot to learn from Taracat – she exudes so much energy! So when Taracat accepted the invitation to don grass skirts & kick away her heels I was overjoyed. Let’s see what Taracat has chosen as her desert island sewing pattern pics of her pops!!!

I am so excited to be stranded on this desert island. My ticket could not have arrived at a better time. It is grey and miserable in England, I had to wear my winter coat this week and I need some sun. And sun, combined with unlimited fabric and notions and no interruptions to my sewing time is my idea of heaven. Choosing so few patterns was not easy. Maybe I’m weird but I realised I have an almost emotional attachment to my patterns. I felt really bad about leaving some out. But rules are rules, so here are the eight that I am hoping I would never get bored of making.

1. Merckwaerdigh MIX30, with Bra, Pantie & French knickers.

Image source: a very purple person

I never go bra-less, and with all those tropical creepy crawlies I think going commando would be unwise, so my first choice is this bra and pants/ knickers pattern. I haven’t made it up yet but I was inspired to order it after seeing a Very Purple Person’s gorgeous makes. I am particularly inspired by her red plaid set, and it would be easy to turn into a bikini.

2. Closet Case Files Bombshell Swimsuit.

I love in vintage style swimsuits and bikinis, they are flattering for pretty much all shapes and sizes, and the ones I have get worn so much they are starting to go baggy. When this pattern came out I bought it immediately.

Unfortunately I didn’t get round to making it this summer but I’ll have all the time in the world on the desert island.

3. Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers.

Yes, I’m going to have to conquer my fears and sew me some trousers.

I love every version of this pattern that I’ve seen but it was Lauren Lladybird’s many Thurlows that convinced me this would be the perfect pattern for my desert island. I can make them in denim as jeans, the shorts will be perfect for day wear and the skinnified versions will be great for the cooler evenings. I reckon once I got the hang of making trousers I could even tweak them and add a couple of extra pockets to make combats for trekking through the jungle.


4. By Hand London Anna dress.

Okay, that’s enough practical stuff. Time to bring out the dresses. I couldn’t not pack Anna. With two necklines and various lengths it is versatile enough to keep me wanting more. I have made it three times now and have another cut out and ready to go. This summer my Starry Anna got worn constantly so all the variations I would make would be on constant rotation on the desert island.

Taracat’s Starry Anna dress blogged here
5. Colette Hawthorn dress and blouse.

Another really versatile pattern, and everyone needs a shirt dress. I wore my Bathing Ladies Hawthorn dress at least once a week through the summer and would have worn it more if I was more efficient at doing laundry. And I can make up the peplum blouse version to wear with my skinny Thurlows. And of course on my desert island I will be toned, tanned and muscular from all the foraging, tree climbing, shelter building, etc so I will want to show off my belly in the cropped version with the Thurlow shorts.

From Taracat’s wardrobe


6. Colette Laurel dress and top.

Another Colette, I have made four of these and plan to make more. You only have to look at the entries in the Laurel competition to see how many different ways you can make this pattern. I don’t think I would ever get bored of it. As well as dresses I can see myself making it with long sleeves in a floaty fabric as a beach cover up. I have also made the top in a knit so I know I could use it to make long and short sleeved T shirts.


From Taracat’s wardrobe

7. Disparate Disciplines Dandelion Dress and top


I know, another dress, now there’s a surprise, But it’s also a top, there are two different necklines, it works in wovens and knits and even though I have made two already I think there are endless possibilities for this pattern. I am dying to make one with a lace yoke. And one in denim. And in a knit it is perfect to throw over a swimming costume after a day at the beach.

From Taracat’s wardrobe


8. Jamie Christina Sol Hoodie

When I got to pattern number eight I really struggled. That little devil sitting on my shoulder was screaming – More dresses! Want more dresses! But I decided to be practical. I do like a hoodie and this pattern is one of the ones I have been lusting over. I love the contrast trim and the option for thumb holes. I’m not sure if my sewing skills are up to it just yet but on the island I will have plenty of time to practice.

Luxury item – I am assuming that there will be plenty of fruit to ferment into alcohol, otherwise I am bringing a fully equipped and supplied gin distillery, and it would probably be cheating to bring my friends and family, so my luxury item will be a laptop so I can write. Apart from sewing, writing is what keeps me relatively sane. I think my head would explode if I didn’t write so I would like to bring a decent laptop with me.

Okay, now for the books. I have Winifred Aldrich’s ‘Metric Pattern cutting for Women’s Wear on my Christmas list. I’m hoping that this book would equip me with the skills to adapt my eight patterns and then draft some more of my own.


I really struggled choosing my non-sewing book because I read a lot, almost compulsively. In the end I have cheated a tiny bit and chosen four books in one by one of my favourite authors, Patricia Highsmith. I have read the Talented Mr Ripley over and over again so The Ripley Omnibus, which contains that and three more books in the series, should keep me going for a while.



Music – A difficult one. Actually I quite like silence because I get it so rarely. But of course I will need some tunes on my desert island, so I would take the Natural Born Killers Soundtrack. Leonard Cohen, Nine Inch Nails, Bob Dylan, Jane’s Addiction and Patsy Cline all on the same album – what’s not to like?


Thank you so much Winnie for inviting me to escape to the desert island. I have really enjoyed it. Now it’s time to sit back with a home brewed Mojito and enjoy the sunset while deciding which of my patterns to make first.

And Taracat- you have a well thought out & varied choice of patterns – a collection of beauties – you absolute cutie! I think you’ve got a perfect balance – not too many dresses at all!! Some severe temptation from where I am standing & a reminder of some of those other patterns that are on my wish list! Thank you for taking the time for giving this some thought & sorry for taking my time to share it.

7 thoughts on “The Amazing Taracat is our next castaway!

  1. Pingback: Desert Island Sewing! | The Amazing Adventures of Taracat

  2. Amanda

    Fab choices! I absolutely approve of All The Dress patterns, they’re totally practical on a desert island. The Aldrich book will definitely point you in the right direction, too, I find it really useful.


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