Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Signals And The T & T

On Friday, ParisGrrl posted a comment to Imaginary Sewing along with a link to a top that she thought I might enjoy. I did. I also enjoyed the website - Signals - since it was new to me and had more than one garment I liked.





What I found really interesting was the combination of Signals and the T & T top. The garment above is the one linked to.





Can you see how it has similar lines to Katherine Tilton's Vogue 8691 - a pattern I've sewn numerous times. In fact, I was wearing a version of it in the picture with my grandson in yesterday's posting.





While the tops in this posting are not identical, you can see how they - and others at the website - could be developed from the same pattern. I've sewn Katherine's pattern as a t-shirt, a dress, and a cardigan and there are plenty of variations that could be developed using it as is without changing the seam lines and a lot more variations with a few seam line changes.





The top above eliminates the princess seam on one side while maintaining it on the other, uses exposed serged seams, grey scale fabrics, visual texture, and ruffling along the sleeve hem. It has variety in color and both visual and tactile texture.





This version also uses a variety of fabrics and exposed seams and yet it's a completely different arrangement of seams that could still be developed from the same pattern.





Here's a cardigan version using dots and stripes and "dot" buttons coupled with the high-low hem that's so popular right now. You don't have to like anything about it - although I do - to get ideas for simpler seams, brighter prints, accent fabrics, and pocket details.





Mimicking this mix of blue prints might be a place to start. I don't find this piece entirely balanced. I'd be inclined to add a bit of the darker blue to the opposite side, perhaps on the sleeve or at the shoulder. That's one of the fun aspects of color and/or print blocking - playing with what goes where and how that looks.





These medium to dark prints work together to calm a busier piece. If I were going to use Katherine's pattern to sew something similar, I'd start by breaking up the existing pattern sections and then in a second or third version begin combining those sections in new ways. Becoming very familiar with how your T & T pattern goes together and it's inherent possibilities is one of key aspects to using it as a design tool.





With raglan sleeves, this is not the same pattern but it shows how simple details like the unusual buttons and highlighting the seams can make a one fabric garment visually interesting. Turning Katherine's pattern into a cardigan by adding a button opening at center front and then highlighting the seams in a similar manner would create a calm, simple and simply fantastic piece.





Go a step further and add a collar and some pockets and you have this light jacket. Isn't that amazing? Do you see how developing a T & T pattern can open up a whole world of possibilities? Check out the Signals website for even more ideas.

Do you have - or are you developing - T & T patterns? If not, I hope this posting inspires you to think about it. Looking at all these variations just made me want to play.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - sewing time today

When we shift our inner statement from "I'd love to" to "I'm going to," we shift out of victim and into adventurer. 
- Julia Cameron

24 comments:

  1. It's so funny that you would post this! I was looking at my Signals catalog a couple of nights ago and when I saw these tops I was immediately reminded of you and how you might see them as inspiration. I even thought I should email you and tell you about them, but I thought you might think I was crazy since we don't even know each other. Obviously I was not alone in my thinking!

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    1. PLEASE do feel you can email. We might not know each other in the traditional face-to-face way but the Internet is so wonderful for making connections. Depending where you live, we might meet on one of my travels. What fun that would be.

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    2. Oh that WOULD be fun! I live in Louisville, Kentucky, so if you're ever nearby please do contact me!

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    3. Kentucky ... not somewhere I've been anywhere near before but you never know.

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  2. I'm glad the link gave you a springboard for ideas, and I love that Diane had the same thought!

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    1. It did. Lots of ideas. When I finish the dress I'm working on I will explore at least one of them. Thanks again.

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  3. Well, I do have a "Favorite Favorites" box of patterns, lol. There are about 30 patterns in there right now. They are, indeed, the ones to which I turn again and again. I am always seduced by the lure of a new pattern, and the imagined joy of making something wonderful that will completely improve all aspects of everything in my life. At least I usually get a new outfit, and sometimes it does make my life a wee bit better.

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    1. T & T's are wonderful to work from and every once in a while I do think we need to venture out. It depends which adventure we want to take.

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  4. What a fantastic post! I am inspired to lay out my fave tee patterns and see what develops. Thanks.

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    1. It'll be fun to see what you develop. Glad it was inspiring. I hope you looked at the website. There's a lot more there.

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  5. Great post Myrna! i've been pondering along these lines much the past month. A few years ago i developed a little princess seamed woven sleeveless top which i did up a number of different ways as it was such a staple for me during our hot summers. Change up the neckline, add fullness, take it in, use a plain linen with embroidery, a striped cotton, different lace trims or appliques, change up the hem...

    It's a fun way to develop creatively but even more so a fabulous way to knock out pieces you know will work when you have a wardrobe category you need to fill by sewing. I like to check out the videos Trudy makes over at Hot Patterns as the bulk of her patterns are developed with this type of use in mind. So in her videos introducing patterns she'll model a few different makes of the same pattern with various fabrics and embellishments and go over a number of ways you can really get your money's worth out of the design.

    This post is a really well done illustration of the concept. Thank you and have a great day! steph

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post. Why don't you write one about the tops you did from your pattern. I'd love to see that.

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    2. heehee! well, actually i was telling the truth when i posted i need to focus more on sewing than blogging these days! I literally wore a big ole hole in one of my little 'cami tops' (as i call them), and it's even right over the bust so i'm busily needling away*** whilst reading on the web right now. i got seriously low on clothing there for a while, i'm concentrating on sewing to get over this hump while i've got my mojo going!

      I do have a number of pictures of my various versions over the years so i could conglomerate them at some point - good idea. Happy day! steph

      *** it's a lite banana linen peplum top version of April Rhodes' Riding Peplum (i just blogged the dress version a while back, in a knit). sleeveless linen is what i live in these summers.

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    3. After you're done focusing and have time to write would be fine too. Put it on your topic list.

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  6. Well I can see how you got excited about using your TNT pattern for these tops! And you know how much I love a TNT pattern!

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    1. You are the Queen of the T & T. I've learned so much from you. Thanks.

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    2. Yes, Carolyn is the Queen of T & Ts but you have embraced the idea like I have. Besides,it's such fun to cut up T & T pattern as you know it will fit. Creativity can then soar!

      Karen

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    3. YES YES - it is fun and creativity can soar. As soon as I realized the value of T & T patterns, I wanted them and yet it's interesting that not every pattern you think would be a good T & T is. They take time to develop. Time well spent though.

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  7. Always love to read your posts. It's uncanny that you mentioned Vogue 8691. Just yesterday I was thinking I made a mistake in ordering this pattern. Not for me with my 5 ft 1 1/2 in height. The tops you linked from Signals has me inspired to give some of them a try.It's not like I have a skimpy stash! I especially got excited with the top Twilight. Your creative spirit is engaging. We shall meet as I live in Calgary.

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    1. I'm glad you're going to give it a try. It's a really wonderful pattern, quite flattering. Have fun. That's the main thing. Hopefully I'll see your variations when I'm in Calgary again.

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  8. Most inspring Myrna. I like how you shared your approach to break up the top. I do struggle with how to do that on single piece tops. Because I haven't cut up and pieced shirts, I am still studying before I jump in. I really appreciate your research! Right now I'm working on a legging pattern. I started with SewingCake's pattern, then have made 10-20 modifications further. Now I'm going to start making them in varying lengths, pieced bits, cuffs, waistbands, etc. It's so exciting to have a good fit, though I still have weird wrinkles at the inseam/crotch curve to figure out how to eliminate.

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    1. Working with one pattern at a time like you're doing is a great way to learn. If you're using a knit, I found it easiest to buy a lot of the same knit and work from there because the fabric factor can change those wrinkles.

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  9. Myrna - if you're considering a blog move, you may wish to look into Weebly. That's what I use. It's drag and drop functionality, allows you to have a webpage and a blog. Though you would have to add in your own SEO and a few other settings. But you've so much great content that is searchable anyway. Let me know if you've any questions. And, I could send you an invite if you'd like to try it. No I'm not selling their stuff, I just struggled with the cumbersomeness, long learning curve, and restricted functions of blogger, wordpress, and other sites.

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    1. Not at the moment but I'll keep it in mind. I just bought the Blogger for Dummies book to see how I could pretty up my party... only... I've been too busy sewing to read it. Maybe soon.

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Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.