My “Duh!” Moment Finally Arrived

by Beverly Vance

For the past few years (since my retirement), and especially during our long seclusion while the pandemic wreaked its havoc, I’ve been so thrilled at having so much time to sew that I just kept churning out garments and buying more fabric. Unfortunately, too many of those makes are orphans – they don’t go with anything else. Thus…my “duh” moment: my efforts needed purpose and focus.

So many of you wised up to the ideas of sewing with a plan long ago – I’m a little late to the party, I know, but to borrow the old cliché, better late than never. First question: Which types of clothing did I really like, need, and wear the most? Leisurewear has become such a go-to style during our seclusion this past year and a half or so, but I wanted clothes that are comfortable and that can be dressed up a bit when needed.

To make sure that all my future efforts will be time well spent, I give a great deal of consideration not only to the style of the garments in the patterns I use, but also to the pattern maker.

There are now so many excellent pattern makers out there besides the big four, and those independent companies have become my “go-to” sources. Finding out which patterns work best for each of us is the real challenge, and the ones I like best are, of course, the ones that require the fewest alterations. For me Closet Core Patterns, Silhouette Patterns, and some Style Arc Patterns fit that need. Heather Lou at Closet Core gives you such well-drafted patterns and such precisely written instructions that make sewing with her designs a joy. Peggy Sagers at Silhouette Patterns is not only a fantastic pattern designer, she provides so much instruction for free on her Tuesday night YouTube broadcasts and her PBS show Fit to Stitch, and those are both filled with an almost infinite number of ideas on pattern changes that can give you so many different looks from one pattern. She’s a local treasure!

I haven’t yet joined the “paperless” pattern crowd, mainly because I’m not to the point that I want to install a projector in my ceiling – maybe later on that. Also, I grumble a lot if I have to take a file to Office Depot or some such place to have a pattern printed out. There are so many online sources whose patterns are only digital now, so I may have to give in and join the projector movement.

Right now, I’m sewing summer clothing, of course, but at least I have a new sense of direction for my efforts. And looking ahead for the fall, I plan to start a true capsule wardrobe. Speaking of which, if you haven’t checked out TomKat Stitchery on YouTube, she does a capsule wardrobe each season – worth a look. Since July and August heat here in Texas can melt steel, I’m sure I’ll be inside sewing for fall with my new plan! Happy sewing to all my sew-l-sisters!

Beverly's summer sewing projects. Tops are Silhouette patterns. Shorts and capri's are drafted from her Fit for Art pattern.
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3 thoughts on “My “Duh!” Moment Finally Arrived”

  1. Thanks for the inspiration. This is something I need to do also. So many orphans in my closet. Love the clothes in the pictures.

  2. Thank you Beverly!! Great inspiration!!! This would make a Home Grown Workshop!! Bring patterns/fabric/ideas – develop a capsule wardrobe together!!

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