Practical sewing vs fantasy sewing


This is not a very practical piece of clothing. Nor is this

and yet they are two of my favourites.

When I started sewing I wanted to make comfortable clothes that I could wear to work with features like sleeves and pockets, both of which seem to be lacking on most RTW. Sadly they seem to be lacking on most sewing patterns as well, but I did learn to add a couple of styles of pocket to sheath dresses (incidentally, this tutorial the A Dress A Day blog is great!) and set in a sleeve.

Trouble is, I don’t find most of those clothes very inspiring.

I originally worked by trying to find a pattern I liked that was in my skill range and then trying to find a fabric to go with it. I had one or two successes but several things that I made have only been worn a couple of times.

More recently I gave up trying to make sensible clothes and ventured into ‘fantasy’ sewing – choosing a project either by finding a fabric I love and making something out of it (hello, silk dupion with silver lurex) or starting out with a mental image of the garment I want to make (rarely if ever qualifying as workwear) and then finding a a pattern that’s similar. This seems to be much more successful in terms of producing dresses I find appealing, but certainly doesn’t create practical clothes that can be flung on in the morning with a minimum of thought – and I haven’t made anything with a pocket for months. There’s got to be a happy medium somewhere. Or maybe I should just move to a country with better weather.

So up next is a version of my purple Burda pleated dress in pale peach cotton. I’m hoping that’s going to bridge the gap, despite the lack of sleeves and pockets, as I think it’ll work with gladiator flats. Maybe I could add inseam pockets. Does anyone out there know any good cardigan patterns?