We’re on Flickr! We were thrilled to learn this week that an intrepid sewist named Layla has launched the Stitch Magazine Creations group on Flickr.com, a popular free photo-sharing site. Anyone can join and upload photos, as long as they’re “creations based on patterns and tutes from Stitch Magazine.”
It’s so wonderful to see the things that our readers make from the magazine, because it’s pretty clear that Stitch readers get very creative. And since that’s part of the mission of Stitch — to help readers to take sewing instructions and patterns and creatively make them their own — it totally motivates us to keep on finding great inspiration and great designs.
Britt Willis, who blogs at Scrapyard, has added photos to the Flickr group of her Spring Tote, from our Spring 2009 issue. Take a look at the original version (designed by I Heart Patchwork author and designer Rashida Coleman-Hale) on the left, and Britt’s version on the right:
Britt’s note says, “I used a vintage twill stripe for the bottom and lining. I bought the fabric at Music City Thrift about 4 years ago. It’s treated with Scotch-Guard. Weird! I incorporated part of the selvage in the inner pocket. The handles lace through grommets. It was very scary cutting holes into an item that I’d just spent hours sewing, but they turned out fine! I like the vintage look of the other fabrics, but they are certainly not vintage.”
I love that Britt combined a stripe and two floral prints, yet they all work together beautifully, and it’s terrific that she took the leap and tried grommets for the first time. Using the selvedge as an inside detail is very fun, too:
Even experienced sewists sometimes have a hard time departing from the original version of a design, or taking a different direction, but it’s really not difficult. Some ideas to make a design your own:
- Change the color palette. The same design can be sweet in pastels, sophisticated in black combined with natural linen, trendy in turquoise and brown. If you’re in a color rut, check out thousands of color palettes at ColourLovers.com for ideas.
- Use a different kind of fabric. Britt substituted Scotchgarded ticking for linen; you could even try silks for this bag. It takes some practice to learn how to adapt your sewing strategy for different fabrics, but projects like this one are perfect for experimentation.
- Add embellishments. You could take this same bag and make it in solid colors, but add embroidery, lines of handstitching in embroidery floss to follow each seamline, a row of organically-shaped pearl beads along a seamline, or ribbon trim. Or gather a strip of fabric and insert into one seam for a ruffle detail; if you cut the ruffle strip on the bias, you can leave the edge unfinished for a deconstructed effect.
- Make the bag larger or smaller; if you’re making a garment, you can explore different proportions and make some of the details larger or smaller.
- Add pockets in interesting shapes or sizes.
- Add button trim with vintage buttons, a row of different buttons that are related in color or style, many small buttons, or one bold statement button.
These are just a few ideas. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite way to make a pattern your own!