Friday, January 26, 2018

Literary Sewing Circle: Inspired Patterns!

For our first Inspiration Post I'm featuring some basics -- pattern possibilities inspired by the setting & characters of Dance, Gladys, Dance.

This novel is set in Winnipeg, smack dab in the middle of Canada. Horizontally speaking, at least. This is a fairly unusual setting; while there are many urban novels in CanLit, they are more often set in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. So following along with this setting, here are some ideas, all from Canadian pattern companies.

You might want to wear a bustier just like Frieda in the early chapters of the book -- though I'd recommend not accidentally wearing it backward like she does ;) BraMakers Supply in Hamilton carries a fun pattern for the "Freedom Corset" -- not exactly bustier but close, and definitely sexy!

Or, you might want to try a quick underbust waist cincher or an online Craftsy course by Linda Sparks from Farthingale's right here in Stratford. 

Jalie Patterns in Quebec also carries many fitted designs which might suit this mood.

If you're thinking more along the lines of Mr. Hausselman for inspiration, you couldn't go wrong with this beautifully designed  Belvedere Waistcoat by Thread Theory, based in Vancouver. Classy, with lots of pocket space for memory cards or usb sticks when you're out there busily photographing the urban landscape.

Meanwhile, Lady March may inspire a full-on Mrs. Roper look with the Charlie Caftan by Closet Case Patterns, or perhaps a slightly more casual look with the Suki Kimono from Helen's Closet.

To evoke Ginny's business woman look, wear lots of power make-up and the dressy Cordova Jacket by Sewaholic Patterns - wear with In-House Patterns' New York Mini Skirt & heels and you'll be heading to the top of the office.

If you're dreaming about a Gladys era dress, try Victory Patterns' sweet Hazel frock, in a shimmery green for full Gladys-dancing effect.

Or you just might want to channel Frieda's art making into a colourful, colour blocked Slimming Dress from MacPhee Workshop. Mix up the colours and have fun!

I hope you're getting some ideas for projects through these characters, and if you've started reading, that you are enjoying it! Do you have any ideas for matching patterns? If so, share them in the comments.

If you've started reading, who are you finding to be the most intriguing character so far? Does somebody stand out for you? Share your thoughts below. I'll start... in the first few chapters I really enjoyed getting to know Frieda in all of her foul-mouthed obstinacy, and loved the first time Gladys showed up too. Lots of great characters to follow here.


  1. Right now I like Mr. Hausselman. He's very laid back but very active. My kind of person.

    1. He does seem to be very grounded, and I love his social conscience and artistic sensibility as well.

  2. How can I join this group. I love to sew and read!

    1. Hi Karen -- just have to find a copy of the book and jump right in! We're very relaxed -- no rules except to read along and share your thoughts on the book in one of the LSC posts (every Friday during an active readalong) and then make a project inspired by your reading to share at the end. You can check the announcement post for the full schedule for this title -- we'd love to have you along!

  3. Hey, my book has just arrived in post today!! I will have to get cracking with my reading. Having read the comments, the inspiration post and the author's comments, I have started to get a feel for the book. But will now begin in ernest.

  4. Oh, that's super, Sara! I'm glad you received it. I hope you will like the book and find a lot of good bits in it to inspire you.

  5. Finished!! A really lovely book, except maybe the ending was a bit rushed for me. But it was good up to then. While I get my thoughts together to discuss the book, I have to say the very first item of clothing that comes to mind is a multi coloured (bit similar to your fiesta top) crochet top! I love the whole thread of crocheting in the book and where it takes us. It is almost so central to many events in the story line.
    And I may well make one, I have lots of lovely coloured Rohan cotton,...... but this is a sewing blog. So I will rethink.

    1. Sara I am so glad you enjoyed the book! I agree the ending could have had more time spent on it, but I did really still think that the various storylines were tied up satisfactorily.

      If you can crochet and would like to do that, PLEASE do!! Any kind of textile craft is welcome for the Literary Sewing Circle -- if you like to knit, crochet, embroider or quilt, add something a little different to the mix!

      I hope you'll think about going with your first idea, because I would love to see it :)


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!